Ransom Everglades Students Applauded for Generosity to Haiti
When Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., and Barth Green, M.D., professor and chair of neurological surgery, addressed a packed auditorium of high school students Friday morning, the message wasn’t about medicine, but about the power of giving. Dean Goldschmidt and Dr. Green thanked the students of Ransom Everglades Upper School for raising nearly $30,000 for the University of Miami’s Haiti relief effort.
Just one day after the January 12 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Head of School Ellen Moceri put the word out. She “saw the devastation and knew we had to jump in,” asking all students, teachers and staff to donate $10 to the University of Miami Global Institute. They answered the call in a way that no one expected, coming up with nearly $30,000 in less than 48 hours.
In thanking the 600 assembled students, Dean Goldschmidt admitted that he “has never seen anything like that in [his] lifetime.” Goldschmidt praised the students, saying, “I’m so proud of each of you for your commitment to helping the people of Haiti. It’s truly extraordinary.”
Green, who co-founded Project Medishare in 1994 to improve access to medical care and education in Haiti, organized the first medical team to arrive in Port-au-Prince one day after the earthquake. He described the horrendous conditions they faced when they first landed, and thanked the students for their quick fundraising, “which enabled us to save more lives. You really made a difference for the people of Haiti and we thank you.”
The hundreds of students and 75 faculty, staff and administration watched a slide show highlighting the devastation, the primitive conditions in which the UM medical team worked, and the smiling faces of those they were able to save.
Students then had a chance to ask questions. Among them were concerns about the future, a year from now when Haiti is no longer making headlines. The Dean stressed that donations will continue to be needed as UM stays engaged in the rebuilding process, and Dr. Green outlined some of the plans to “build a better Haiti.” In fact, Ransom students will continue to hold a clothing drive for the people of Haiti for the rest of the academic year.
As Dr. Green left, one student approached to thank him personally. The senior had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor and the Miller School’s Sanjiv Bhatia, M.D., performed successful surgery. Holding out his hand, the student said, “I just want to thank you for all the work you’ve done,” and the two exchanged a hug.