Dr. Crandall to visit Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti

Dr. Chauncey Crandall is scheduled to arrive in Haiti mid-November to offer relief and aid to people of Haiti. Dr. Crandall has partnered with Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti, locally known as Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS) serves as a referral hospital for more than 345,000 impoverished people in the Artibonite Valley of central Haiti.  In addition, HAS provides community-based primary medical care and development programs.  An integrated rural health system, HAS is a model for health care facilities in developing countries around the world.

In 1947, Larry and Gwen Mellon were living in Arizona, operating a large cattle ranch with their blended family of four children.  Inspired by an article in Life Magazine about Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s humanitarian work in Africa and ethic of “Reverence for Life,” they started a correspondence with Dr. Schweitzer which endured until his death in 1969.  The immediate impact of their communication was a decision by the Mellons to follow in Dr. Schweitzer’s footsteps and establish a hospital to care for those in need.

Larry Mellon had to complete his medical studies.  He applied to Tulane University, which was, at that time, known for Tropical Medicine.  Despite his age (37), Larry was accepted and the family moved to New Orleans.

During the summer of 1949, Larry and Gwen met Dr. and Mrs. Schweitzer at the Schweitzers’ “home away from home” in Gunsbach, Alsace.  They had a plan, they had a mentor, but they did not yet know where they would build their hospital. 

While still in medical school in 1951, Larry met a Haitian physician, Dr. Adrien, who was visiting New Orleans.  With his encouragement, Larry took the family to Haiti for the summer where he gathered material for his senior thesis in tropical yaws.  It was then that they realized that Haiti, the abandoned Standard Fruit Banana plantation in the heart of the Artibonite River Valley, with existing homes and enough land to build a hospital, would be the perfect setting for their life’s work.

Gwen oversaw the planning and construction of the hospital while Larry completed his medical studies,  and on June 26, 1956, the doors to the hospital were opened. With Dr. Schweitzer’s permission they named the hospital Hôpital Albert Schweitzer.  At the entrance to the hospital, the words were inscribed, Reverence Pour la Vie (Reverence for Life), the philosophical foundation for Schweitzer’s thoughts and actions.  This precept guided Dr. and Mrs. Mellon as they worked together to support the needs of the people of the Artibonite Valley.  Larry died in 1989, and Gwen guided the hospital with wisdom and grace until her death in 2000.

The mission of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti is to collaborate with the people of the Artibonite Valley as they strive to improve their health and quality of life.

Please partner in prayer with Dr. Crandall and his team as he offers his medical aid to the most needy and diaster-struck areas throughout Haiti.


Mission Partners