Her mission: to help Haitian immigrants get healthcare

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Her mission: to help Haitian immigrants get healthcare

Post by admin » Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:02 pm

Her mission: to help Haitian immigrants get healthcare

by Vivian Medina
Special to The Herald

When she arrived from Chicago to South Florida more than 20 years ago, Aude Sicard realized many newly arrived Haitians needed help -- not only to learn about health issues, but to adapt to a different culture.

Determined to make a difference, Sicard started the Women Alliance of Miami-Dade and Broward, Inc. in 1991, as a bridge to help Haitian immigrants and low-income Haitian families find their way to the healthcare services they need. Since then, many hundreds have been helped in their transition to the American system.

''If I can help one person, it makes me feel good,'' said Sicard.

Sicard, who was born in Port-au-Prince and lived there through her late teens, has also worked at Jackson Memorial Hospital for 22 years; there,
she's a community outreach coordinator for the Cuban/Haitian Refugee Program.

According to Sicard, many Haitians prefer botanical medicine, rather than going to the hospital. Also, many wait until their health condition deteriorates and end up visiting the emergency room when it's too late to treat their illness.

In Haiti, ''many of them had no medical services at all'' said Sicard. ``Some don't have money, or are afraid to go to the hospital because of their immigration status.''

Sicard uses pamphlets to spread her message about prenatal care, children immunization, high-blood pressure, breast cancer and sex education, when meeting people at churches and schools. At WAMDB, the efforts of Sicard and nine others are financed with grants from organizations such as Community Voices, a W.K. Kellog Foundation project.

But, ''not everybody can read,'' said Sicard, president of WAMDB. So she reaches out to the community through her Saturday night radio show -- ''Miromax''
-- in Creole and English.

Sicard's aim isn't to encourage Haitians to forego all traditions; rather, her aim, simply, is to make sure they know the American system. ''It's all about knowing where the resources are,'' she said.

Empress Verite

Sicard and Healthcare for haitians in Miami

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Nov 26, 2004 2:15 am

One and Respe:

I applaud Mrs. Sicard's dedication to Haitians in South Florida and/Miami and I hope that she really has the compassion that she claims to have. I was treated horribly at the Jackson and Parkway last year during my pregnancy. I experienced so much racism, sexism, classism and ethnocentrism that I wanted to die. Were it not for my 2 boys I would have given in and let them do it. It was HORRIBLE the horror that I survived at Jackson and Parkway. Folks from all walks of life took it upon themselves to roll their eyes at me (a Haitian woman immigrant on a wheelchair) and to push me around and mistreat me. It was as if Homeland Security had given them the script and told them how to mistreat me. I was seeking help during a very difficult pregnancy and subsequent health problems that occurred.

I could not believe these benign Haitians and black folks of all hues and how they were
willing to mistreat the likes of me for what a few pennies of a terrible job? Everytime I went to Parkway about my pregnancy, the terror alert was elevated and of course I received terrible mistreatment. When I finally got the courage to complain just prior to the recent re-selections well I was told that I had been too sensitive. And where was Mrs. Sicard during these traumatic events through my continued mistreatment, abuse and harassment at the hands of these health care practitioners at Jackson Memorial Hospital. One Haitian social worker came to see me during my stay in the Butterfly room where she said a few words and ran out before listening to my response. Everyone is tired of the problems and they have no time to listen or do anything about others who they feel are just being childish or temperamental.

That's really too bad because these so-called do gooders who get so much free press and grant money should be held accountable for the works that they claim to do. I am tired of reading abou
t all of these so-called Haitian activists in South Florida who have not reached out one branch to me and when I contact them they ignore me because I don't fit the mold and I could not be the poster image for their organizations.

We need to move beyond a neo-colonial 1st generation missionary backed agenda and into a more progressive FREEING hyphenated and integrated Haitian diaspora mindset. Move on and get on with the program.

Best regards and Congrats to Mrs. Sicard. Be there for all.

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