By Julie Kirst, Chief Editor, 24×7
When David Sieminski, senior field service specialist, Philips Hospital Respiratory Care, Sacramento, Calif, and California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA) treasurer, set his course for Haiti in December 2012, he didn’t have to go it alone. The CMIA state board and the CMIA Capitol chapter once again contributed to Sieminski’s efforts to help a troubled Haiti recover from the natural disasters that have plagued the island.
Sieminski first made his way to Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot, Haiti, 75 miles north of Port au Prince, in 2010 as part of a disaster team dispatched by Philips following a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. The Center for the Rural Development of Milot (CRUDEM) Foundation processed the nearly $1 million worth of equipment that Philips donated. Continuing to return as a volunteer, Sieminski’s December trip marked his sixth mission to the country.
As a volunteer for the CRUDEM Foundation, he stays at its compound in Milot that offers rooms, food, and showers. According to Sieminski, apart from the humidity and warm temperatures, he faces a few other obstacles, such as a language barrier and the local biomeds’ understating of maintaining equipment and being more prepared.
“I take some tools and test equipment,” he said. “The devices I work on are already in place at the hospital. I went this time to test Respironics ventilators and do some other equipment checks. I have two on-site Haitian biomeds and did some training with them as well.” He added that most equipment needs adjusting, calibrating, and cleaning.
According to Gus Sakis, CMIA chair, the association has sponsored Sieminski several times. “We support David and his efforts to support the Haitian people,” Sakis said. “It is our way of giving of ourselves, our good fortune, and our expertise to those who are less fortunate.”
Sakis said CMIA hopes its support will help “get a hospital back up and running to serve the Haitian people. We hope to have inspired other members to donate more of themselves and their expertise as well.”
For Sieminski, he will continue to heed his calling, saying, “I just love being associated with the CRUDEM Foundation, and I have developed a love for the Haitian people. I am still trying to learn the Creole language to communicate better. This was my sixth trip, and you would think I would have it down by now, but nope.” From the 2013 CMIA Show Guide.