CRAFTING WELLNESS STORY

The Dalton Foundation Brings Love to Haiti

Barbara is a pharmacist by trade. And back in 2010, when the earthquake hit Haiti, her life took a very unexpected turn. She suddenly, found herself on the ground in Haiti with her church about 10 days after the earthquake hit. Learn how she really got to experience health care and the challenges in a country like Haiti firsthand.

TRANSCRIPT

SPEAKERS: Barbara, Brooke Smith

Barbara 00:00
I am a pharmacist by trade. And back in 2010, when the earthquake hit Haiti, my life took a very unexpected turn, I found myself on the ground in Haiti with our church about 10 days after the earthquake hit, I stayed involved with the mission where I was and I started leading some medical trips down there to support the health care facility. I really got to experience health care and the challenges in a country like Haiti firsthand, lived it breathed it and really developed a passion for the health care workers in Haiti, and how hard their job is, and what could we do? Could we do anything to start collaborating in an effective way to bring about some support and some sustainable changes, given the realities that they face of very low income patient population, very few resources and limited government support? Brooke Smith 01:06Hi, everyone, welcome to our crafting bonus podcast, they have the pleasure of introducing you to Barbara and Marie Claire, we're going to talk about the Dalton foundation today and how it came about and all the great things they're doing in Haiti. And we're really, really excited to have them on today. And I know for everyone who's listening and watching, would you mind just kind of introducing yourself and giving us a little rundown about who you are and what it is you're doing?

Barbara 01:30
My name is Barbara, I am a pharmacist by trade. And back in 2010, when the earthquake hit Haiti, my life took a very unexpected turn, I had no plans on going there. But I found myself on the ground in Haiti with our church about 10 days after the earthquake hit. And it was a radical, life changing experience for me, could not get the experience out of my head. And the people that I met, radically changed my life. I stayed involved with the mission where I was, and I started leading some medical trips down there to support the health care facility that we worked with in Haiti. One thing led to another and I ended up working for, you know, for the organization, my husband, my husband, and I both worked for them living and working in Haiti, going back and forth with our kids. And it's just very fascinating how God moves you and uses you in these situations. But it got to really experience healthcare and the challenges in a country like Haiti firsthand, lived it breathed that and really developed a passion for the healthcare workers in Haiti, and how hard their job is, and what could we do? Could we do anything to start collaborating in an effective way to bring about some support and some sustainable changes, given the realities that they face of very low income patient population, very few resources and limited government support. And so that's kind of what led me to the Dalton Foundation, Mr. Dalton was one of our funders in Haiti. And he shared the same vision and passion for collaboration. The Foundation has always been involved in these type of collaborative projects. And so in 2017, I had the opportunity to come move, leave Haiti and come to Ohio to lead the projects and the work that the Dalton foundation does. And one of our biggest projects still is and certainly my heart is with the healthcare work we are doing in Haiti.

Brooke Smith 03:37
It's amazing. What were you doing before? 2010? were you living in Ohio then? Or where were you?

Barbara 03:44
No, I was living in Austin, Texas, and I was a pharmacist there just managing some pharmacies. And no, just a typical normal life I had, I had the privilege of traveling around the world with my husband and his jobs. But I had never been to Haiti, quite honestly never been to a place like Haiti. It was a radical experience for me, but when I wouldn't trade for anything.Brooke Smith 04:10Yeah, that's amazing. So okay, so in 2010, when the earthquake hit, you were in Texas. And you were in pharmaceuticals. It's interesting that you were kind of already on the medical side of things. When through your church. Can you tell us a little bit about how your church was involved? So I'll go on, like a mission to go help after the earthquake. Is that kind of what happened?

