"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
When the earthquake hit Haiti on January 2010, it did not only change Haiti it also changed the lives of the individuals who would become Phoenix Rising for Haiti (PRH) directors. We felt called to do something. With the help of Del Worthington and William Abril, we found an outlet for their need to give. The 8 member team, landed in Haiti in June 2010 and it looked to us as if the earthquake happened the week before. Only one team member spoke the language, two others, had never been out of the U.S. and had to get new passports in order to make the trip. William (Billy) was the only member who had an idea of what to expect, having volunteered once before.
We worked tirelessly that week, treated over 60 patients, and fabricated 15 prostheses for earthquake victims. By the end of the week most of us knew, this was not a once only volunteer opportunity. We knew that it was going to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future.
Thus PRH was created! We've been making trips faithfully twice yearly ever since. PRH moved to their own location 3 years ago to better serve the population we’ve come to know and love. However, we soon realized that prosthetics was just a small piece of the puzzle and that a multidisciplinary team was the key to providing a complete continuum of rehabilitative care. We strive to build such a team of like-minded individual for every trip. Medical professionals, (MD, DO, PA, RN etc.) Prosthetists, Orthotists, Physical Therapists and Orthopedic Technicians join us on every trip.
PRH have grown exponentially since June 2010, with teams of 20-plus volunteers each trip and treating over 600 patients a week.
We are so well known in the community, with a reputation for caring with compassion and respect that we have to turn away many patients every day. The line start as early as 4AM each morning when we’re in town. It is always a bittersweet moment, at the end of each trip for the volunteers. We are usually happy to go home to family, but sad to leave patients behind knowing, most will get no follow up care until PRH return.
This will all change once our permanent clinic is built and open year-round to serve the wonderful people of Haiti.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
CORE TEAM MEMBERS
Billy Abril OT-C
Billy’s 33 year background in orthopedics includes trauma, emergency department, clinical, pediatrics, operating room, prosthetics, orthotics, and physical therapy. Billy organized Phoenix Rising for Haiti’s first trip in June 2010 and it is through his vision that Phoenix Rising for Haiti became a reality.
Michel Brunet , PT
Michel graduated from the Université de Montréal with a BS in Physiotherapy and later got his Master of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy from the Ola Grimsby Institute. In 2013, he received a diploma in Osteopathic Sciences from the Collège d'Études Ostéopathiques de Montréal. As the Co-Founder of Back in Motion Physical Therapy, Michel's main focus to help as many people possible, both patients and employees, achieve their goals. Michel's passion in physical therapy, manual therapy, traditional osteopathy and hands-on care is what helped shape his unique approach. "Human touch has been part of the healing arts for thousands of years. Manual therapy combined with patient education and therapeutic exercises provide pain relief and improves the quality of life of most people we encounter." Michel was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and is fluent in French and English. He loves skiing, golfing, kayaking, and hiking.
Denise Labriola-Berry , PT, DPT, ATACP, CME II
Denise has her Doctorate in physical therapy, and works primarily in pediatrics. She specializes in early intervention, however working with children of all ages is a truly a passion. She has worked in the many different forms of the field including home health, hospital, and the school districts. She enjoys finding new and innovative ways of using playtime to encourage strength training, balance training, motor planning, and coordination training. She also has training in myofascial release, PNF, she is a certified CPR and first aid instructor, an ergonomic assessment specialist, Kinesiotape training, and an aquatic therapist, as well as working toward several other certifications. She is an avid triathlete and endurance athlete, mother, grandmother, and foster/adoptive mother. Denise brings with her to PRH the passion to help the children and the people of Haiti in general. She has some wonderful fundraising success in the past that we hope can carry us through to help us meet our goals in the future.
A special thank you to all those who support us and are not mentioned. We sincerely appreciate your help.