Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thanks to Dr. Pierre Rouzier for Sharing with Us Experiences from Haiti to the Boston Marathon Bombings

Today, we were mesmerized by the lecture given by Dr. Pierre Rouzier of the UMass University Health Services, who is also a team doctor. Dr. Rouzier shared with us, in the Humanitarian Logistics and Healthcare class that I teach at the Isenberg School of Management,  his work post the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake and his life-saving efforts during last year's Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, where he was serving as a sports medicine expert volunteer.
His lecture was very dynamic and his presentation was filled with photographs of the people that he worked with both in Haiti and in Boston and of those  that he met that have made these two events forever ingrained in his memory and in the way we look at the world today, which is riddled with disasters, both man-made and natural. He told us how he stayed with a woman post the bombing who told him that she did not want to die alone.
His love of people, selflessness, intellect and courage during triage and times of great stress and uncertainty, captivated us.

He is the author not only of a sports medicine book but even of a recent children's book, Henry Gets Moving,  to help children stay in shape. He spoke of poverty, of inequality, and of the PTSD that he has experienced serving in these extremely difficult disasters. He also spoke of his efforts to raise funds for the recovery in Haiti and how he bicycled last summer hundreds of miles in Iowa to raise funds for the Boston Marathon bombing victims wearing his Boston Strong t-shirt.

He also spoke about how he discovered his love of teaching and will return to Haiti to teach sports medicine this summer. His father was Haitian but immigrated to the U.S. Dr. Rouzier's dream is to build a facility in Haiti that will inspire children through sports, especially, soccer, with a sports medicine clinic, and employment opportunities for families of the young athletes.

Dr. Rouzier's humanity and humanitarianism is an inspiration for all of us. How lucky are we at UMass Amherst to have such a hero and role model in our midst.