Barbara 04:31
Yeah, that was another crazy story. So right after the earthquake, if you can imagine I mean, everything was complete chaos. The the mission that way I ended up at their leader had met our pastor at a conference in Florida like three weeks before just serendipitously they had met and got to be really good friends and our church was a very large church and what ended up happening was the middle was pretty small at the time now it's a lot bigger, but it was smaller at the time. And NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams showed up at their compound because they were receiving helicopters. And they had turned in their facility to the surgery center. And they were taking care of as many of the Haitian people that had been injured in the earthquake as possible. And they came, and they filmed it. And they were like, you know, this is going to air at 630, Eastern, you know, just when NBC News airs, and this was mid afternoon, and they're going to get, then they go at the end, we're going to put up a donate number. So this will be an opportunity for your organization to receive some support for everything you're trying to do here. And they realized that they didn't really have an effective phone bank to receive all those calls. So they called our church, asked our church, if we could set up a phone bank, which we could and we did in a couple hours. And so we were able to receive those calls for them. And I got involved with that. And that's kind of how it started. And then a lot of people from our church pulled pulled together a lot of resources to start going down and helping. And one of our pastors at our church had been talking to some other people, members of the church and they had gotten a private plane, and see in about six or seven people. And the pastor called me and asked me if I wanted to go. And I just my whole thoughts were like, Why me? Like, there's like about a million more useful people I could think of to bring than me, but that's how it all started. Brooke Smith 06:32Wow, that's such a crazy story, just how everything works together, the fact that your pastor met him three weeks prior, before the earthquake, and for everyone who's listening and watching the doesn't remember, in 2010, that earthquake was massive. I think you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was a 7.0 magnitude earthquake

Barbara 06:53
The thing that was the most remarkable about that earthquake was just the sheer number of people that instantly died. I mean, it's hard to put your mind around. I don't even think they have adequate numbers yet. But they, you know, they do have, unfortunately, I got to witness some of the the mass grave situation, they have one right near where the mission was. And I mean, there's estimates between about 180 and 250,000 people die, like almost instantly. I mean, in that earthquake, it's hard. It's hard to fathom, you know, you hear things like Oh, 100 people died here. 1000 people that there I mean, this was incredible magnitude. And the amount of people that were injured, you know, walking wounded, and buried was, was even higher. I mean, there's there's no one I've known in, in Haiti, especially in the central the Port au Prince area that was not dramatically affected on that day. hard to wrap your mind around that many people dying at once.Brooke Smith 07:50The help they must have needed and probably still need to this day, just the affects of that, I imagine is quite high .Barbara, can you tell us a little bit about how soon after that earthquake hit would you say that you and your church group members were in Haiti? Did it take a couple days? Did it take a week? Like how fast were you guys able to just get together and say, We're going here to help?

Barbara 08:16
I think there were some in our church, some of the leaders got in through the middle of the military within days, I was about 10 to 12 days out when I got there. The airport was still under military control. But they were letting in few more humanitarian flights at that point.

Brooke Smith 08:33
Wow. And how long your first trip? How long were you there for helping?

Barbara 08:37
It was just a week.

Brooke Smith 08:40
What happened after the week,

Barbara 08:43
I went back home and tried to process everything that had happened. And I you know, it just it was it was just a lot. It was an unbelievable amount of stuff. And the next trip came about, like over the summer, our children were going away on a mission trip and my husband's like, let's go on vacation, you know, without the kids and he's like, Where do you want to go? And I said Haiti, like I didn't even hesitate. And he's like, really?. So that was the beginning of him going down to Haiti because it ultimately ended up that we were both down there working. So that was just how it was a gradual process. And we started leading trips and and before you know it, he's quit his job and working there full time. So.

Brooke Smith 09:27
So can you explain to me how you got involved with the Dalton Foundation yourself?

Barbara 09:32
Yeah, that was our biggest one of our largest medical donors, when I was at the mission in Haiti was the Dalton foundation absolutely loved working with Mr. Dalton. His approach, his big picture approach, his insistence on collaboration and how you can do a lot more like one plus one equals way more than two. I always say that. And so and I had that same vision and so that's how it came about late in mid 2017.

