Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund joins University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare to bring unique two-way communications facility for Haitian families
Cutting-edge videoconference technology connects relatives in Miami and Port-au-Prince for the first time since earthquake disaster in Haiti
Miami, FL – Tuesday, March 30, 2010: Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare today announced the launch of a unique initiative that will bring Haitian family members together for the first time since the earthquake in Haiti. The project will be made possible using the same technology that is now at Sun Life Stadium.
Starting on Monday, April 5, two communications facilities will be established in Little Haiti, Miami and Port-au-Prince that will enable family members in Haiti to connect with relatives in Miami through Cisco Telepresence, a new and unique videoconference platform. Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church, in the heart of Miami’s Little Haiti, will house the facility in the U.S., as a prime location the residents of Little Haiti and surrounding areas continue to use as a center for relief efforts by the Haitian community in South Florida.
The corresponding facility in Haiti will be established at the University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare field hospital, located at the military airbase in Port-au-Prince. Project Medishare for Haiti is a non-profit organization founded by Dr.’s Barth Green and Arthur Fournier from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The organization has provided much needed medical services between Miami and Haiti since 1994, in a quest to achieve quality healthcare and development resources as part of its overall and continued relief effort.
As part of its ongoing fundraising effort, the Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund will be engaging in a special donation drive during the initiative, online at www.SunLifeStadium.com or www.MiamiDolphins.com, pledging to match every dollar donated to the fund with a two dollar matching contribution, with a maximum overall contribution of $300,000. Proceeds from all donations will be allocated to a number of local and national relief organizations.
The initiative will be announced at the Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church, located at 110 NE 62 Street, in Little Haiti, Miami, on Sunday, April 4, starting at 12:00 noon. The event will be hosted by City of Miami Mayor, Tomas P. Regalado, City of North Miami Mayor, Andre Pierre, Mike Dee, CEO of the Miami Dolphins, along with special guest appearances by Brian Ray of Paul McCartney’s band, CNN/KISS FM show host D.L Hughley and Don Shula The afternoon will also feature live performances by Flo Rida and former band member of The Fugees, Pras. Dr. Barth Green, Chair of the University of Miami’s Global Institute and President of Project Medishare for Haiti will also be in attendance, as well as other city dignitaries, Miami Dolphins personalities and special invited celebrity guests from the sports and entertainment world. The event, which will be free and open to the public, is expected to attract between 5,000 and 10,000 people for the announcement and performances following Easter mass at the church.
For the initial week, starting on Monday, April 5 through Saturday, April 10, families in Miami and their relatives in Haiti will be scheduled by appointment to connect via videoconference during morning and afternoon sessions each day. A number of local and national celebrities, including Romero Britto, Dolphins Quarterback Chad Henne, Dolphins Wide Receiver Davone Bess, Dolphins Fullback Lousaka Polite and Dolphins Guard Donald Thomas among others will be joining family members at the Notre Dame D’Haiti Catholic Church in Miami to meet-and-greet the relatives as they connect to loved ones in Haiti. Savannah Buffett, daughter of legendary singer/songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, will moderate the morning and afternoon videoconference sessions.
“We are very excited to join forces with University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare and Cisco to make this unique connection between families in Miami and their relatives in Haiti,” said Mike Dee, CEO of the Miami Dolphins.
“The partnership between the Dolphins, Sun Life and Cisco highlight how the technological innovations we have made at Sun Life Stadium can have a community impact beyond the playing field. The Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund was established to serve the ongoing needs of our neighbors and we ask the generous South Florida community to continue its support in providing much needed relief for those in Haiti and here at home in Florida.”<//p>
“This effort to reconnect families affected by the tragedy in Haiti shows the power of the Sun Life Stadium partnership to help those in need,” said Priscilla Brown, Senior Vice President and Head of U.S. Marketing for Sun Life Financial. “Along with the Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund matching program, critical support is being provided to these families and the people of Haiti. We ask everyone that is able to give to log on to www.SunLifeStadium.com and offer their assistance.”
Dr. Barth Green, Chair of the University of Miami’s Global Institute and President of Project Medishare for Haiti will be attending the event on April 4 to support the significance of the unique communication link between Haitians at home in Port-au-Prince and those in South Florida who are far away from their family and friends during this time of crisis and tragedy. “The ability to place families separated by miles is something very special for all of us who will attend this event, and is an example of the importance of communications, which we take so much for granted in our daily lives,” said Dr. Green. “The University of Miami team was the first on the ground following the earthquake and realized immediately that they were totally cut off from their patients, colleagues and friends in Haiti, as well as their home base at the University of Miami and Project Medishare. The second plane that arrived brought medical supplies, equipment and more doctors and nurses, and a large container full of satellite phones. These phone allowed not only the University of Miami and Project Medishare team to communicate, but also the Haitian government, who was totally cut off the from their fellow countrymen and the rest of the world. I am so grateful to the Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund for making this event possible, and for supporting Project Medishare and the long-suffering Haitian people long before the earthquake. It is what America and caring human beings are all about.”
For further information on the Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund or to make a donation, visit www.SunLifeStadium.com or www.MiamiDolphins.com. For further information on University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare, visit www.ProjectMedishare.org.
For further media information, to arrange an interview or RSVP to attend on Sunday, April 4, please contact:
Elliott Stares or George Torres
ESPR Miami Dolphins
Tel. 305-490-1985 Tel. 305-943-6690
About Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund
The Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Financial have joined forces to create the Sun Life Stadium/Miami Dolphins Haiti Relief Fund. The two organizations pledged to match every dollar donated to the fund with a two-dollar matching contribution, with a maximum overall contribution of $300,000. Monies raised by the Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium Haiti Relief Fund will benefit the Red Cross and other organizations that are assisting with relief efforts.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2009, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of US $411.2 billion.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF. Visit Sun Life Financial’s website at http://www.sunlife.com/us/.
About Sun Life Stadium
Sun Life Stadium, located in Miami Gardens, Florida, is a world-class sports and entertainment facility that hosts a wide variety of events, including Miami Dolphins football, Florida Marlins baseball, the FedEx Orange Bowl, University of Miami football, international soccer, the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl XLIV. The stadium has also been home to two World Series, four NFL Super Bowls, four BCS national championships, and numerous big-name concerts, including The Police and Madonna. Owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Sun Life Stadium is the premier Stadium of the Americas. For more information, please visit www.SunLifeStadium.com.
About the University of Miami Global Institute
The Global Institute for Community Health & Development aims to mobilize global collaborations in the pursuit of health and prosperity for all human beings. Led by the Miller School of Medicine and supported by schools throughout the University of Miami, the institute seeks to generate new knowledge and apply interdisciplinary solutions to impact the most challenging health and development dilemmas. The Global Institute will undertake community-driven health and development programs with a focus on underserved communities in the United States and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, helping to establish a new paradigm in the 21st century for universities in the United States, and internationally, to act as agents of global benefit.
About Project Medishare
Project Medishare for Haiti, Inc., a 501©3 non-profit registered in the State of Florida, was founded in 1994 by Dr.’s Barth Green and Arthur Fournier from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. It is an organization dedicated to sharing its human and technical resources with its Haitian partners in the quest to achieve quality healthcare and development services for all. This mission is accomplished in several ways: a continuing commitment to rural communities by establishing and funding sustainable programs; training of Haitian physicians, nurses and allied health professionals'; and providing technology, supplies and equipment to our clinic in Thomonde and other affiliated programs throughout Haiti.
For more information on the University of Miami Global Institute/Project Medishare, visit www.ProjectMedishare.org