Wednesday, April 25, 2007

OSF's Charity Assistance Did Not Include Jean-Baptiste

The following is from the Children's Hospital of Illinois website. Jackson Jean- Baptiste was denied care at Children's Hospital.

Jackson is buried in Goodfield, Illinois.

Charity Assistance
(309) 686-6700
(800) 421-5700

Dear Patient:

The philosophy of OSF HealthCare is that all people have a right to receive needed health care. Our doors are open to persons of every faith and ethnic background regardless of their ability to pay.

We provide help to patients in obtaining payment from third parties such as Medicaid and Medicare. If you are eligible for Medicaid, and you are not currently signed up, we can help you apply.

We also offer charity assistance for medically necessary healthcare services to persons who meet our financial terms provided they submit the needed documents. OSF Charity Assistance may be applied for when there is a balance still due on an account after we have received payment from third party payers (like Medicaid, Medicare or an insurance company) and you feel you cannot pay the full balance.

The PDF form available through the link below must be completed and signed by you. We use income guidelines established by the U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to determine if you are eligible for charity care. We do verify assets regarding your eligibility. So, please provide all the information promptly so we may try to help you as quickly as possible.

For more information, please call your patient accounts representative between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday at 309-686-6700 or 800-421-5700.

OSF HealthCare offers high quality healthcare and we were pleased to provide that to your family. We look forward to working with you further to make sure the financial aspects of your care are handled in the same high quality way.

The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis

Click below to download or print the OSF Charity Assistance PDF form.

English Version
Spanish Version


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Madame Therese

The lady in the photo holding the baby is Madame Therese. She remembers growing up in the Les Cayes area in southern Haiti. Her life was good.

Her family had a garden and they had enough to eat. They were happy. A bag of cement was not near as expensive as it is today.

She lives in Port-au-Prince now. She is afraid now. She was never afraid while she was growing up.

Notice her eyes are glistening. Madame Therese prays five times per day for her family and for Haiti. She still has hope for Haiti.

I believe the Madame Therese's of the world keep the world afloat. She is filled with faith. It is not the politicians or monsignors that are keeping Haiti from sinking into the ocean; it is Madame Therese.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

"Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other poeple won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

"It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we uncounsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson

Vicarious Grief

"According to Chochinov, there are a couple of catches to vicarious grief. The less the victims resemble us, the less grief we feel. And we don't seem to feel this grief as acutely for those who suffer from chronic problems, which often have their common denominator in poverty."

Maria King Carroll

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Gorillas Receive Better Care than Haitians

Gorillas in Brookfield Zoo near Chicago receive much better care than most Haitians in Haiti.

First of all, the gorillas are fed every day. And they drink clean water. Gorillas don’t worry about when their next meal will be. On the contrary, the majority of Haitians are obsessed every day obtaining any food or clean water for their families.

Gorillas are moved between zoos in the United States for breeding purposes. We want to protect the future of their species. When Haitians flee the poverty in Haiti in pathetic boats and wash up on our shore, we return them to their island of misery. We don’t seem as concerned about their future.

When gorillas become ill, they receive much better medical care than the Haitians trapped in the slum or living in Haiti’s vast barren mountain ranges.

A gorilla named Chicory at the Brookfield Zoo displayed neurologic signs. An MRI was promptly done which revealed a large brain tumor on the right side. The brain tumor was removed and Chicory made a complete recovery.

When a poor Haitian gets a brain tumor, he doesn't get an MRI or surgery. He dies.

Heart disease affects many gorillas. The picture shows a gorilla's echocardiogram. Obtaining an echocardiogram and surgery for Haitian children dying of congential heart disease is much more difficult than it would be for a gorilla living near Chicago.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Maxime, Jackson, and Peoria's Makeover

Maxime, in front of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, December, 2006.

Haitian kids like Maxime and Jackson continue to die while Peoria will spend an estimated $850 million during the next 10 years to "makeover" their two main medical center campuses. The medical centers are located one block from each other.

See editoral in the Peoria Journal Star regarding this expansion. Also, note that no mention is made of Maxime or Jackson.

Haiti, MINUSTAH, and Latin America: Solidaridad?

Please go to IRC Americas Program to see a recent article by Mario Joseph and Brian Concannon, Jr.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Justice and Injustice

Liberation theologists theory of justice begins from the experience of injustice. It is rooted in reflection on the dismal poverty that submerges the majority of Latin Americans in conditions of inhuman wretchedness.

“Justice, says Sobrino, takes seriously the primordial fact of the created world in its given form; that is to say, it takes seriously the existence of the oppressed majorities. The existence of these majorities is not a fact that can be lightly passed over in speaking of the essence of the Christian message.”

Likewise, Segundo Galilea asserts that the starting point of liberation theology’s reflection is the present situation, in which “the vast majority of Latin Americans live in a state of underdevelopment and unjust dependence.”

Justice, the liberationists insist, demands that conflict be brought into the open and faced, not subsumed or denied.

Justice demands that one enter the fray, that one enter into conflict and choose sides for some and against others. As Gutierrez observes, those who seek justice cannot avoid conflict because in a society scarred by injustice and the exploitation of one social class by another, the proclamation of justice will transform history into something challenging and conflictual.

Social conflict is a reality that the liberationists, as long as they do not avert their eyes from the misery and squalor that surrounds them, cannot escape.

