One Year Since the Haiti Earthquake – The Charity Journal Publication Available Now


IMG 0353 150x150 One Year Since the Haiti Earthquake The Charity Journal Publication Available Now leanToday marks one year since the horrific earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12 2010. Haiti is still struggling, between the slow recovery and new problems like a  cholera outbreak.

As I mentioned last week, I was fortunate to meet Russell Maroni, an x-ray tech from Akron Children'a Hospital, last year. Russell volunteered for 15 days in Haiti last February and wrote a journal (and took pictures, along with other volunteers, that you'll see here this post). We are partnering up to release a PDF version of the journal that we hope will raise money for Haiti relief efforts.

After the Haiti Earthquake: A Healthcare Missionary's Personal Journal

Update: There is also a Kindle edition.

We have identified a charity partner that we'd like to have people donate to. We're planning on giving the PDF away freely, encouraged people to share the story, and we'll have an embedded link in the PDF that we can use to track the impact we are having. Readers will be able to donate directly to the charity that way. Measuring the impact of the effort is secondary, but it is still data we would like to have.

I'm hoping that this is an effort that the Lean blogosphere and Lean community can rally around.

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For now, I'm going to share some photos and some excerpts from the introduction of the journal as a preview of what will be in the PDF. As I say in the introduction to the PDF, this isn't strictly a “Lean story.” Yes, Russell has formal  Lean training from the hospital. While he was going as a church volunteer, not intending to volunteer as a medical professional, he got pressed into service at a field hospital that had a desperate need for someone with Russell's experience.

Of course, Russell found waste and problems in their process. Using his  Lean training (and his inherent motivation in a management-free zone), he made what you might call “quick and easy kaizen” improvements right there on the spot – using creativity where they had no capital. Russell wrote an A3, which he is sharing in the journal PDF.

This is very personal journal about his story. Russell writes about his prayer and how he looked to God and his church for guidance in decided whether to go. Russell writes about all of this, along with many details of what he observed in Haiti. I decided it was important to leave that all in there, as its part of the holistic journal and the whole of the man who wrote it. I understand that it might make some people uncomfortable, but it's not an evangelical document that's trying to convert anybody.

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The document is, in my mind and in the opinion of some people I've shared it with, a gripping first-person account of life immediately after the earthquake. Again, I hope that sharing it can help raise much needed funds for Haiti.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

The orphanage had 50 children, and was expecting 200 more any day. The forwarded e-mail described a group of children in dire straits who were in desperate need of the arriving medical team, who would provide care not only to this group, but who would also help provide relief at a field hospital down the road.

That medical team consisted of two nurses and me as one of the three original nurses had been rushed to surgery for an emergency appendectomy and would no longer be coming along.

It was extremely intimidating to think that we would be faced with such an overwhelming task. This was especially true for me, as my education in radiography had consisted of large portions of physics and other areas that would be of no apparent value in such a setting where an x-ray machine was not available.

The e-mail also warned us that it was a dangerous place to be, and not to be fooled by reports that said otherwise. I wondered if we would have enough food or drink or if it would get stolen. So much could unfold around us, but I could not be paralyzed by fear. God has always provided for me, sometimes in simple, sometimes in miraculous situations, I suppose His will is superior to any hunger or thirst I could experience. I simply trusted in Him.

I had originally wanted to take Wes along, but had changed my mind when I heard of the dangerous conditions. I felt that if I got myself into trouble, I could deal with it, but I didn't want to deal with the guilt of knowing I had talked him into going as well.

A friend from work, Dr. Jeff Kempf, informed me that he too was going to Haiti at the same time as my group. He was going with Dr. Pope, a fellow doctor from Akron Children's Hospital. Apparently they would be at St. Benedict's Hospital across from the U.S. Embassy in Port-Au-Prince and wanted me to contact them in case we needed each other's services. I was glad that we would have friends so close.

Another friend from work, Rose Groh, had let me borrow her iPhone so I could make calls while I was there. This ended up being a priceless tool, as all of our plans were loosely thrown together and relied on last minute confirmations and adjustments.

My pastor called me to let me know that the special offering that they had collected for me at Church had provided $2,500.00, enough for me to split the money with Ryan and pay for both of us. We were thrilled. Mosquito nets and freeze dried food in hand, we headed to the air port for day one.

It's amazing to witness God's ability to consolidate a scrambled plan with no architect, built on a lack of communication that would take a month of careful planning yielding unprosperous fruits of impatience and frustration somewhere in the mystery of uncertainty. However, the embodiment of God's will was evident when I met up with those who would join me in Haiti.

(Journal content and photos are Copyright Russell Maroni, 2011, or used with permission)

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If you want to track this project or learn more, visit If you're willing to help promote this project, please contact me.

I'm also looking for any marketing or promotion support that others might want to offer. We have no budget for doing this. Any advice also on other e-reader platforms would be helpful. I.m hoping to make the e-Book available in other formats, including Kindle, for those who want something more convenient than a PDF. Leave a comment or contact me using the top menu or via email at mark [at] leanblog [dot] org.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. His latest book has been released as an "in-progress" book, titled Measures of Success.

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  1. Mark Graban says

    Update – this publication is now available on the Amazon Kindle platform for a low price ($2.99) and all proceeds after Amazon’s cut will be donated.

  2. […] I wrote about when we launched the journal on the first anniversary of the earthquake, I debated a bit whether we should wait to release the journal until we had formal approval from […]

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