Untitled Document

PRESS RELEASE
April 18, 2013

ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
HONOR DR. JAMES P. MORGAN
FOR HIS EFFORTS TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE SERVICES
TO THE PEOPLE OF HAITI THROUGH LAMP FOR HAITI, INC.

(Newark, NJ) – During its Wednesday, April 17, 2013, meeting at the Hall of Records, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored James P. Morgan, M.D., who has medical offices in Cedar Grove and Verona, for his inspirational efforts to help the people of Haiti by providing them with free health care services through the non-profit organization Lamp for Haiti, Inc.  The Board’s commendation was sponsored and presented to Dr. Morgan by Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano of West Caldwell.

Freeholder Luciano began the presentation by saying he first learned about Dr. Morgan from an article about him that he’d read in the Verona-Cedar Grove Times.  “I was touched and impressed by the selflessness of his volunteer efforts and knew immediately that his story was one that should be applauded and re-told… and that’s why I invited him to be here tonight”, said Luciano. “It is my honor to recognize him for his compassionate efforts to help the people of Haiti by providing free health care through an organization called Lamp for Haiti, Inc., a non-profit, non-sectarian and apolitical humanitarian organization he co-founded in 2006.”

Dr. James P. Morgan (holding Commendation) was joined (left to right) by Freeholders Gerald Owens of South Orange and Leonard Luciano of West Caldwell, and Freeholder President Blonnie Watson of Newark during the April 17th presentation at the Hall of Records.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Dr. Morgan first visited Haiti in 2001, after which he returned home distressed by memories of residents living in abject poverty and without the most basic health care and other social services… so much so that he returned in 2005 with $14,000 in medical supplies to set up a temporary health clinic in Cité Soleil, a crime-ridden slum in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

From that point on, Dr. Morgan returned to Cité Soleil every six weeks to meet with community leaders and local residents to learn of their paramount needs: food, clean water, security, education… and health care, something he could do something about… which led to his proposal to establish a permanent clinic, and to the founding of Lamp for Haiti in 2006.  Ever since, it has provided quality free medical care and humanitarian assistance by working with and for the people of Haiti to improve the lives of some of the most marginalized people in Haitian society.  Despite the complications caused by the devastating 2010 earthquake, Lamp for Haiti has grown to include a primary and urgent care health center, laboratory, pharmacy and women’s center.

In keeping with Dr. James P. Morgan’s belief that the organization should help Haitians find Haitian solutions for Haitian problems, rather than having them imposed on the Haitian people from afar, Lamp for Haiti’s paid professional and support staff is comprised entirely of Haitians.  The health clinic, with a staff of ten, is open five days per week year-round, serves over 700 patients per month free-of-chargein the belief that health care is a basic human right, and treats such diseases as tuberculosis, diarrheal illness, sexually-transmitted diseases, acute respiratory illness, malaria, malnutrition and minor trauma.

Thanks to a recent collaboration with AmeriCares, a new pilot program was also established whereby AmeriCares surgeons provide two free surgeries per month for Lamp for Haiti patients at a Port-au-Prince hospital.  Lamp for Haiti hopes to provide even more comprehensive care and a reliable supply of purified water for residents in the years to come, and to remain an effective Haitian-driven catalyst for many more improvements in the lives of the Haitian people through the generous donations of individuals, corporations and organizations.

Dr. Morgan grew up in Montclair and graduated from Manhattan’s Xavier High School before earning his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Creighton University.  He served as an intern, resident, professor and attending physician at Loyola University Medical Center and Hines VA Hospital in Illinois and at New York City’s St. Vincent’s Hospital, before beginning his private Internal Medicine practice in 2005 that includes general medicine, travel medicine and hospice and palliative medicine.  He is also a member of the faculty and attending staff at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, as well as the attending staff at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

“Thank you so much for this terrific honor and for the opportunity to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart… and that’s Haiti”, said Morgan.  “I first went to Haiti in 2001, and after that experience I realized there was something about it that made me never want to leave”, said Morgan.  “The poverty and despair there was overwhelming, and I wanted to forget about it, but I couldn’t… and my work there ever since has ended up being one of the greatest parts of my career and my personal life.”  He went on to say, “We can’t fix all of Haiti, but there are some terrific things being done there, and Lamp for Haiti is one of them.”  Morgan pointed out that Haiti is considered to be the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and that Cite Soleil, where Lamp for Haiti operates, is the poorest slum in that country.  “All the problems can’t be solved all at once, but we can take one step at a time and make a real difference in people’s lives as we work toward those solutions.”

Freeholder Luciano concluded the presentation by saying, “Dr. Morgan, on behalf of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, I want to express our deep respect for your compassionate efforts to assist the people of Haiti, and thank you for your relentless efforts through Lamp for Haiti to shine a light on the urgent and ongoing needs of the Haitian people.”

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4452
Gkroessig@freeholders.essexcountynj.org

 

 

 

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695