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Lake Erie College’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) presents “What’s Really Happening In Haiti?”

Two local doctors who have “Answered the Call” share their on-site experiences

Millions grieve for Haiti, whether they personally lost someone or not. In an effort to support the Haitians and bring the experience directly to the community and Lake Erie College, two local doctors, Dr. Paul Vanek and Dr. Jack Fitzgerald, will be presenting their first-hand accounts of the disaster in Haiti on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Morley Music Building.

Dr. Paul Vanek is Board Certified in General and Plastic Surgery. He has run his own private practice in Lake County since 1996. Dr. Vanek has participated in research fellowships at Columbia Presbyterian, NYU, Cal Berkeley, RIT, University of Rochester and the University of Michigan. He currently serves on the Board of the Lake Hospital Foundation.

Dr. Jack Fitzgerald, a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, has been practicing medicine for 25 years. He is the director at SurgCenter Cleveland, an ambulatory surgery center in Beachwood, Ohio. Dr. Fitzgerald is also president of Chagrin Valley Anesthesia and CV Medical Services. Dr. Fitzgerald is active with the NEOUCOM Alumni Board and has held leadership positions in various hospitals, medical societies and organizations. 

Vanek and Fitzgerald volunteered with Project Medishare, a non-profit organization based in Miami, Fla. that has been involved in Haiti since 1994. Project Medishare’s mission is to help rebuild and improve the healthcare infrastructure of Haiti by training local physicians, building clinics and funding sustainable health programs. Both doctors will be speaking of their time in Haiti, sharing their one-on-one experience of the aftermath of the earthquake that hit on Jan. 12, 2010.

“Our goal is to raise both awareness and funds for the people in Haiti,” says Steven Abbott, president of the SIFE chapter at Lake Erie College. “When we heard of the doctors’ experiences, we immediately looked for ways to respond. This is just the beginning of our efforts.”

The event is free and open to the public, as well as the Lake Erie College community. There will be free parking at the First Church of Christ located at 422 Mentor Ave. in Painesville across from the Austin Science Center.

SIFE will kindly be accepting cash, check or credit card donations and all proceeds will go to Project Medishare in order to benefit the Haitian community. Donations can also be accepted on or For more information about this event or how to help, contact Steven Abbott at 440.231.0206.

About SIFE

SIFE is an international network of students, academic and business leaders who have made a commitment to create a better world with better leaders. SIFE mobilizes university students around the world to use the knowledge gained in the classroom to address real world business and economic issues in their communities, creating individuals who have the ability and are willing to put forth the effort to make a meaningful contribution to society and are working together to improve the lives of others. 

About Project Medishare

Project Medishare is a non-profit founded in 1994 by a group of doctors from the University of Miami School of Medicine. Since then, they have been in Haiti to help improve the healthcare infrastructure by building clinics, training local physicians, and funding sustainable health programs. With the strong relationships they have fostered in Haiti, Project Medishare is well-equipped to respond effectively to this crisis, and is at the forefront of efforts to bring urgently needed medical care to victims. Through the support of donations, they are providing medicine, supplies and equipment around the clock. They have assumed the role of triage alongside the U.S. military, are currently managing medical evacuations, operate one of the largest field trauma hospitals on the ground, and continue to place volunteers at several clinics and hospitals throughout Port-au-Prince and the surrounding rural communities. Project Medishare has a permanent presence in Haiti and is committed to the long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

About Lake Erie College

Lake Erie College, located in Painesville, Ohio, currently serves more than 1,200 students. Founded in 1856, Lake Erie is an independent, liberal arts institution that challenges its students to "get in and stand out" in academics, athletics and student activities. The College offers 33 undergraduate majors and the option to design an individualized major to fit career and academic goals. Lake Erie's innovative learning experiences focus on helping students to meet career and life challenges, preparing for a world that is increasingly interdependent.


Note: This is a news archive and may contain outdated information.


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