Brooke Smith 10:04
So can you tell us a little bit about the Dalton Foundation and what you know, and how that came to be and how long it's been a foundation, how it started?Barbara 10:14Sure. Mr. Dalton, is actually from I grew up in the LA area and the foster care system. And you know, he has a whole very interesting story way more interesting than mine, of how he grew up and through the military, got some training and worked extremely hard. And he became an entrepreneur, very successful entrepreneur, ended up starting and selling 10 companies so far, the 11th one is here in Ohio that we share office space with here, the foundation, he started the foundation in 1998, with at least 10% of all the profits from his company's going into the foundation. And all the giving focuses around three main areas. One is obviously health care, we do a lot of health care here, but mostly internationally. We do a lot with the addiction recovery programs here in Ohio, mainly, we and and part of that has to do with the re-entry community, we're really passionate about helping people come out of incarceration get a second chance. So we do a lot with that here. The business here is an actual Second Chance employer. And then our third pillar is women and children. So any time trying to support those that are in more vulnerable positions in life is kind of our our passion.

Brooke Smith 11:36
That's really great. That's really great. Sounds like, you know, some of the most successful people I find are people who kind of struggled in the beginning, and know what it's like and how hard it is, and want to go and help other people that are in similar, maybe not even situations but feelings, you know, because you can have in foster care, or you can be in an abusive situation. And a lot of the feelings that you experienced the fear, the shame, the alone feelings, they're very similar. So I think that, obviously ,Mr. Dalton in the house a lot of empathy and wanting to help those kinds of people who needed it the most. And that's really, really awesome to see what it has kind of branched into.

Barbara 12:25
Yeah, it's grown a lot lately, which is, we're really excited about that.

Brooke Smith 12:30
That's really, really incredibly inspiring. And I had no idea, so I'm really glad that we talked about that.

Barbara 12:36
Yeah, That's a pretty big piece of what we do, but definitely, definitely not all of it.

Brooke Smith 12:42
I had no idea. I know our focus was on Haiti, obviously, because of the medical mission aspect. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in Haiti, most recently, what it's like there, what kind of help you've been able to facilitate with the Dalton Foundation, a little bit about medical equipment, and what the need is there and kind of just a little bit, give us a little recap of what it is like there now.

Barbara 13:09
Sure. So the conditions in Haiti over the past couple years have unfortunately deteriorated quite a bit the rising of the gangs, just the general instability level has just been gradually increasing, making travel very challenging, a lot less safe. We've had to cancel many trips, we've had to modify many trips, their rise in kidnapping especially in the last year has been it's been exponential the some of the biggest challenges are around food and security and fuel being able to acquire fuel. You know, we here we host meetings twice a month with different healthcare providers around the country and it's just constant with the with the supply chain challenges of when you have no fuel, no diesel, or no gasoline. You know, obviously that stuff's the movement of vehicles, but it also stops electricity in places like Haiti, because most places are running on generators. So if you can't run your generator, you don't have electricity and there's nowhere to go. And if you're not moving around goods, then you're not moving around food and you know, it just kind of one thing leads to another and it's created for it's a very challenging environment. As you know, we will say though, everything gets done it they it just seems to it comes in the containers come in with with the food and the supplies and it's getting to places it needs. It's never easy, but the resilience is absolutely incredible to watch. But you know, it is very wise to heed travel warnings there right now. I my last trip was a couple of months ago. In compared to the way I used to travel going anywhere doing everything, that's definitely not the reality anymore. And it's it's not even about my safety, it becomes about the safety of the people on with that is actually really important to me. You know, when you stand out when you're doing something against the norm, you can become attractive to people that aren't doing the best thing sometimes. And I don't want to do that for for our staff. So we've been doing almost everything 100% remotely, you know, via the Haiti Health Network down in Haiti, and I am, I'm so proud of the team down there. I mean, they've done an incredible job. You know, not, not to mention COVID haven't been mentioned COVID. We all know about COVID. But COVID prevented us from traveling as well. So between the double the double whammies it's really limited our travel. But the amount of work that they have done in the past 18 months is it's still even blows me away to talk about my husband, I were talking about the other night, because again, we have that reality of living there. And he's like, it's just a miracle what you guys have done in the past 18 months, I go, yeah, you but you have to have lived there to understand that. You just talking to somebody that doesn't live there. You'd be like, Oh, that's nice. But a lot of the stuff that it takes to make things happen, they just get it done. And they do a really great job. So we're grateful.

