Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership works to strengthen the health system in Cap-Haiten, the country’s second largest city which is located only 600 miles from Floridan on the north coast of Haiti.  Konbit Sante (pronounced kone-beet sont-ay) is Haitien Creole.  Konbit means working together and Sante means health.
The organization works only at Haitian facilities with Haitian health care providers in facilities owned and managed by Haitians working towards long term solutions. These health care providers go out into the community to identify people who need care.  All paid staff are Haitian, with the single exception of Nate Nickerson, the current Executive Director who splits his time between his offices in Falmouth and Cap-Haitien.
Konbit Sante currently has five major partners including Justinien University Hospital, a partner since 2003, that has 300 beds and 140 residents. JUH is the largest teaching hospital in North Haiti and the second largest public hospital in Haiti. Other partners include smaller public and private hospitals and a private clinic that include a birthing center and a spinal cord rehabilitation center.
Konbit Sante has taken a holistic approach to building their network by asking “what do you need to make a health care system work?” The answer is in these five components: A workforce to train; adequate infrastructure including clean water & electricity; medicines, supplies & equipment; research, data & evaluation to analyze and monitor patient outcomes; and management & leadership including staffing support and inventory management. Konbit Sante brings in millions of dollars in donated medicine and supplies each year, sending only items that are specifically requested.
Konbit Sante does not provide direction.  Their role is to make sure that local providers have what they need.  Their approach is to work knowing they do not have all of the answers and that, in fact, Haitian problems need Haitian solutions.
Nate closed by mentioning that Portland is Sister City to Cap-Hatien.  He also noted that Dr Samuel Broaddus of Westbrook and now of Gorham is a past member of the Konbit Sante board and has traveled to Haiti many times as a volunteer. 
For more information: https://konbitsante.org/
Photo credit above left: In 2010, Nate Nickerson, Executive Director of Konbit Sante, talks with Pierre
Chevannes, Executive Director of Justinian University Hospital. By Gregory Rec PPH
Above right: Kathi Perkins, PE with Nate Nickerson and book donated to Walker Memorial Library.