The MIVO Foundation was created on two basic truths:
1) Trauma is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in Haïti.
2) Healing is not complete without addressing the spiritual component.
From Dr. Gracia Etienne:
I received the committed call to service in 2008 via a real experience. I often went to medical and evangelical missions during medical school, residency, and the first couple of years of practice. It was not until 2008 that I realize how dire the orthopedic needs were.
I was cutting a suture during a simple surgical procedure and the scissors broke. They were simply too old and have been recycled too many times. That was certainly an “eye opener” for me. I came back to the States with a heightened interest in helping the underserved.
That interest grew into a passion that led to multiples meetings, pleas, and requests. I was fortunate that my wife partnered with me in a systematic campaign of information and public relations. The MIVO foundation was founded in 2009 as a formal 501(c3) organization after a thorough assessment of needs and a full feasibility study. The local York, Pennsylvania community responded with volunteerism as well as donations of supplies and equipment.
Through the commitment of our executive committee, we have organized regular scheduled trips every year.
The foundation is now operating a fully staffed centre in the town of L’Estère, Haïti. Our local staff is trained to provide comprehensive outpatient orthopedic service. We then performed various orthopedic surgeries during our regular mission trips. The services that we offer have greatly impacted the orthopedic care in the region and the country as a whole.
The MIVO Foundation has been blessed by many "family members" serving together on the same team: a parent with their child, husband with their wife, sisters, and mother, father, and son all on the same team!
The Centre has grown from 4 rooms in July of 2014, to the building of our warehouse in late 2014. A two-story connecting building was constructed in early 2015 to add office space, private examination rooms, additional bathrooms, a dining area and bedrooms.
A successful well was drilled in mid-2015 behind the Centre. Most recently, in early 2017 a separate residence building was constructed on the property as our teams were growing too large to house in the Centre itself.
Praise be to God!