Brooke Smith 16:21
Absolutely. How many people do you have on the ground there in Haiti?

Barbara 16:24
We have four. It's a small, small team. And we've we've done a couple of things are so our first thing that we started doing in 2017, was what we did data collection. So we've done, you know, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, we got all their data, and then we went and added to it. So we've got all the health care facilities around Haiti, with the exception of one department, we've done nine out of 10. So far, and we've got, you know, where they're located, what services they offer. And then we've taken that to a much deeper level with our one on one staff visit our staff has visited all these facilities, and gotten the information, the details on their capacity to deliver health care. So we ask questions like, you know, how many nurses do you have on staff? How many physicians? Do you have electricity? How do you get your electricity? How many hours a day? Do you have electricity? What kind of tools do you have access to what kind of medical equipment Do you have access to? What's your Do you have a biomedical person on staff? So all these things that actually reflect your ability to take care of patients? So it's one thing to say, oh, there's 15 clinics in this given area. But oh, by the way, and those 15 clinics, there's only seven nurses and four doctors, they just rotate between them. All right. So it's a more complex question that we're trying to answer with this capacity data. And we have a really large database that we use a tool called really global health, and we're able to utilize the data, we're able to share it and and with that data is kind of how I got connected with MDF Instruments to be honest with you, because we as as the business here, now being a medical equipment business, we kind of thought, well, that's kind of our niche, we want to go into Haiti, and see how we can standardize medical equipment in a given area and how we can help them keep their equipment working longer and better. Because it's a huge challenge. When you are dependent on donations, the amount of junk you receive is absolutely incredible. And the amount of equipment that can't be used, even if something decent is sent down if nobody comes with it, or if there's no explanation on how to install it, how to use it in their environment, how to maintain it, it's not going to last. So that's definitely one of our passion projects. And we are working on that. But what we realized when we started collecting this data was that we had to put the brakes on that for a little bit and address a bigger need. And that was with basic care, like what we were finding and we were collecting the data, especially in rural areas was that there was an incredible lack of basic diagnostic equipment. I mean, there would be a clinic it might have two nurses and a doctor but there's one stethoscope in the whole clinic. Okay, you know, there's no otoscopes there's no there's one maybe working blood pressure monitor maybe. And so we compiled all this data so we can then see what facilities had and what they didn't have. And then we sat down with some other biomedical people and we came up with like, like a kit contents, we thought through it like okay, and we could provide them with a kit. So we designed a kit for nurses. We designed a kit for doctors individually, that would be their kit that they could take with them. Because we also know a big reality in Haiti is a lot. A lot of times you end up taking care of your friends, your family and your neighbors when you're at home. You're not even at work. So we wanted them to have the tools that they can take with them. And then for the facilities, we designed some kits that had some more You know more advanced equipment, more wall mounted type of equipment that would stay at the clinic so that they would have everything. So in these kits are things like otoscope, sub thermal scopes, pen lights, stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, nebulizers, things like that, that are just thermometers, things that we take for granted as being basics. And we put those together and kits and mass amounts. And we use our database to know roughly how many nurses we met with how many doctors we've met with. So we have some ideas of numbers of what we're dealing with. And then from our data to, we also have ways to contact all these facilities and nurses and doctors, so we're able to let them know about the program. And then when we're ready to roll it out in a department, we have our staff, arrange meeting places, usually we do this with the Ministry of Health. And we set up like distribution centers. And there's an agreement that we that we make with the providers and the facilities. And that's that, you know, we're giving you this, we want you to have the tools that you need to do your job. But we need you to give us some information so that we can report back to our donors, and so that we can understand if this is working like we think this is a good idea. But is it actually doing what we think it is? Or are we just doing a bunch of work? So you know, we ask them questions before they receive the kit. And then we get them all in a whatsapp group. And we follow up with them. And we get details after about 90 to 120 days after they received the kits. And these were asking all kinds of questions. I mean, one we want to know, did everything work? Was it helpful? What was the most helpful? What was the least helpful? Did the equipment break? You know, did it last in the Haitian environment? Do we need to change things up? And then we also ask some key questions around access to care. How many additional patients are they able to see per week, so we compare what they reported before we got the kit. And then we compare it to what they're able to see after they got the kit. And then we ask them for some qualitative feedback, as well as like how the kids have changed her ability to kind of practice medicine. And those comments are definitely my favorite of just how they talk about how just one of the big realities in Haiti is like a patient comes to you, and they need help. And you as a healthcare provider, you know, what they need, you know, 100%, what they need. you learned about in school, you know what to do, but you don't have it, you don't have the tool, or you don't have the resource. And so you end up referring them, you know, into one of the larger cities. But the reality is, is most of those people do not go to those larger cities, it's too far away to go. And even when, to be honest, when you get there, it's a decent possibility you will be seen for days, if at all. So what ends up happening is things that are minor become major, right? A minor ear infection becomes super major in three to four months, you know, things that could be basic, become huge. And so our goal is to try to bring the healthcare closer to where the people live. And it will reduce we hope burdens on the other facilities that are completely overrun in the bigger cities. And just slowly but surely strengthen that healthcare system. So we're really grateful to MDF Instruments for the things you've donated us and the kids who've donated us stethoscopes and the blood pressure monitors that we're using and sending. So we're really thankful for that.

