Nurse Give Back to Her Native Country
Updated: 1:27 pm, Mon Jul 8, 2013.
By KORI TUITT Special to the AmNews
As a young girl, Haitian-born Gretha Fievre always imagined herself as a secretary because she liked to dress up. Little she’d end up in scrubs as a registered nurse.
After the earthquake devastated Haiti in January of 2010, Fievre and several other nurses and doctors from the Queens Jamaica, Queens, traveled overseas to treat people. Since then, she has traveled to Haiti at least 10 more times.
“I quickly realized how much professional training opportunities were lacking in Haiti, especially in the health field,
In the fall of 2010, Fievre founded the Health Education Action League for Haiti (HEAL Haiti). The nonprofit organization
provide education to the general public and educate those interested in pursuing careers in the health care fields.
“You cannot provide care to the community without someone being educated to provide care,” Fievre said.
Born in Saint-Marc, Haiti, Fievre moved to New York at 19. She had a scholarship from her homeland, which funded become a nurse. She also lived with her aunt, who was a nurse.
“It’s nice to give back,” Fievre said. “I’ve always wanted to give back, even prior to the earthquake.”
In April, Fievre and 12 other members of the organization traveled to her hometown of Saint-Marc to host their first country. They reached out to local high school students, offering them a one-day seminar prior to the fair to help prepare “They were so courteous, so caring,” Fievre recalled.
All the medication used during the fair was donated by Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, and each member paid for their and food for the trip.
Linda Noel, Fievre’s friend and a member of the organization, also volunteered during the health fair.
“[The students] saw her as a mentor,” Noel said. “They saw that she was sitting where they are, and she came back.
Fievre said it has not been difficult to find people to get involved with the organization.
“The time commitment may not work for everyone. However, people still have this desire to help,” she said. “I found to help Haiti regardless of whether the earthquake happened.”
Fievre ultimately wants to build an accredited nursing school, but she’s also looking for grant writers and public relations coax the organization’s growth.
“We, the members, have the same vision as Gretha, so it’s not something that’s difficult,” Noel said. “We all jump on that we feel the same way.”
Aside from running the organization and working as a registered nurse, Fievre is an adjunct professor at Pace University, working toward her master’s degree in nursing education.
“It’s not easy; sometimes it’s challenging, but with faith you can overcome the obstacles,” she said. “The most fulfilling the work we have done and ultimately want to do truly has an impact.”
For more information about HEAL Haiti, call 646-824-8545, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the organization
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New York Amsterdam News, New York, NY