By Vania Andre

About half of the Haitian population doesn’t have access to health care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Those in rural areas have limited access to medical facilities and in areas where there are, the costs of health care is too much for many to afford. However, for residents in one town in Haiti, health care isn’t a luxury anymore.

The National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH), a nonprofit founded in 1991, “serves as a national, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing medical and humanitarian relief to Haitians from natural disasters and facilitating the training of Haitian medical professionals and building of medical care infrastructure in Haiti.”

Co-chair, Marc Baptiste (left) and Petra Nemcova, honoree

On June 5, the New York chapter of NOAH hosted their fourth annual gala at the IAC building in midtown Manhattan to raise funds to support their medical missions to Fort Liberte, a city in northern Haiti. Celebrity photographer Marc Baptiste co-chaired the event alongside Joel Davidson, Esq.

“Ours is a mission of volunteers,” said Dr. Henry Paul, president of NOAH NY. “They volunteer their time and their skill, but more importantly, they volunteer their hearts. This gala will be a great opportunity for the community to support a worthy cause.” Volunteers with NOAH NY have performed about 300 surgeries and have treated over ten thousand residents.

All of the proceeds from the gala are going to their health care initiatives in Haiti. This year’s honorees include Kurt Schmoke, Esq, Vice President and General Counsel at Howard University; Dame Petra Nemcova, Amb. at Large for Haiti, Founder & Chair of the Happy Hearts Fund; Linda Brady, MD, President & CEO of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center; and Susan Kwon, Vice President, Network Management at Healthfirst.

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