In 1953, Dr. James Funk, the founder of Peachtree Orthopedics, made his first trip to Haiti to visit and assist Sister Joan Margaret - a nun who ran St. Vincent's School for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince. During his visit, Dr. Funk was struck not only by the beauty of the country, but also by Haiti's widespread poverty, harsh living conditions and desperate need for medical supplies and treatment.
Following his first trip, Dr. Funk returned to Haiti time and time again to provide medical treatment and perform surgery. He was soon joined in these medical missions by his two partners - Dr. Robert E. Wells and Dr. Joseph H. Dimon III. As Peachtree Orthopedics grew, the tradition continued, and many PO physicians, including Drs. Mike Bernot, Xavier Duralde, Carl Fackler, Anuj Gupta, Lee Kelley, Steve McCollam, Allen McDonald Jr., Allen McDonald III, Doug Murray, Herndon Murray, Scott Pennington, Ashok Reddy, Steve Smith and Obi Ugwonali have volunteered their time and medical skills to provide orthopedic care and treatment to impoverished Haitians and to patients at the HÔpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti.
In 1983, Peachtree Orthopedics' long-standing commitment to Haiti was recognized when the National Order of Honor and Merit - Haiti's highest honor for civilian service and contributions - was awarded to Dr. Funk.
Today, humanitarian and medical needs in Haiti remain great. Peachtree Orthopedics' involvement and assistance is as critical as it was over 65 years ago when Dr. Funk made his first trip. Haiti's infant mortality rate is the highest in the world. Over half the country's population suffers from malnutrition, and the average life expectancy is just 53 years.
The Peachtree Orthopedics Foundation, a non-profit organization, continues to help address these critical humanitarian needs by providing funds, supplies, medical care and training in Haiti.