Brooke Smith 23:31
It's our pleasure, you are doing such great work there, we want to help facilitate as much as we possibly can. You know, I think that it's what you're talking about here is really, really important for everyone listening to remember that preventative care, or catching things early, really, really can affect your health in a massive way, you can't fix what you don't acknowledge. So if you can't find out that you have high blood pressure, or you have an ear infection or a fever, or that you're not getting oxygen, or that you are pulse rate is low, then you can't really you're just gonna get worse and you can't fix the problem. And it sounds like you know, I was talking to a PA student on our last podcast and he grew up in a really, really small town. That was like three hours away from any major hospital. And so then stuff he said, you know, we weren't able to go and like go into do the three hour drags my parents had to work and like, it just made it really difficult. So that's one reason he got into healthcare was to kind of try to help people get that care that they need all over the place. And I think it's, it's an easy thing for us here in the United States and in countries where we have access to health care and you know, we get sick, we can just go to the urgent care or we can find a way you know, we can go Walgreens and get, you know, blood pressure monitor that when we can get, you know, thermometer to find out if we have a fever. And those are luxuries that people in Haiti and other parts of the world do not have. And I think it's really beautiful what you guys are doing, the need is obviously extremely high, I would love to hear about how people can help how they can get involved. And in a way that is actually helpful. You know, people can donate junk. And that wasn't something I really ever thought about, I never thought about like, Oh, well, you could be receiving things that A is not working or B is not useful. So I would love to hear about what that need is, and how we can help as MDF Instruments not only as our company, but also as a platform for people listening to this, who are maybe just regular people, maybe their students or, you know, getting thinking about getting into health care. I would just love to hear a little bit about that.

Barbara 25:58
Yeah, thank you, thank you so much for asking that. And we and we appreciate that. So anything that we can get donated, helps us scale the project much quicker, faster and more effectively. So we welcome that. It is my dream to get every item on the kit donated from a lovely company like MDF Instruments. So we are we are really fortunate to get everything we're getting from you. And we're getting some pulse oximeters from a foundation in Australia, which has been a huge blessing, we got those right before COVID. And it was hoof those were really helpful and timely. So you have any connections to other medical supply companies or equipment companies that particularly make otoscope sub dama scopes, a couple of the other things that we don't have sponsored yet would be great. We also have the kits kind of priced out, they're roughly cost a physician kit costs about 125 $130 a kit for us to put together. And a nurse kit costs about $65 for us to put together. And so you know we seek sponsors for those kids like I could sponsor this many kids so that me kids, and we'll make sure that all that gets done appropriately and distributed and follow up with the donors and things like that. Volunteers right now I would love to take people down to Haiti to experience this especially that was one of the things I did in my previous job was we had I probably had anywhere between six and nine, pre med or pre pa or pre NP students come and intern with us down in Haiti every summer. And it was just an incredible way to have for them to volunteer and to think about practicing medicine in a very different way. I would love to be able to do that. Again, that would be my dream. But right now Haiti is not. It's not safe for that. And so we have to put a hold on that type of direct volunteering. But I would say for if there's any biomedical people listening, we always have a huge need for that expertise to help us place equipment, we have some hired here. And they are super busy. Because the amount of knowledge it takes to successfully send not so much the diagnostic kits, but some of the more advanced medical equipment we're sending like x rays and ultrasound, it's pretty extensive. The list of things that you have to think of, to make sure that it works and that you have the training set up when it gets there even though we do a lot of that via zoom now, but we do it. It's pretty extensive. And so that's something we're always needing help with.

