The late Pierre and Josephine Dorsainvil were murdered in 1995 during a vacation to their native Haiti.
In 1995, four armed individuals entered and ransacked Pierre and Josephine Dorsainvil's home in Arcahaie, Haiti. At this time, the New Cassel residents, who were in their homeland for a brief vacation, were shot and killed. Only the maid, who had been shot by the robbers four times, survived.
Now, more than seven years since his parent's death, Westbury resident Dr. Pierre Dorsainvil, Jr. is trying his best to keep his parents memory alive. In June 2001, he established the Dorsainvil Foundation, a private, non-profit organization and opened a free medical clinic for the poor and needy in the Arcahaie home his parents loved. The name of the center, which is the only one of its kind within a 35 mile radius, is Complexe Medical Sainte Philomene De L'Arcahaie.
Currently, Dorsainvil makes several trips a year to administer health care at the facility himself while the remainder of the year he relies on a limited staff consisting of two nurses and one doctor who sees patients twice a week. On a given week, the clinic sees in excess of 60 patients. That number increases drastically, said Dorsainvil, when he is there. "One week, I saw 530 patients," he said.
With the village of Arcahaie still extremely primitive, many patients, particularly children, are in need of medical care for malaria, HIV and undernourishment in addition to typical disorders such as ulcers, hypertension and diabetes. Dorsainvil, an internal medicine and infectious disease physician associated with Winthrop University Hospital, currently receives donations from various pharmaceutical companies and private/corporate sponsors.
The goal of the foundation, said Dorsainvil, is to expand from a small, modest health facility to a fully equipped and functioning inpatient hospital and outpatient center, complete with a trained staff in which all persons in need can be cared for. "Whatever we have there is only about 50 percent of what we have here," he said. "[The clinic] should be at least 75 percent over there to what we have here ... Right now, it's just a simple clinic [and] the only form of medical care available."
To raise money for the medical center, Dorsainvil has run several fundraisers, including a raffle for a free car which ended up costing him more money than what was raised because not enough tickets were purchased. He is currently working on holding a dinner cruise fundraiser out of Freeport. His long-term goal is to get the medical center off the ground and have enough money to offer a scholarship to medical school in his parent's memory.
To expand the size and services of the facility, said Dorsainvil, is expected to cost between $200,000 and $250,000 American dollars. "The plan is to build a 50-to 60-room hospital in my parent's memory," he said. "I had planned for that to happen in three or four years [from when it first opened], but the way things are going, it is going to be another three or for years from now."