Dr. Pascale Yola Heurtelou Gassant originally dreamed of working as an agronomist, someone who studies the science and technology of agriculture. However, she won a scholarship for medicine and her path was set. After working for 10 years, she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree and later earned a degree in pediatrics from Carlos J Finlay University of Medical Sciences of Camagüey in Cuba.
After returning home to Haiti in 2002, Heurtelou Gassant worked in a remote area for a year before relocating to Port-au-Prince. There, she obtained a position at Saint-Damien Hospital and started as a general pediatrician, training herself in order to work in the Oncology unit for the next six years and ultimately serving as the head of the Pediatric Oncology Department. She serves as a founding member of the Haitian Childhood Cancer Foundation.
“My acceptance to this program will allow me to have the right tools to better advocate for access to health care for children in Haiti and other parts in the world, especially those with cancer and others catastrophic diseases,” she says. “I also want to encourage local, regional, international and global health authorities to invest in equitable and quality health care regardless of country, ethnicity, race or origin.”
MD - Carlos J Finlay University of Medical Sciences of Camagüey, Cuba