In January 2010, Esmark Chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard learned of the enormous loss of life and devastation in Haiti caused by a catastrophic earthquake. He immediately knew that he had to do something to help and mobilized an 80-member contingent of doctors, specialists and volunteers to send medicines and supplies to Port-Au-Prince. Working in collaboration with the medical team Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and the CEO of Highmark Healthcare, Ken Melani, Jim chartered an aircraft to fly the medical team and volunteers on a mercy mission to Haiti’s capital.
Loaded with more than $15 million in medicines and supplies, the team landed in Haiti and proceeded to assist local emergency responders and doctors in getting the badly needed medicines and supplies to the victims. Their return flight was also an amazing humanitarian effort. Jim and the team brought more than 100 orphans back to the United States to be united with their adoptive parents.
Jim later orchestrated additional mercy mission flights to Haiti and continued to find ways to help Haiti in its rebuilding efforts.