Brooke Smith 28:37
Can you just verbally tell us what is the website that they can go to to donate if they wanted to donate some money for a nurse, a nurse or a doctor set? Is there a website that they go to?

Barbara 28:5
Yeah, so the general website to go to that's easy for me to say and for people understand is www.relink.org. That's RG and on that is a Donate button. And when you click on that it then disseminates out between the work we do in Ohio and the healthcare work we do and you can then click on the healthcare work. So that's all in one place off of that main website.

Brooke Smith 29:18
And are people able to if they don't have $60, or $125? Are they able to make small donations as well? You know, even $5 $10 like, Oh,

Barbara 29:27
absolutely, yeah, no, anything helps, and everything adds up. So absolutely, yes.

Brooke Smith 29:33
It would be great to if if you can't donate if you could just spread the word. Let everyone know you can post on social media to the website. Just kind of spread the word about about the work that they're doing and the need that they have to help people who obviously really, really need it. So that's another great way to help. If you don't have the money to donate, please just spread the word.

Barbara 29:56
Yeah, and also on that website, there's ways to contact us at info at email. That, that the staff and I will answer every single one. So if there's anyone that wants to contact us to get involved, you know, please let us know.

Brooke Smith 30:08
I have a curious question about Haiti. In your experience there. What is the water situation like there? Do people have access to clean water? Or is that another problem that you see huge problem?

Barbara 30:21
Yeah, it is a huge problem. So yeah, you water does not come out of faucets in Haiti. You have to I mean, well, there's a few exceptions in Puerto Prince and some places where they do their own plumbing. But for the most part, you don't drink water out of any source. You know, you boil it for cooking, if you get it and then most people buy their water. And so we buy it in bottles in Haiti, they buy it in like plastic baggies, and you kind of rip the edge off of the baggie and, and suck the water out. It's it's very scarce. You know, one thing I've observed when I was there, how little water the average Haitian drinks every day, it's a very, it's, it's considerably less than we would drink here. And a lot of that's just just the, the accessibility of the water, it's, it's very hard to come by. And it's a challenge we're seeing now, too, with with the, the violence has some of these key roads blocked off to certain parts of the country, and just their supply chains are stretched so thin.

Brooke Smith 31:25
So that changed, like, I know, you mentioned that the Haitian people, the gangs have gotten a little bit more brazen, and taking over a little bit more Do you know, like, what's causing that these things are always really complex. And I might know, just enough to be dangerous. But, you know, there, there's always a decent level of, you know, political opposition to any type of political environment, there was a lot of opposition to the past president. I mean, he he was recently assassinated, unfortunately, you know, the assassination is never a good thing, whether your pageant is popular or not on July 7, but there were a lot of people opposed to things he was doing, you know, was said he was trying to go against a lot of the deep embedded family control that that exists in Haiti. And he had a pretty long list of enemies, and they were kind of fighting with each other. And it's, it's pretty complex. And I would be totally lying if I said, I understood it. But the gangs were getting more and more, like you said, brazen, less and less was being done about it. There are certain neighborhoods and villages that were completely gang controlled, police were gone, gangs were in control. I will say, since the assassination where there was an incredible fear that things might just blow up. But they've been really calm. The the kidnappings have gone down the past month, things have been a little more passable, people are still extremely cautious. There are certain areas where just people are really, really cautious. But everything's been tempered down a little bit for now. But when they have to start having elections and things like that, it's going to it will almost undoubtedly flare up again, can you tell us Would you mind sharing a story with us some kind of story of your work over there with the Dalton Foundation, and just being able to help people is there kind of story that sticks in your mind that says, Wow, this was a really life changing moment for me or any kind of inspiring story that you have from the work that you've been doing over there?

