Dr. Barth Green urges Haiti to adopt his Project Medishare as nation's model, drives Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
When Dr. Barth Green started the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis almost 30 years ago, people said he was nuts. Fast forward to today and the organization has raised nearly $300 million to support cutting-edge research, including live-saving hypothermia therapy administered to patients immediately after sustaining brain or spinal cord injuries.
He doesn't mince words and isn't afraid to comment on the importance of his work and how the state and nation's priorities need to be realigned.
"The impact of spinal cord injury is billions of dollars every year, and we spend a pittance [compared] to the cost of one wing of a fighter plane to try and cure paralysis," Dr. Green said. "We're trying to get everybody to screw their heads on right."
Though he heads the neurological surgery department at the University of Miami and Jackson and has operated on thousands of patients in nearly four decades, he may be better known as a founder of Project Medishare, which is working to provide a sustainable health delivery system to Haiti.
Project Medishare opened and ran the first field hospital in Haiti after the earthquake killed thousands in early 2010.
Today, he says, there's extreme donor fatigue, and few are paying attention to Haiti outside South Florida. He's been meeting with the country's new president, Michel Martelly, to see if he'll adopt Project Medishare's model as the national health plan.
"I want to see Project Medishare put itself out of business in Haiti and turn Haitian programs over to Haitian health care providers, industrialists, agricultural and agronomists," Dr. Green said.
He discussed Project Medishare, his fight to cure paralysis and why he thinks oversight of the embattled Jackson Health System should be taken away from Miami-Dade government with Miami Today staff writer Zachary Fagenson.
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