Reviving Haiti brick by brick, mind by mind

Portland professor and architect

has plans to fortify the Justinian Hospital,

wants his students to design houses

that can be quickly and easily built

He’s never set foot in Haiti, but Portland architect M. Curt Sachs has used his skills to benefit a terribly poor hospital in the country’s second-largest city.

Sachs’ first career was as a cancer therapist. He went back to school to become an architect, and has specialized in designing health care facilities.

The story of his work on the Haitian hospital began two years ago, when he sat next to a water engineer from the Woodard & Curran engineering firm on an airplane flight.

“We got to talking, and I said I was an architect, and my dream forever was to spend time designing better health care facilities for Third World countries,” Sachs said.

The engineer mentioned that her boss, Hugh Tozer, worked with Konbit Sante, a Portland-based nonprofit that has been working for about a decade with Justinian Hospital in Cap Haitien, in northern Haiti.

Sachs connected with Tozer, and he soon began working with the nonprofit, studying building plans for the hospital. He worked with Konbit Sante’s executive director, Nate Nickerson, and with doctors and others who had spent time at the hospital over the years.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Matt Wickenheiser of the Portland Press Herald.

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