Barbara 33:34
Yeah, I'll share a couple real quick with you. I think the first one I'll share was is actually in my previous job. So I don't want to say it was what the dalton foundation but it is definitely one that that changed my heart forever. And that was, and that was one of some twins, I have twins. And this was some some twins that were starving and really, really hungry. And and we got involved with their care. It was a really complex situation that I won't go into details, but just the way these little girls looked at you to say that they were hungry and suffering it just literally broke your heart. And we were able to after some legal procuring with the foster system, be able to bring them into our care in the orphanage and to watch them grow and thrive and eat and change and learn was just absolutely phenomenal. And and I hope but even more than that, for me was watching the doctor that was involved with all this the Haitian doctor that was constantly advocating for these children, and how it changed his practice of medicine. I think it's easy to become hardened when you see suffering day in and day out. And he was definitely going through that with you almost have to in some sense harden yourself for you. You can't take the emotion of it. But after that experience, just watching how he changed and cared for his patients and got involved, even though it was painful, was really just inspiring to me and is why one of my biggest passions is helping these heroes that are out there day in and day out. Going to a job with a dome Foundation, I think one of my biggest things that again, it's always going to tie back to the healthcare professional for me, because they're the ones that then give that care to the patient. And they're the ones that I see. But when we do different conferences or do different events, we like to do them. And again, the past 18 months, it's been hard, but we do sneak these events in here. And there, we try to do these really nice events for the health care providers, you know, at a hotel and, and pamper them and take care of them and thank them for what they do. And just having them saying, you know, there's ways to say Oh, thank you, thank you, but like these sincere, heartfelt thanks like, you know, thank you for taking the time to do this for us. Like we know, you don't have to do this. Those thank yous to me are, they're just huge. They're not necessary, we'll do it without those for sure. But knowing that they're being heard, and they're being cared for, it just urges me and spurs me on.

Brooke Smith 36:11
That's really beautiful. After everything you've experienced through your life, before Haiti to now after and how your life has grown and changed and all of the things that you've seen. What is any kind of advice you have? Or if you could go back in time to tell your younger self, some piece of advice? What would that be?

Barbara 36:34
Oh, boy, that's a good question. So I do, my faith is really important to me, and my life of faith has really changed changed me dramatically. And for him, for me, that's learning to listen to God's leading and do less, I think that applies to just all things even in addition to faith, I think I was was still am a struggling type a person that likes to do doo doo doo doo. And I've really learned along the way that to be is better. And the way you do things, the way you get from A to B is as important as getting to a to b, whereas when I was younger, it was all about you just get from A to B as fast as you can, no matter what you leave in the week. And I think I've definitely learned that that's not true. The journey is important, the people are dumb are infinitely important the relationships you make the people you meet. That's far more I mean, outcomes are important. I'm not saying that you can't just work and not have outcomes. But the way you do it is extremely important. You know, the way people think about you after you leave is important. And just learning that over the years has been a big blessing.

