On the first day, they served 50 patients.
"When people started to know that services were being offered at St. Francis de Sales...even more people started to come," Banatte said.
As the number of patients rose, so did the number of volunteers and services. A trauma team from the University of Maryland-Baltimore arrived to the site within weeks of the earthquake and set up tents over the field hospital. The team of volunteers then performed more than 1,000 surgeries.
By summer, the Church moved the field hospital to another site, leveled what remained of the historic St. Francis de Sales Hospital and began discussions of rebuilding. It soon became clear that if they were going to rebuild, they would have to be smart about it.
"Healthcare in Haiti is notoriously not good," said Robyn Fieser, communications officer for CRS in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"I think people started talking pretty quickly about the need - if you're gonna build this back, and build it back well - the need for long-term training and support for the future doctors and nurses."
Then there was the question of CRS' involvement. The organization has served in Haiti since 1954. The nation was one of its biggest programs, with education and literary initiatives, agriculture and several health and nutrition initiatives.But emergency relief had always been at the core of CRS' business, not hospitals and healthcare.
"We were really skeptical," Banatte said. "There were a lot of emotions. But we also thought it was the best way to honor the memory of the archbishop and to help the Church get back on its feet."
CRS also already had an established relationship with the hospital. Prior to the earthquake, Banatte was working to develop an infectious disease post-graduate program at the hospital, in partnership with the University of Maryland-Baltimore and the Haitian University of Notre Dame.
By the end of the year, CRS committed to managing the $22 million reconstruction project; in partnership with the local archdiocese, the Catholic Health Association and the Dominican Republic-based nonprofit Sur Futura Foundation.
It was clear that if they were going to rebuild the hospital, they would have to rebuild it to last.
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"What will set it up to run for the next 50 years without having to depend on constant support and subsidy from the outside?" Banatte said.
Banatte and his team did extensive research into soil assessment and earthquake standards. They met with Partners in Health, which was constructing a similar 300-bed facility, to get recommendations for contractors.
They also began an economic feasibility study, which Banatte said was key to the success of the hospital.
"The Church used to have this hospital providing charity care in the most needed areas of Port-au-Prince," Banatte said. "The Church wanted to be back in a position to be able to do so, but not to be running out of bankruptcy."
"As we are rebuilding the walls, we also have to rebuild the mentality, the way the Church would conceive the delivery of high-quality care in a charitable way. The construction followed that business model."
They developed a system of public and private care to ensure private care - which makes up about 25% of the hospital today - would subsidize free care. The hospital also has its own oxygen plant and it sells tanks of oxygen as a revenue stream.