By profession Dr. Catherine Loe is a pediatrician with AdventHealth Medical Group and as a person she is passionate, proactive and a problem solver. She volunteers with AdventHealth Global Missions’ (GM) Operation Sunshine program in Haiti.
“These are my kids. I see them. I know them…I know all 550 of them,” she heartfully said when asked why she is involved. “They need a doctor, so I go.”
Dr. Loe has been involved with Operation Sunshine since August 2016 and has also gone on other GM mission trips. Operation Sunshine provides annual checkups and healthcare for children in Haiti. The program partners with My Neighbor’s Children, a non-profit organization that identifies orphanages, group homes and schools in need of care. For one orphanage, Dr. Loe has made a 20-year commitment to the healthcare, nutrition and health education outcomes of those who she affectionately calls “my kids.”
“I don’t want to come to just visit, but I want to leave something that has longevity,” she said.
Part of the longevity Dr. Loe is speaking of is empowerment. She has worked to train the orphanage’s cooks to be nutrition experts for the children by providing Lucky Iron Fish to ensure that they receive an adequate amount of iron in their diet. They are made of cast iron and formed into the shape of a small fish to be placed in a pot while cooking a meal.
In addition to the orphanage’s cooks, Dr. Loe also empowers the in-house nurse and staff to be health care advocates for the children through training in pediatric triage. This training helps the staff to appropriately categorize the need for care in various case. It also helps to reduce the number of unnecessary emergency room visits, which in turn reduces costs.
Dr. Loe believes that if you equip the children with needed tools and skills, they will empower the nation and make a difference in their own back yards.
“With good nutrition and healthcare combined with the good moral compass that they receive from the adults that care for them, they [the children] will more Haiti forward,” she said.
Dr. Loe truly lives Global Missions’ vision of committing not only to visit for a day, but to teach for a lifetime. We are thankful for Dr. Loe and her ability to turn care, compassion and culture into empowerment for the people of Haiti. Her service truly extends care to the whole person- body, mind and spirit.