Marie Danielle earns roughly $35 a month selling clothes at a Haitian market, while her dream is to study English and one day work as a translator. During her second pregnancy, she visited a medical center operated by Haiti’s world renowned St. Luke Foundation. At the clinic, she received pre-natal care, counseling, vitamins and enriched pasta to help combat malnutrition. As a result, she delivered a healthy baby boy.
During a typical week, the Foundation’s medical staff sees more than 1,200 patients. Men, women and children, like Marie Danielle, travel throughout the impoverished island by foot, bicycle or a packed pick-up truck to one of the Foundation’s centers to receive access to lifesaving healthcare.
Despite the desperate measures patients take to get to the clinics, there is no guarantee that they will receive medical attention. Sporadic and unreliable electricity makes it impossible to predict or plan a day’s work.
St. Luke Medical Director, Dr. Nathalie Colas, says “a reliable electricity supply would help ensure the critical needs of Haiti’s most vulnerable populations could be met.” The doctor continues, “If we could work without interruption, St. Luke’s reach could be expanded to serve the broader Haitian population.”
It was that need that caught the attention of Caterpillar. To mark the 35th anniversary of one of our most powerful engines, the Cat® 3500, the company donated a generator set powered by a 3500 engine to St. Luke’s primary medical center and campus in Port au Prince. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this 3512 (12 cylinder) 60HZ 1250kW 480 Volt generator set, it could power a 250-500 bed hospital or 1,000-2,000 households in a developing country.
“Knowing that the engine we built will help St. Luke Foundation actually save lives is an incredible feeling,” commented one employee involved in the build process. “I feel lucky to be a part of this project, one that is so much bigger than myself.”
“While most people know Caterpillar for our construction or mining equipment, Caterpillar has a long history of quietly providing power and backup power for a large variety of customers around the world,” said Tana Utley, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Large Power Systems Division. “When we were trying to decide how to celebrate this milestone for our gold-standard engine, we wanted to do something meaningful and to demonstrate the power of power.”
The generator, machined and assembled in Lafayette, Indiana with components built in Mapleton and Pontiac, Illinois, was shipped to Port au Prince from the Lafayette facility. During Lafayette’s recently celebrated 35-year anniversary, the generator was on display and employees and their families had the opportunity to take pictures with it and put their handprints on the tarp that shipped with the product. The message accompanying the shipment from Lafayette said, “From Our Hands To Yours.”
Now in Port au Prince, the generator will be serviced by the local Cat dealer, Haytrac. The dealership has been providing Cat products and services to the people of Haiti for more than sixty years.