MISSION & VISION
Haiti Nursing Foundation (HNF) improves health in the Republic of Haiti by supporting quality nursing education, primarily at Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l'Université Episcopale d'Haïti (FSIL), located in Léogâne, Haiti.
HNF’s vision is to support centers of excellence for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education for nurses, preparing them to serve as practitioners, faculty, and leaders in Haiti's healthcare system.
HNF was founded in 2005 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and acts as an “institutional advancement” arm for FSIL in the United States, providing ongoing financial and program support to the nursing school. Since its inception, HNF has provided nearly $2M to support nursing students, school operations and new programs.
HNF is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has an active and engaged Board of Directors, as well as a professional staff of two, full-time employees.
FSIL opened its doors to the first class of 36 nursing students in January, 2005. The dream of Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant and other Haitians working with the Medical Benevolence Foundation (MBF) in Léogâne was to start a school of nursing to help improve care at Hôpital Ste. Croix (HSC) and the rest of Haiti.
MBF was successful in obtaining a $1.2 million building grant from the United States Agency for International Development / American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA). In 2001, Dr. Lafontant and MBF asked First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan to help start a nursing program. Recently retired professor, Ruth Barnard, PhD, RN, who was a member of First Presbyterian, led the effort to develop the program while the school buildings were under construction. Dr. Barnard recruited other volunteers to form a governing board to oversee school operations and programs. Specific curriculum plans were developed with Donna Martsolf, PhD, RN and Jessie Colin, PhD, RN. Other volunteers helped in the preparation for the school’s opening.
FSIL’s Governing Board was most fortunate to locate and hire a remarkable dean, Hilda Alcindor. Born and educated as a nurse in Haiti, she worked as a registered nurse for over 27 years in Miami and was looking for a way to return and help the people of Haiti. She accepted the challenge of implementing the plans for this nursing school and continues to shepherd students through their first years as she teaches them in the classroom, instills a sense of patriotism and service, and ultimately helps mold them into confident healthcare professionals.
FSIL was the first baccalaureate nursing school program in Haiti, setting a standard for the country, which is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. The nursing school graduated its first class of 13 men and women in January 2009 and 186 degrees have been awarded since the school’s inception - 170 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 16 Family Nurse Practitioner degrees.
FSIL’s campus has expanded as a result of subsequent grants procured by MBF from USAID. Additional classrooms and dorms, a security wall, an auditorium, a computer lab, a dean's residence, & an administration wing have been constructed. A guest house was also built and provides an important revenue stream for the school, as well as comfortable lodging for guests visiting the school.