About Us

Haitian Run + Haitian Led = Lifesaving Programs that Build a Healthier Future

We believe that the best way to deliver health care is to empower our Haitian staff to determine how to most effectively manage Hands Up For Haiti programs in their own communities. We support a Haitian staff of more than 50 medical and other professionals, community health workers and lay staff. We provide ongoing support with education, consultation and funding for medication and supplies to enable our health care workers to lead these programs. Our lifesaving programs include:

  • Medika Mamba Malnutrition Program- to identify, treating and prevent Childhood Malnutrition
  • Prenatal Care and “Helping Babies Survive” Programs-to provide care to pregnant women and to train matrones and midwives in newborn resuscitation
  • Kairam Well Child Clinics -to provide care from birth through the fifth birthday
  • Emergency Hospital and Surgical Fund -to provide emergency and specialized care for our pediatric patients
  • Hypertension Screen-and-Treat-to prevent strokes in Adults 
  • Clean Water in Communities- maintaining wells built by HUFH.

Jill Ratner, MD, cofounder of HUFH

Our Story

A group of volunteer doctors and nurses arrived in Haiti in 2010, the year of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed over 250,000 people and displaced millions. We began our work in the north of the country where many children were sent who had survived the disaster. After establishing connections in the Cap Haitien region,  Hands Up for Haiti was formed as a medical humanitarian organization to continue providing care to those in need.

From 2010 to the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, HUFH sent over 100 medical teams to Cap Haitien and the surrounding region. Our volunteers included physicians, nurses, students, educators and others who provided direct patient care and created an infrastructure for health care in areas where there had been none. Throughout this decade, we worked closely with our Haitian medical counterparts and provided education, equipment and medical supplies as well as financial support. This ongoing support allowed us to transition to a model of Haitian Run, Haitian Led programs and leadership.

During the pandemic when we were unable to travel to Haiti , we realized that our Haitian-led focus was key to achieving our mission and our goals: reducing barriers to care, improving medical compliance, reducing childhood malnutrition, and decreasing infant and maternal mortality. As many organizations folded or left Haiti, we remained and became stronger as we had established clinical programs, for Haitians and by Haitians, that continue to run to this day.

                                   We came in response to a disaster.
              We stay to build a better future for the children of Haiti.
                 We succeed with the help of dedicated people like you. 

Hands up for Haiti"During our first trips, many of us heard the phrase, 'You can leave Haiti, but Haiti will never leave you.' Many of us who participated in those first missions carried a piece of Haiti in our hearts after we returned home. Out of that inspiration, Hands Up for Haiti was born and even today it is what continues to drive us and help us carry out our mission."

Mary Ann LoFrumento MD, cofounder of HUFH and current Executive Director

Haiti Facts

Life expectancy in Haiti is only 63 years. 

1 in 4 children in Haiti currently suffer from malnutrition, a 30% increase in the past year. 

Infant mortality in the first year of life remains the highest in the Western Hemisphere: 45 per 1000 births. 

Under five mortality rate (those children who do not live to their 5th birthday): 58 per 1000 live births.

Maternal mortality rate: 1 in 285 women die in childbirth in Haiti.

Waterborne illnesses, such as typhoid and cholera, and other causes of chronic diarrhea, account for more than 50% of deaths in Haiti every year.