Louise Ivers, MD, executive director of the MGH Center for Global Health, boarded a UN flight in 2010 to deliver humanitarian aid in rural Haiti.

Ten years ago on Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the island nation of Haiti, heavily damaging its capital city of Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns. Reports estimate more than 100,000 people were killed and 250,000 homes were left in shambles. In the next two weeks, some 52 aftershocks measuring at 4.5 magnitude and greater continued to ravage the area.

Following the disaster, the MGH immediately coordinated an emergency response effort, assisting employees with ties to Haiti and coordinating nearly 100 staff members to serve as medical volunteers to travel to the country to provide much-needed support. Over the course of the past 10 years, staff members continued – and continue – to return to Haiti to provide clinical care and other assistance.

“It’s overwhelming to see such large numbers of people affected – you can feel helpless,” Susan Briggs, MD, a trauma surgeon who was part of the response, said at the time. “You can’t take back their losses, and you can’t do much of anything on your own. But because everyone at Mass General worked together, we could make a difference in Haiti. We gave them hope for the future.”

As Haiti continued to recover from the devastating earthquake, a team from the MGH Center for Global Health traveled there in July 2010 to combat the rising cases of cholera.