Dear NPH Family,
I am pleased to announce Dr. Pascale Yola Gassant Heurtelou as the new National Director of St. Damien’s hospital effective May 2, 2022. She succeeds National Director Dr. Jacqueline Gautier, who will continue to support St. Damien Hospital in another role.
Dr. Gautier, our outgoing director has said: “Dr Gassant is ready to embrace this new role in her career for the benefits of the families relying on the quality care offered at the institution. I am confident that she will be an excellent leader for Hospital Saint Damien.”
The National Director of St. Damien Hospital is overseeing all aspects in the hospital management ensuring that it is operating efficiently and effectively while upholding the mission and the vision of the NPH: providing quality care with Christian compassion toward a world without poverty. Dr. Gassant will join the Global Strategy Team and the St. Damien Task Force to work to bring forward our NPH mission.
Dr. Gassant is a Haitian national who joined the St. Damien team 19 years ago and is currently the head of Oncology. Thanks to her leadership, the department of pediatric oncology has been able to flourish for the great good of children with cancer in Haiti.
Dr. Gassant will continue to uphold the mission of the institution by counting on the collaboration of everyone and the medical community in particular.
Dr Gassant is the eldest of 4 siblings raised in a catholic household upholding principles and values such as love, altruism, honesty, empathy and respect. She won a scholarship after high school to study medicine in Cuba where she obtained her degree in medicine and specialized in pediatrics, from 1991-2001.
As a pediatrician, she opted to become an oncologist to address the underserved issue in Haiti. Furthermore, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Global child Health at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of St. Jude Research Children Hospital.
After working a year in a remote hospital in the country, she obtained a position as a general pediatrician at St. Damien, then located in Petionville. She became interested in oncology and started the program training herself on the task from 2004 to 2010. The major earthquake that affected Haiti in 2010 brought an opportunity for Dr Gassant to collaborate with St Jude Research center in Tennessee. Through this collaboration she was able to benefit from a fellowship in oncology in Guatemala. Dr Gassant led beautifully the development of the oncologic department at St Damien, the only pediatric oncologic department in Haiti doing awareness program for the medical community to help with early diagnosis to improve childhood cancer prognosis.
Dr Gassant is a founding member of Fondation Haïtienne contre le Cancer infantile (FHACI) that supports the work of the hospital to help children with cancer and their families.
Dr Gassant is determined to use all her leadership skills and her discipline to help Saint Damien continue to move forward as the main referral mother and children hospital in Haiti and to uphold its vision and its mission.
Dr Gassant is well aware of the great difficulties of embracing her new role while the country became more unstable politically. This situation even motivates her more to remain a strong and efficient leader. She is optimistic for the future despite the tremendous challenges. She will put all her heart in working for positive changes at the institution. “I would like to use my leadership spirit to maintain the objectives of the institution which is to provide quality care to the most vulnerable,” Dr. Gassant says, “as well improving the work environment of the employees”
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gassant. We wish her much success in her new role.
NPHI Executive Director