In a unique partnership, Belmont University recently became home to a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health care in Haiti. The partnership will also allow Belmont students to provide medical and educational resources as well as business development to the ailing Caribbean country.
Founded by retired trauma surgeon David Vanderpool, Live Beyond moved in May into the Facilities Management Services building at the corner of 15th and Delmar avenues. Formerly called Mobile Medical Disaster Relief, Live Beyond provides basic health care and clean water in several developing countries.
“We at Live Beyond strive to generously live beyond our culture, our homes and our wealth so that others may live. We see this same spirit in Belmont University and are excited to forge this new partnership to reach the lost and dying together,” Vanderpool said.
The Belmont location will serve as headquarters as Vanderpool and his wife, Laurie, move to Thomazeau, Haiti, a region of 200,000 people he adopted shortly after the 2010 earthquake that leveled much of the already poor nation. Since then, the Vanderpools have traveled to Haiti each month to provide medical care and food through Live Beyond. The foundation has already built a 40-bed teaching hospital in the country and plans to expand a local elementary school to all grade levels.
“This is a new day for Belmont. Deans, interdisciplinary studies and global education are making a strong commitment to work with Live Beyond,” said Vice President of Spiritual Development Todd Lake, adding the partnership is a natural fit for the University and the nonprofit organization. “Part of our vision is to give increasing evidence of Christian character of the University by engaging in partnerships with outside organizations.”
The partnership allows students, faculty and staff to participate in the ministry’s work both here in the U.S. and abroad. Nursing students will work at the Thomazeau hospital, conduct medical research and help begin a Haitian nursing school. Pharmacy students already have volunteered weekly at Live Beyond’s former headquarters in Brentwood, Tenn. and also will teach Haitian pharmacy assistants and conduct pharmacological research. The School of Education will provide tutoring and develop modern teaching methods in the country with a 53 percent literacy rate. And in an area where 66 percent of people are unemployed, business students will micro finance projects. The University also will provide pastor training and Bible studies.
Belmont alumnus Brad Paisley and wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, recently traveled to Haiti with Live Beyond and gave a financial gift to purchase water purification systems for the country that has no sewage system. Click here to read more about Live Beyond’s transition in The Tennessean.