Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 16, 1978 when the first Mass was held at St. Monica Church, Northford.
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HARTFORD – Points of Light, the world’s largest volunteer organization, has named Dr. Michael R. Bourque, a senior OB/GYN physician at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, a Daily Point of Light Award honoree for his leadership role on the "Blue Team," a medical missionary team with International Medical Missions of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

The award honors Dr. Bourque’s ongoing commitment to deliver first-class medical services to those in need. Dr. Bourque and his medical missionary team were featured in The Catholic Transcript in April 2011.

Dr. Bourque was the Daily Point of Light honoree for Oct. 14, and is the 5,065th honoree since the program began in 1989.

He will receive a letter and certificate from President George H. W. Bush, and a permanent listing on the Daily Point of Light honor roll. President George H.W. Bush established the Daily Point of Light Award in 1989 to celebrate the power of individuals, working alone and together, to spark change and improve the world.

"Points of Light are the soul of America," President Bush wrote. "They are ordinary people who reach beyond themselves to touch the lives of those in need, bringing hope and opportunity, care and friendship." Points of Light continues to present the Daily Point of Light Award each weekday as a reminder that every individual has the capacity to effect change.

"I am overjoyed and humbled to be selected as a ‘Daily Point of Light Honoree,’" said Dr. Bourque.

"The ‘Point of Light’ will shine to make a difference where it matters most. Thanks to the service of the St. Francis medical missionary team and its hundreds of volunteers, including medical, dental, surgical, translators and general support, the St. Francis mission program is changing thousands of lives through surgery, lessening the burden of ill health or disability, and transforming the way that international medical service is being delivered by enabling communities to help themselves and have a sustainable medical care system."

Shortly after the 2010 catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Bourque’s medical missionary team was invited to the village of Dame Marie, a remote community on Haiti’s far west coast impacted by devastating hurricanes and in need of help. Dr. Bourque led his team to restore a small operating room in a 16-bed hospital building to working order.

Since 2010, Dr. Bourque and the "Blue Team" have returned to Dame Marie several times a year bringing the equipment and supplies needed to set up a full field hospital and performing much-needed surgeries.

Dr. Bourque’s missions include surgical and medical teams, pediatrics, obstetrics and primary care. With the help of generous donations and hundreds of caring volunteers, Dr. Bourque’s "Blue Team" continues to respond to the health care needs of the community in Dame Marie, institute support services for nursing volunteers and provide training for Haitian medical staff.

Since its beginnings in 2001, St. Francis’ medical missionary teams have been to four countries and have increased the delivery of first-rate care to these countries.