Earlier this month, a Platte City-based doctor traveled to his home country of Haiti to help relief efforts in the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster.
Dr. Jonathan Philippe, who practices medicine at the Mosaic Life Care office on Running Horse Road, helped distribute more than 500 food kits to those in need following Hurricane Matthew, a storm back in October that killed more than 1,500 as the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean in nearly a decade.
Of those deaths, more than 500 are estimated to have been from Haiti.
Haiti also faced no phones nor electricity and a shortage of food and water in the aftermath. Philippe felt a natural connection to the residents in his homeland and decided to help.
Having made multiple medical mission trips to Haiti beginning in 2008 when he started medical school, Philippe arrived and took blood pressure readings, distributed medicine and assisted as medical personnel screened a long line of patients who waited for medical treatment.
“People waited for hours,” he said. “Sometimes, we are the only medical treatment they see. We worked from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. without a break – skin conditions, bacterial infections, diabetes, malaria, malnutrition. We see it all.”
The drive to help the people in his native country was so strong, that in 2012, Dr. Philippe founded a nonprofit, 501c3 organization called “Sante Haiti,” which means “healthy Haiti” in French. Now, he leads medical mission teams to Haiti each year giving care to those who might not have access to medical treatment.
Philippe’s teams of doctors and nurses – nutritionists and non-medical personnel are always welcome, too – go to Haiti and stay in homes with locals so they can understand their culture and customs. More information on his efforts can be found on Facebook by searching Sante Haiti.
In 2017, Philippe also has trips scheduled to Malawi, Haiti and Ethiopia.
“This is a passion of mine,” he said. “After you see the desperate need, it is my calling.”
According to his Mosaic bio, Philippe specializes in family practice and speaks three languages (English, French and Haitian Creole). He earned a degree at St. George’s University on the island of Grenada and completed his residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.