Dr. Ted Higgins has had a heart for Haiti since 1981. During his fourth year of general surgery residency at Yale, he and his wife, Kim, spent a three-month rotation at Hospital Albert Schweitzer in DesChapelles, Haiti. They were touched by the Haitian people, their culture, and their needs. They were inspired by Dr. Larimer and Gwen Mellon who devoted their lives to transformative work in healthcare, local economies, and access to water.
Through their church in Kansas City, Ted began annual trips to the Dominican Republic where teams provided healthcare to sugar cane cutters and their families in the bateys. Seeing surgical needs of all kinds, Ted began operating in a borrowed clinic in 1992, when the Good Samaritan Hospital was a dream under construction. It’s now a busy hospital with Dominican surgeons on staff; Ted trained the Dominican surgeons to perform both laparoscopic abdominal procedures as well as vascular access procedures for patients with end stage renal disease.
In 2010 following the earthquake, Ted returned to Haiti with mission teams to help with surgical cases in the region. Several teams a year would travel to help provide surgical care. Because of the lack of surgical care in Haiti, patients travelled from afar when mission teams were present. Medical students and surgical residents joined from the General Hospital in Port Au Prince when surgical teams arrived. This began the teaching experience that developed into a need for more surgical operating space to handle the large demand and the need to teach. Throughout his annual week-long trips to Fonds-Parisien, Ted and his team operated on about 60 patients. He appreciated the excellent accommodations and support of HCM and saw the need for more surgical capacity. In 2015, the idea of expanding the surgical capabilities was discussed and the Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope (HBSH) began to take shape.
In 2015, the construction of the Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope was begun. The dedication and actual official opening of the Surgicenter was in December, 2016. The Higgins Brothers name honors Ted's father, Edward, and uncle, Paul. Both surgeon brothers were inspired by their father and grandfather to carry on a busy surgical practice in Cortland, NY. Dr. Edward trained in ENT at Syracuse Upstate Medical Center under Dr. Gordon Hoople, and Dr. Paul trained in general surgery at Johns Hopkins Mdical Center under Dr Alfred Blaylock. They both served in World War ll as physicians, Edward in Europe and Paul in the Pacific, and embraced the international work of medicine. They shared a 36 year practice, and were role models for medical students, physicians, and the wider community for their exemplary patient care and civic involvement.
Higgins Brothers Surgicenter for Hope