Brooke Smith 37:50
Yes, I think that's so true. I think that, going back to what you said about Mr. Dalton, one plus one is greater than two. And I think that's also a really beautiful sentiment that you brought up earlier that, you know, one person can make a difference. It's easy to think like, I'm just one person, what can I do this problem is so big, like, I don't know how to help. But the thing that I think people underestimate is that there's a ripple effect to everything that you do. So it's like what you're talking about is the feeling you leave behind. That's a ripple effect that gets passed through to other people that gets passed through to their children, that energy that love that you gave the care that you showed that support that you were there for that matters, and it makes it kind of it changes things. And I think nothing we do is ever small, you know, and I just want people listening and watching this to know that you make a difference every day, even in small ways. If you feel like overwhelmed, like all what can I even do, please just share, share this podcast with someone, let them get to know all this. All the things that are happening in Haiti and other places that need medical help, what the what the Dalton foundation is doing and every little thing that we do in this life matters, and it affects people and there's a ripple effect. And I think even having gratitude, you know, sometimes I'll be taking a shower and I'm like how incredible is this right now I actually have hot water. There's people do that they can drink water. I think for me personally, one of the feelings that I hate the most is being thirsty. I would rather be hungry have that hunger feeling than thirsty. I hate being thirsty. And so I think about water lots may ask you about it. Because you cannot survive. Obviously we can survive without food but water is our body is what 90% water and it's something that we take for granted so much and I just think that having gratitude for what's in front of you, and all the access that you have, and using that to remember, instead of thinking about all the things you don't have, maybe have gratitude for the things that you do have, and then realize that you have way more than you need. And how can you help other people just be able to live just to survive, is, I think, brilliant, an important message. And I just thank you so much for all the work that you and the Dalton foundation are doing. It's really incredible in all the facets that you're involved in, and your husband too. And enlight just spreads more light. And I think that's also something to remember that you but you doing something afraid your husband to do something great, and it just keeps going, you know, and then people will hear this podcast, and they'll also want to do something great. So it doesn't have great doesn't have to mean great is in big, it can be small.

Barbara 40:51
Because I think it mostly means small to be honest with you. And I think that's one thing you pointed out that I couldn't agree with more and so easy to forget, sometimes the littlest things we do, are the absolute biggest. And you know, if you're if you're a parent, sometimes you think, oh, what am I doing? I'm taking care of kids. Yeah, that's like the most important thing you can possibly do. Take care of your kids and let them know that they're loved and grow up to be all they can be like, that's so important. Never underestimate little things like that. And times like that, and little interactions you have. And I think about that, you know, there's many times even in this work, I'm thinking, Oh, my gosh, are we making any difference? And it's just like, you know, we're never going to know all the impact we have you just keep taking one step at a time. Do the next right thing, right, whatever that is just do it. And you will know the outcomes. And that's okay.

Brooke Smith 41:42
It really does. It changes the world. You just can't see it. Because it's so big.

Barbara 41:46
Yeah, we have to be okay with that. I mean, I prefer you know, it's like, oh, I like to know, but it's like, No, we just have to not know, we just have to have the comfort of knowing we did the right thing.

Brooke Smith 41:55
That's where faith steps in. I think just knowing that by doing the right thing and following your heart and trying to give back and help others, that you just have faith that it's making a difference that is making a change. This Absolutely. Yeah. Would you mind Barbara just telling everybody what any social media handles you have that they could follow any websites that they can go to to follow? Obviously, we'll be linking everything below in this video. So you can click and find out more, but just verbally, it would be great to for everyone who's listening?

Barbara 42:30
Sure, yes. So we have Dalton Foundation website. That's the Dalto foundation.org. We have a Haiti Health Network website. That's Haiti healthnetwork.org. Those are our two main sites, we do have a Facebook group for both the Dalton Foundation, that one's not nearly as active, but the Haiti Health Network is extremely active people can ask to join that group. And we'll let them be a part of that. And to see we do all very detailed communication about health care. In Haiti, like right now, the hot topic is the vaccine and the rollout that's going on in Haiti. We've got up to date details on when and where anybody can get that vaccine in Haiti. So

Brooke Smith 43:16
Barbara, Thank you so much for joining our crafting wellness podcast today. It's been such a pleasure talking with you. I would definitely love to do this again, and kind of just revisit some things that we didn't get a chance to talk to today. And hopefully, she'll be able to join us as well, so that we can all kind of talk to each other. But it's been such a pleasure having you on and thank you so much.

Barbara 43:39
Yeah, thank you Brooke. It's been great.


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