However, when liberationists highlight the connection between the struggle for justice and social conflict, they are not blessing conflict. They do not believe that justice can come only at the point of a sword or through the barrel of a gun. On the contrary social conflict is ultimately the product of sin; it is the historical consequence of collective sin.

Humanity need not live in conflict; persons do not need to oppress their sisters and brothers. Conflict need not be sublimated or denied; it can be resolved. The resolution of social conflict, in fact, is precisely why the liberationists give conflict such a prominent position in their work. They seek to resolve it by uncovering and then eliminating the cause for the conflict, namely injustice.

From “Liberation Theology After the End of History—The Refusal to Cease Suffering” by Daniel M. Bell, Jr.

Haiti's Plague is Poverty

The Haitian baby to the right presented with seizures, fever, bulging tense fontanelle, primitive neurologic reflex at his right hand, and eye deviation to the right. He quickly became mottled and more lethargic. He was treated quickly with IM ceftriaxone and steroids. He was comatose for several days, but woke up and began interacting and eating. Most Haitian babies don't do this well with bacterial meningitis.

WHO estimates that about 1.6 million people, including up to 1 million children under 5 years old, die every year of pneumococcal pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. In populations with high child-mortality rates like Haiti, pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of mortality and accounts for about 20-25% of all child deaths. In these populations, Streptococcus pneumoniae is identified consistently as the leeading cause of bacterial pneumonia, and pneumoccal bacteremia is an important cause of child mortality. HIV infection increases risk for pneumococcal disease 20-40 fold, and antibiotic resistance makes threatment difficult and expensive. Thus pneumococcal idsease is a major global-health issue.

Haitian poor children are only given the standard vaccines. They do not get pneumococcal vaccines. If any group of children need the pneumoccal vaccines it is the Haitian children.

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines can prevent most serious pneumoccal disease. The seven to 13 serotypes included in conjugate pneumoccal vaccines are expected to prevent 50-80% of all pediatric pneumococcal disease worldwide.

Also, the decline in disease in unvaccinated people is accounted for by the reduction in colonisation in vaccinated children and thus decreased transmission to unvaccinated contacts. In the USA, this herd immunity effect prevents twice as many cases as the direct effects of vaccination alone.

Based on studies done in Africa, there is a compelling case for giving pneumoccal vaccination in Haiti. Pneumococcal invasive disease, pneumonia, and meningitis, and a decrease in all cause mortality has been documented.

What are we waiting for?

"Many fledging moralists in those days were going about our town proclaiming that there was nothing to be done about it and we should bow to the inevitable. And Tarrou, Rieux, and their friends might give one answer or another, but its consclusion was always the same, their certitude that a fight must be put up, in this way or that, and there must be no bowing down. The essential thing was to save the greatest possible number of persons from dying and being doomed to unendng separation. And to do this there was only one resource: to fight the plague. There was nothing admirable about this attitude; it was merely logical."

---From The Plague, by Albert Camus

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Consider these facts regarding tuberculosis:

1. Tuberculosis kills 2,000,000 people each year around the world. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death from a curable infectious disease.

2. The incidence rate is highest among young men.

3. The incidence of tuberculosis in the United States was 4.6/100,000 people in 2006.

4. The incidence of tuberculosis in Haiti was 306/100,000 people. 6,000 Haitians die from tuberculosis each year. Haiti's incidence of tuberculosis rivals Africa, which has the highest incidence in the world.

5. Haiti is 90 minutes (by air) from the richest and most powerful nation in the history of man.

"The history of tuberculosis is one of scientific, medical, and political failure. Although modern short-course treatment for tuberculosis is among the most effective and inexpensive of treatments for life threatening diseases, tuberculosis remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide."

"Turning the Tide Against Tuberculosis"--Lancet 2006; 367:877-878

Peoria's Headlines

During the last several days, the headlines of several articles in the Peoria Journal Star have been about Peoria's medical center's expansions.

"Saint Francis Vision Goes Sky High"(March 31, 2007) is an article about OSF's Life Flight air transport using its new 4.3 million dollar helipad for patient transfers to St. Francis. OSF is planning on spending about $500 million dollars on building projects over the next several years.)

Another article the same day was headlined,"Methodist Unveils Vision for $350 Million Renovation". Methodist Medical Center is one block down the street from OSF. "You can't provide 21st century health care in early 20th century buildings," CEO Michael Bryant told the Downtown Rotary Club.

Today (April 3, 2007) a small article was titled, "101 Haitians Who Landed in Florida Likely to be Deported". The article reported," The United States will probably deport most if not all of the 101 Haitian migrants who landed off a South florida beach last week, a U.S. legislator said Monday, warning other not to risk the dangerous voyage.

"The 101 Haitians, many looking gaunt and exhausted, came ashore Wednesday north of Miami after spending at least three weeks at sea in a dilapidated sailboat. One man died in the crossing and three were taken to the hospital in critical condition."

The articles in the Peoria paper describe the incredible wealth in our world and the incredible hopelessness in the other world.

I have stood on the beaches along the western and southern shores of Haiti and have shuddered at the thought of getting in a "dilapidated sailboat" and leaving. The waters crash into the shore and seem to say, "Don't even think about leaving here." But many courageous Haitians do. They think they have no choice.

We hear of the boat people that make it to our shores, but never hear of the ones that the ocean swallows and delivers them from their misery in Haiti.