Lean for Haiti. Lean for Humanity.

Several weeks ago, I was chatting with a colleague of mine. He shared his belief that lean is an "invention" that could and should be used for the greater good of humanity. Certainly, easier, better, faster and cheaper transcends mere profit. It's about the stakeholders - customers, employees, owners, community, suppliers, etc. This is more than a noble sentiment.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake. The carnage and destruction within the poorest nation within the western hemisphere was unbelievable. And the struggles continue, including an outbreak of cholera.

Mark Graban's Leanblog recently shared a compelling story about Russell Maroni, a faith-filled, lean-practicing x-ray technician, and his 15 day mission to Haiti in February of 2010. Mark's post, One Year Since the Haiti Earthquake – The Charity Journal Publication Available Now (from which I "borrowed" the picture, copyright Russell Maroni), gives insight into the mission. It also asks for assistance to promote the story as captured within the PDF document, After the Haiti Earthquake: A Healthcare Missionary’s Personal Journal.

Russell Maroni's journal, published by Mark Graban, reflects Russell's response to a co-worker's invitation to join a small medical team visiting the earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince area. Russell is a lean trained x-ray technician at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio. The journal even sports an A3 report, capturing the countermeasures that he put in place to dramatically improve the patient flow within his radiology tent!

The real story includes:

  • Russell's faithful response to the missionary call
  • The moral and material support of his wife, co-workers, church, friends, and (most of his) family
  • Medical assessments of orphans
  • X-rays conducted on numerous patients - many to determine whom should be flown to the U.S. Comfort hospital ship and whom to operate on within the field hospital
  • Russell's training of a Haitian man so that he could take and process x-rays after Russell returned the States
  • Various construction and repair projects - new latrine for an orphanage, installation of a solar-powered street light, repair of wheelchairs and crutches
  • The joyful and grateful nature of many Haitians even amidst the confusion, poverty, and physical and mental trauma

Please visit Mark Graban's post, read the PDF document, and consider supporting an orphanage called Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH). NPH runs a free childrens' hospital in Port-au-Prince. Russell Maroni would appreciate that.

If nothing else, know that lean is about people...at so many levels.

Related posts: Humility, or What Does Dirt Have to Do with Lean?, Subsidiarity: A (Medieval) Lean Principle

There are 4 Comments

markrhamel's picture

Hi Kristen,

Thanks for the comment!

The foundation of lean is as much, if not more, about humility and respect for the individual as anything else. Russell's diary also includes some references to the UN and their seeming lack of organization and passion. Certainly, a squandering of resources and the opportunity to truly help those in need...

Best regards,
Mark

Kristen's picture

Really appreciate the connection between lean and people. It's so much more than a process and could really streamline our resources.

A great story. Thank you.

Mark Graban's picture

Mark - thanks so much for supporting this project and for your summary of Russell's journal...

Taylor's picture

The UN...now there is an organization that needs a serious overhaul.

Founded with the best of intentions, it now can only pretend to accomplish what organizations like Lean can.

Great Story.

Hopefully this can inspire more difference making actions in places like Haiti