For 20 years, Healing Art Missions has helped support the people of Haiti. Our focus is to provide resources and funding to rural communities that lack access to basic resources, such as healthcare, education, employment, and clean drinking water. The lack of these resources creates the condition of structural poverty. Our aim is to support Haitians by providing access to these fundamental human rights. We are committed to fostering the dignity of the individual, respecting the ways of the community, and reflecting the strength of a loving God.
Healing Art Mission (HAM) founder, Dr. Tracee Laing, first came to Haiti as part of a medical mission in 1997. While visiting the community of Dumay, she learned the community needed and wanted a medical clinic to address their ongoing and long-term health needs. In 1998, Healing Art Missions was founded in an effort to create a community-based healthcare system to rural Dumay. Since the clinic was founded, there have been additional fundamental needs addressed by HAM such as the support of an elementary school program on the north coast, access to clean water programs, and health outreach programs.
HAM founder, Dr. Tracee Laing, graduated from Ohio State University with a dual major in pre-med and fine art. So when she went to Haiti in 1997 she saw not only the tremendous medical needs of the people, but also the beautiful handcrafted art the Haitians created. Realizing the suitcases she and her teams used to transport the medications needed for their medical missions would be empty at the end of the trip, she had an idea: purchase Haitian art from the artists to bring back to Ohio. In Granville, she organized a silent auction of Haitian art in which she raised awareness and funds for her work in Haiti. With the funds raised from this event, Dr. Laing purchased medications for her next mission to Haiti, and came upon the name for the non-profit organization she would create to support her work, Healing Art Missions.
Since its founding in 1998, HAM has worked with our partner communities in Haiti to provide access to healthcare, education, and clean water to rural families where previously there was none. As a result, these communities have experienced real improvements in their overall health and vitality. Life-spans and literacy have increased. HAM is the largest employer in the community, and has helped out the overall local economy as a result.
Total clinic patient visits - 200,000+
Total vaccines given - 66,000+
Children educated k-8th grade - 800+
home water systems - 1,700+
Gallons of water purified - 63,000+
HAITIAN ANNUAL WAGES PAID - $140,000+
Healing Art Missions contributes to much more than the clinic in Dumay read more about their efforts below-
- Pays the yearly office rent of a Croix-des-Bouquets' based social justice organization that partners with the people of Dumay to help lower crime and improve community safety.
- HIV patient support to pay for regular transportation to the nearest HIV treatment in Tabarre, Haiti.
- Distributes clothing and blankets to children and families in need.
- Supports Haitian artists by purchasing art to sell in the USA.
- Nutrition program in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health that supplies supplements to children and high risk patients.
- Distributes wheelchairs to children in need.
- Centre de Santé clinic is an officially sanctioned Emergency Response site by the Haitian government, including USAID-sponsored early warning siren for flooding and hurricanes.
ham leadership in haiti
Jean Fritz Jacques, M.D.
Haitian Medical Director
Dr. Jacques was born in Petit Goave, about 45 miles southwest of Dumay. He was educated at Faculté de Médecine at L'université d'État d'Haïti (UEH) in Port-au-Prince. His medical specialty is general surgery and he is one of only 100 general surgeons in Haiti. Dr. Laing hired Dr. Jacques in 2008 to work a few days a month to do consultations and perform minor surgeries. In January of 2010 Dr. Jacques became the medical director of the Centre de Santé in Dumay. He was instrumental in HAM’s response to the devastating earthquake that racked Haiti and the response to cholera outbreak that followed in fall of 2010. Dr. Jacques has proven to be invaluable to HAM and the community of Dumay where he continues to work within the community to expand clinic services. Dr. Jacques lives in Port-au-Prince with his wife Gladys and their three children, Nia, Christy and Christian. He has traveled to the U.S. several times, many of his trips as a surgical guest to U.S. based hospitals. He is a hernia repair expert and a member of HRFU (Hernia Repair for the Underserved).
