Mend by Tend Spotlight
Dr. Yudy Lafortune
General Surgeon, Haiti
“Mend by Tend is a valuable, cost-effective alternative to many problems we face in the Haitian health system. I also think it’s a great way of providing a higher level of care in developing countries.”
Dr. Yudy Lafortune is a general surgeon in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Dr. Lafortune has known members of the Mend by Tend Team, and their physicians for many years. When the Mend by Tend team told Dr. Lafortune about how he could use the platform to connect with doctors in the United States to better treat his patients, he was ecstatic about the possibilities to improve care for the people of his country.
We recently caught up with Dr. Lafortune and spoke with him about becoming a doctor and his experience with the Mend by Tend platform.
Dr. Lafortune became a doctor to serve and to become a surgeon. “Since I was a boy I dreamed of joining the army. But I find discipline and precision in neurosurgery.” Currently he is a general surgeon going through a neurosurgical training program supported by the Ministry of Health and the nonprofit organization, Haiti Healthy Kids, founded by Dr. John Ragheb, a neurosurgeon from Miami, Florida.
Through the Mend by Tend platform, Dr. Lafortune has been able to connect with physicians on the platform to help him make better decisions and improve care. “[Mend by Tend] telemedicine has helped me a lot. It has improved my patient care [and it] helps me acquire new knowledge. [It also] keeps me connected with specialists that are not available in Haiti and they willingly provide me with their expert advice.”
Our platform has been able to support him with “therapeutic decision making, Radiology reviews, and better planning for surgical procedures. It also helps find solutions to the infrastructure problems we face.”
According to Dr. Lafortune, “there is so much that [Mend by Tend] can help us with: Better decision making; Better use of resources; Better surgical planning; Faster consultation with specialist that otherwise we would have wait months to consult.” Dr. Lafortune feels that “telemedicine is a valuable cost effective alternative to many problems we face in the Haitian health system. I also think this is a way of providing a higher level of care in developing countries.”
Dr. Lafortune told us of countless cases that having access to the Mend by Tend platform helped him improve care. One specific case that stood out for him was when a young girl with a 3rd ventricle suprasellar tumor was going to have surgery. “My team was planning to put [in] a shunt and send [the patient] to oncology for therapy. With telemedicine Dr. Ragheb advised us to perform an endoscopic biopsy first. Ultimately, we performed the biopsy and pathology revealed it was a low grade glioma, [which changed our treatment plan.] The little girl had appropriate [oncology] therapy and is improving very well.”
This is a simple example of the countless ways Mend by Tend telemedicine can help improve countless lives across the world.
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