Friday, February 12, 2010

MAO residents and fellows rally together for Haiti

REACHING OUT TO HAITI: From left, Winkfield, Jackson, May and Osbourne

When he saw the tragic events unfold in Haiti, MGH Urology resident Audley Osbourne, MD, could not simply witness the devastation without doing something to help. As the community outreach officer for the MGH Organization of Minority Residents and Fellows (OMRF), a subcommittee of the hospital's Multicultural Affairs Office (MAO), Osbourne approached his colleagues on the OMRF executive board -- Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, of Radiation-Oncology; Fola May, MD, MPhil, of Internal Medicine; and Andrea Jackson, MD, of Obstetrics and Gynecology -- and proposed that the group rally together to assist relief efforts in Haiti.

"I saw many people both inside and outside the MGH scrambling to figure out where they could direct their efforts to help the people of Haiti," Osbourne says. "A lot of people wanted to donate their time and money and learn about what was happening there. So I had an idea to create an event to galvanize the OMRF's collective resources and efforts."

Within three weeks, the OMRF -- under the guidance of the MGH Development Office and MAO -- coordinated what normally would require months to arrange: the Haitian Relief Gala. The event will take place at the Liberty Hotel Boston on Feb. 19 from 7 pm to 1 am, and all proceeds will benefit the MGH Haitian Relief Fund and Partners in Health, which is operating some of the few working health care facilities in the earthquake-devastated area.

Guests at the event will have the opportunity to enjoy not only the unique ambiance of the Liberty Hotel ballroom, which the hotel generously donated along with hors d'oeuvres, but also music by the Michelle Lewis Band and DJ Garfield of Hot 97.7 FM. A silent auction will be held throughout the evening and will feature a number of coveted items, such as a New England Patriots jersey signed by Tom Brady; a Bruins jersey and hockey stick signed by team members; several signed Celtics items; and a private airplane ride for two to Nantucket, including lunch on the island.

"We are really looking forward to this event, and we are especially grateful to the Liberty Hotel for donating the space and food," says Winkfield. "We thank in advance our guest speakers MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, and Malcolm Smith, MD, chief of the MGH Orthopedic Trauma Service, who recently returned from serving in Haiti. We also thank our colleagues at BWH, Boston Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for joining our efforts to help those in Haiti."

Adds May, "While we understand that direct participation in relief efforts is not possible for everyone, we hope that raising donations through the gala will help provide a way for people -- clinical and nonclinical -- to come together to channel their deep desire to provide aid to those in need."

Tickets should be purchased by Feb. 16 at

Make a donation to the MGH Haitian Relief Fund

Learn more about OMRF

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