Jean Herard Charles
Haitian Operations Manager
Jean Herard Charles, referred to as Charles, was born in Port-de-Paix on the north coast of Haiti, where he still lives today with his wife Angeline and their children Jeffenson, Sentrina, Kevenson and Sophia. He did his early schooling in Port-de-Paix, but lived in Florida in his late teens and early 20’s where he learned English and attended Junior College before returning to Haiti. Charles began working for HAM in 2002 as a translator for board member Dr. Janine Flood, O.D. Dr. Janine quickly recognized Charles' intelligence, humor, strong work ethic, honesty and integrity, and began to train him as an eye technician. Under Dr. Janine’s tutelage and guidance; Charles quickly came to run the eye clinic. In 2009, HAM’s work was significantly challenged by major changes in the structure and location of Centre de Santé in Dumay. Charles immediately stepped up and became our eyes, ears and spokesperson for HAM’s projects in Haiti. He continues today as our Haitian Operations Manager, traveling monthly from Port-de-Paix to Dumay to attend to project needs as well as his eye technician functions. In 2008 Charles started a primary school in Baudin-Gros Sable, his neighborhood in Port-de-Paix, because of the lack of an affordable school in the area. Beginning in 2009, HAM began contributing financial support of the Charles Salomon Primary School. In 2017, Charles was elected mayor of the Baudin-Gros Sable area of Port-De-Paix.
ham volunteer leadership in the usa
Tracee Laing, M.D.*
Founder and Medical Director
Dr. Tracee Laing grew up in Michigan and Ohio, and received her BFA from OSU in 1982. In 1988, with 2 young children at home, she began OSU College of Medicine. After graduation, she then went on to a Family Practice Residency at Mount Carmel Medical Center, completing her medical education in 1995, at which time she started her own Family Practice in Granville, Ohio. In 1997, patients invited her to serve in Haiti as a medical volunteer. She accepted, and the following year, Dr. Laing began the process of incorporating the non-profit organization, Healing Art Missions, in order to raise money for her projects in Haiti. In 2000, she partnered with the Bethel Church of Haiti to open a full-time primary care clinic in Dumay, Haiti. After thirteen years of juggling a full-time medical practice and running Healing Art Missions, spending every vacation traveling to Haiti, Dr. Laing retired from her practice in 2010 so that she could devote her full attention to volunteering. Besides serving as the founding director of Healing Art Missions, she is also a board member and volunteer for the Community Health Clinic in Newark, Ohio.
Paul B. Hammond*
Director of Operations
After 30 years of managing professional theater companies, and raising 3 children in California, Paul chose to downsize his life and turn his attention to performing humanitarian work as a full-time volunteer. He performed disaster response work in the U.S. and internationally for various groups between 2006 and 2009, traveling from Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina to Bangladesh after Cyclone Sidor. In 2008 Paul went to Haiti after a series of hurricanes swept through Haiti, living in Port-au-Prince and working with several aid organizations There he was introduced to Dr. Laing and Healing Art Missions and soon began assisting with HAM’s operations in Dumay. Realizing that his values and work ethic were completely in sync with those of Dr. Laing and Healing Art Missions, in 2009 he joined Dr. Laing in both running of the organization full time and as her life partner.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS*
Tracee Laing, MD (Founding Director) - See bio above.
Bill Gettys - A consultant in the information technology industry, lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and joined the HAM board in 2007.
Paul B Hammond - See bio above.
Keith Hare - A senior software consultant living and working in Granville, Ohio has been on the HAM board since 2009.
Richard Hood Emeritus - A retired college professor and professional musician who lives in Tennessee was a founding board member of HAM.
Leslie Mihalov, MD - An emergency pediatrician and the Director of Medical Operations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She joined the HAM Board in 2002
Connie Ray, Pharm D - A pharmacist living and working in the Columbus, Ohio area and has been on the HAM board since 2003.
Laura Roberts Wright - Lives in Richmond, Virginia and is retired from a career in the commercial real estate. For the past ten years she has focused on volunteer and board work and joined the HAM board in 2016 as well as having been on several other non-profit boards serving Haiti.
Jack Blanks - Began his career in international relief and development serving in the Peace Corps. Since then he's served as Director and Executive Director for multiple international relief and development organizations including Project HOPE, and Seva Foundation. Jack is currently retired from full-time work, spending his time volunteering and consulting for international development programs.
Jeff Hammond - A professional photographer living with his wife Doriana in California. Together they own a documentary photography collective, Global Eyes Media.
* Volunteer positions with no compensation. No individuals working for HAM in the U.S. are paid employees