Mental Streaming: PT as Primary Care, The Way it Should Roll. Haiti Style | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Mental Streaming: PT as Primary Care, The Way it Should Roll. Haiti Style

The following is a guest blog from Morgan Denny of STAND, The Haiti Project:

As a forethought: Four times a year, STAND (Sustainable Therapy And New Development) travels to Haiti and over the span of two weeks treats around 1800 patients. We bring teams consisting of PTs, prosthetists, orthotists, and general medical practitioners. We work as a team for every patient. The situation invokes a collaborative environment within and between professions in which there is no testable right answer. You are the only one this patient may ever see. You’re it. This is Haiti.

When I initially sat down to write this blog (let’s be honest, I probably stood since sitting is the new smoking), I just jotted down my brain explosions regarding how I feel working in Haiti and how it relates to my clinical work stateside. When I went to revise these thoughts, I decided I liked them raw. My lack of sentence structure may not paint the full picture, but I hope that the words and phrases will bring to light some real issues in our profession and how we treat, NAY! how we should treat.

PT as a collaborative primary care provider, 

Where there is and where there ISN’T access to care.

Working without ego because no one has expectations that you know what you’re doing.

No strings, no insurance, no companies scheduling shorter visits based on reimbursement

Ability to do what you think is right not just what you think you’re supposed to do
This is Haiti.

Acting as the true primary care provider, because you’re forced to use ALLLL your knowledge and skills and deductive reasoning WITHOUT all the tests and imaging

Using information and your tool box instead of reliance on other professions or testing or waiting for someone else to take responsibility

No concern about stepping on toes or pecking order, only doing exactly what is best for the patient in the moment

This is Haiti.

What happens when you leave your ego in the states, when you’re not alone, when you don’t have to pretend you know exactly what you’re doing?

What happens for the patient when they see that many practitioners are working together to help them?

What happens when you are able to brainstorm, able to pick the best option instead of the only one you can think of?

What happens when you have many views and others’ backgrounds and experience to see the problem and create a solution?

This is Haiti.

The only place I’ve been able to do this is abroad, is it even possible in the US?

Could a new model be created?

No textbook written for Haiti we always say

Forced to use knowledge and understanding of the big picture to solve the problem at hand, which is what we aim to do with patients in the states, isn’t it?

or do we fall into our patterns, breaking free is the only way to effectively treat in another culture, with different norms and frameworks to work within

We come from a society built around competition,

how fully can we learn to embrace others’ ideas with the patient outcome in mind, will this truly be at the forefront of our thoughts?

New situations force this. The expectation is not that you will know, not that you should know, and new openness allows others to win, to have the better idea, without losing face

This… is Haiti.

Can we not bring these lessons home, can we not approach each situation as if we were in Haiti?

Disarmed from the self worth and reliance of a failing system and newly freed by the knowledge that our minds and our hearts will find the best solution for each patient, even when we cannot claim the outcome….

This is Haiti.

Treat like you mean it.

For more information on how you can volunteer with STAND: The Haiti Project, contact Dr Morgan Denny DPT at or check out the website at

Check out STAND’s video for visual reference 

There is a better way to treat. Haiti-style.

If you'd like more information or would like to volunteer, please contact Morgan Denny at or Justin Dunaway at

As always, thanks for reading


Interested in live cases where I apply this approach and integrate it with pain science, manual therapy, repeated motions, IASTM, with emphasis on patient education? Check out Modern Manual Therapy!

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