Dr. Spencer McLean Fellowship

This fellowship was set up to offer a senior Haitian orthopaedic surgical resident the opportunity to train at trauma centres in Canada where he or she will gain experience in knowledge and techniques that will improve the quality of orthopaedic surgical care in Haiti.

The fellowship will cover the recipient’s travel costs to and from Canada, and the living and educational expenses for their two-month stay. While in Canada, the recipient will train alongside Canadian residents at trauma centres in Calgary, Alberta, and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

This is the first year that the fellowship has been offered. It is our hope that we can extend this to future recipients.

About Jean Hippolyte, MD: First Recipient Of The Dr. Spencer R. McLean Fellowship

Jean Wildric Hippolyte, who recently completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is the first recipient of the Dr. Spencer R. McLean Travelling Fellowship.

Dr. Hippolyte, 34, has been a massive help to Team Broken Earth on their visits to Port-au-Prince over the last two years. He has consistently demonstrated the dedication, intellectual drive and skill set that will carry him far as an orthopaedic surgeon. He’s firmly committed to staying in Haiti once his training is completed.

Dr. Hippolyte says the 2010 earthquake and the immense need for orthopaedic surgeons in the months that followed were what motivated him to study orthopaedic surgery.

When the earthquake happened, he was working in a clinic in the central part of Haiti.

“I ran out very rapidly and asked to my colleagues in the building to come outside with me because that is an earthquake. A couple minutes after, I opened the radio to listen what happened in Port-au-Prince. I heard by the radio that we have many thousands of injuries and people were looking for orthopaedic surgeons. It was difficult to find an ortho doctor. The day after, I went to Port-au-Prince to see if I could help and at this time I realized the need that we have for orthopaedic surgeons. I felt bad because I saw many people asking for my help but I was powerless by lacking knowledge in orthopaedic care.”

Dr. Hippolyte went onto to work with Doctors Without Borders where he continued to see patients in need of orthopaedic care months after the earthquake. At the time, there were only 27 orthopaedic surgeons in Haiti.

He is eager to continue working with the surgeons from Team Broken Earth.

“I can tell you that I’ve learnt a lot from (the Canadian surgeons with Team Broken Earth). We still have some kinds of fractures that we cannot treat in my country. In Calgary (Canada), you have the knowledge, skills and techniques to do so. That’s why I want to come there in Canada.”

“If we have a person in Haiti who could treat any kinds of fracture, that will be better for the country, better for people and better for my future residents because I will share the skills, techniques and knowledge with residents and other orthopaedic surgeons.

“It is also a way to start building an orthopaedic fellowship program in Haiti when I come back. I think that we will save so many lives.”

For information on the Spenser MacLean Fellowship please contact Chris Bonnell, Executive Director, Team Broken Earth chris@brokenearth.ca.

In Memoriam – Carolyn Churchill

Spencer McLean was an energetic and charismatic orthopedic resident who volunteered with Team Calgary in Port-au-Prince in 2013. Dr. McLean planned to return to Haiti but was diagnosed with an aggressive kidney cancer six months after his visit. He died only a few months after his diagnosis, during the same week that he finished his orthopedic-surgery residency. He was 36 years old.

Spencer was unable to return to Haiti but his involvement with Team Broken Earth didn’t end with his passing. His wife Christina Frangou joined Team Calgary on a trip to Port-au-Prince in November 2013. Eager to understand Spencer’s experience in Haiti and his motivation to participate in the organization, Christina travelled to Haiti in his place and was inspired to found a fellowship in his name. We remember Spencer with great fondness and with Christina’s support, we are honoring him through the first-ever Dr. Spencer McLean fellowship. This fellowship will support a Haitian orthopedic surgeon to come to Canada to observe, study and train within the Canadian health care system for two months.