Speak of Michael Taylor and many things will come to mind. Not only is he a dermatologist with a Master’s Degree in public health, but he is the Co-Founder of Ocean Elements Sheer Daily Moisture SPF 30 (produced and distributed by Maine-based Brightwater Bay Science, LLC), but he has another side as well. Taylor is the co-Founder of Konbit Sante, a volunteer organization that helps the people of Haiti.
This multi-faceted gentleman got together with a group of like-minded individuals in Portland, Maine, in 2000, and began discussing their desire to volunteer for the long-term; an ongoing way to develop the world in order to contribute to the sustainable improvement of health care.
Having volunteered before in various areas through the medical industry, Dr. Taylor wanted to help create something long-term as opposed to going to an area for a short period of time, providing much-needed care and then just as quick, leaving the area and the people in it to fend once more for themselves medically and otherwise. That is why he and his wife, Wendy Taylor, and other like-minded individuals began to plan for the long-term.
It took some time, but in the late fall of 2001, the group decided upon Cap-Haitien as the site to concentrate upon. The Haitian community is in dire need of everything medical. Their health statistics are dismal! The people of the community live in utter poverty.
The other reasons that the group decided upon Haiti is that it is relatively close to Main and that the site visit team was introduced to the Justinian University Hospital; finding that the administration and staff there were open to and interested in developing the type of on-going supportive relationship that the team was looking to create. And so they did.
The name of the group, Konbit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership was derived from the respect for and the friendships made with the people of Cap-Haitien. The Konbit portion of the name describes a Haitian tradition of working together to till friends’ fields as well as your own. Sante is derived from the Creole word meaning health.
From there partners were gained, friendships made, work completed. Ties and understanding have grown stronger over the approximate decade and a half. The work evolves as time passes. The work that the volunteer organization has done is much appreciated and relied upon by the good people of Haiti.
As time goes on, Konbit Sante and Michael Taylor and group pledge to keep working on their mission to help develop a sustainable health care system until all Haitians are able to get the care that they need and deserve!