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Articles / 2010

Local doctor joins aid team headed to Haiti

Ventura County Star
Sunday, 01/19/2010

As many people sat at home watching the news from Haiti, Scott Changchien was boarding an airplane Tuesday to begin a journey to the heart of the earthquake-devastated country.

The Camarillo obstetrician-gynecologist will be part of a medical relief team headed by Dr. Ming-Lon Young, a Miami pediatric cardiologist.

“I really appreciate having Scott, since we can use an ob-gyn,” said Young, founder of the group Project Haiti Heart, noting that most of the skills they need will be surgical.

Project Haiti Heart began in 2004 after a hurricane struck Haiti, and it has been providing medical relief ever since. It built and operates the Formosa Obstetrics and Gynecology Center in Fond Parisien, a city of 100,000.

Changchien, 59, will be one of 24 medical personnel Project Haiti Heart is taking by plane to the Dominican Republic, then over land to Haiti.

“We’re not sure exactly what the situation will be there when we arrive,” said Changchien. “We will connect to whatever mission hospital is available.”

It won’t be Changchien’s first medical mission trip. He has gone to India, China and Nigeria with the Luke Christian Medical Mission.

“As a Christian, we are not supposed to do good work to gain God’s approval,” said Changchien. “We do good work because we are God’s children.”

Changchien said he began looking for a way to help as soon as he got the news of the earthquake.

“I was watching CNN and a reporter asked a woman who was in a great deal of pain, ‘When will this end?’ and she said, ‘Only when God shows up.’”

“God’s love is shown through the hands of man,” he said. “That is what prompted me to go.”
On Friday, while his wife, Su, was undergoing surgery on her shoulder, he decided to join Project Haiti Heart.

He said his wife wasn’t pleased at first to learn he would be gone while she was recovering from surgery, but she came to peace with his decision and has been helping him find items he needs to take.

Changchien, who works in the Community Memorial Hospital Centers for Family Health, said the hospital has donated medical supplies for his trip.

“I have been going around the hospital doing my shopping,” he said. “They have been so generous and have left it wide open for me to pick what I need.”

Changchien said he feels compelled to do medical relief work.

“I have a passion for this,” he said. “And when you have a passion for something and you don’t do it, it hurts.”