For the one year anniversary of the Forest Guardian program, Hotlin Ompusunggu, DDS, co-founder of ASRI, talks about its inception. Based on the core values and philosophy of HIH and ASRI - that community be at the center, involved in and own the solutions of change – Forest Guardians have inspired a 45% increase in villages that have totally stopped logging. Livelihoods and the fate of the Gunung Palung National Park, home to 2500 orangutans, are at stake. You can help by supporting a Forest Guardian for only $50 per month!
Guest blog by Dr. Abhimanyu "Manu" Uberoi
Extremely eager to embark on a once in a lifetime experience, I was elated when I found out I was accepted to the Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars Program, and even more excited that I got my first choice: Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Once there, I was flabbergasted and able to appreciate what HIH/ASRI is really about. During the first week, my jaw was nearly on the floor, as I was so impressed with the institution established. The complex, community centered, multifaceted organization with all its projects: the reforestation group, the Forest Guardians, the Goats for Widows project, organic farming, DOTs, and Clinic were all intertwined.
Guest blog by Hotlin Ompusunggu, DDS and Alexandra Ristow
Alexandra Ristow, a Yale Medical Student, shares her volunteer experience with the ASRI project in Sukadana, and I reflect on trust.
Guest blog by Christina Fitch, DO, MPH
As a doctor, I work in several settings. But, the thing that everyone wants to talk to me about is my volunteer work with Health In Harmony (HIH). Likely this is because it is the component of my work that I feel most passionate about and it shows. Having just returned from six weeks in Sukadana, I am still radiating with joy at what we were able to accomplish and what I am at the heart of in my service to HIH as a member of our dedicated Board of Directors.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, is estimated by the World Health Organization to infect 400 to 500 million people worldwide each year - and to have caused the deaths of almost 200 million people. 
In rural areas like Sukadana in West Kalimantan, the village where Project ASRI is based, the disease is more prevalent. So we have distributed mosquito nets - a widely-accepted method of prevention- to families in the 30 villages surrounding Gunung Palung National Park, in exchange for seedlings used for reforestation.
Crossing the tarmac at Ketapang’s outpost airport, I am momentarily caught in a gulp of sadness. I follow my traveling companions Nichol Simpson (Health In Harmony’s Development Director) and Toni Gorog, Ph.D. (Health In Harmony’s Program Director) on board the 138-passenger Aviastar Airbus to "Fly Safe and Comfort" back to Jakarta where twenty-one hours later and a time zone or two, we’ll reach our homes in Oregon and California where winter awaits. My sadness is not because I’ve gathered up a ring of new friendships I wistfully leave behind, though that has happened, but because I know in the deep well of my heart that I’ve stepped across an invisible threshold and will never be the same again even though I know I don’t completely know how so -- yet.
"Innovations for Health: Solutions that Cross Borders"-
Sound like Health In Harmony? We think so! On Monday, March 19, Health In Harmony founder & president Kinari Webb, MD, learned that we are finalists for the Ashoka Changemakers "Innovations for Health" Award! We are so honored to have been selected as one of 15 finalists - out of over 370 applicants.
With our partners at Project ASRI, we at Health In Harmony are doing what some believe is the impossible. Our model changes the face of global health by partnering with communities, to provide quality healthcare in exchange for conserving the resources that sustain and nurture all of our lives. We love the idea of spreading the word about this excellent model.
Stay tuned for further updates this spring, as we attend the World Health Care Congress in Washington, DC, connect with other wonderful organizations, continue our work, and potentially become one of the three final winners.
SAVING LIVES AND VITAL HABITAT ONE PRECIOUS STEP AT A TIME
At Health In Harmony, with our partner ASRI, we are forging a model that is measurably changing the face of global health and conservation. How? By saving lives and restoring vision at Klinik ASRI, while simultaneously working side-by-side with and training health care providers, traditional birth attendants, and midwives in exchange for restoring the rain forest, protecting critical orangutan habitat with community-based guardianship, teaching healthy, sustainable organic agricultural methods, and providing goats to widows. And, we are getting ready to build a beautiful community hospital that will serve as a center for conservation education, training, and a foundation for replicating the Health In Harmony model.
Please join me in welcoming our new Managing Director of Health In Harmony, Michelle Bussard, who brings over 20 years of experience managing leadership, conservation and community development organizations. Here are some highlights from conversations with her references: amazing leader, incredible integrity, stunningly organized, fabulous public speaker, kindest person I have ever known, passionate, willing to make hard decisions with compassion and grace. In just a few weeks of having the privilege of working with her, I fully agree and know we are so lucky to have her. We are building our team to get ready to take our model of combining human and environmental health to the next level!
Best wishes from ASRI,
Kinari Webb, MD
Green Day – an ASRI community event to celebrate reforestation efforts - was an unprecedented success! On February 16, about 400 people came and each planted a seedling. High-ranking public officials planted side by side with school children. But more than the planting, the celebration of the forest was overwhelming: songs and poems performed, education about the species of plants and methods of planting, and then a tour of the replanted hectares showing all the progress since 2009.
Looking for a charity to donate to this Holiday Season?
Outside Magazine published the article A Year of Giving Adventurously in their November edition, listing their Top Choices for Citizen Philanthropy. Ranked as the 30 best -- smartly managed groups with transparent financials, efficient spending, and track records of on-the-ground success -- Health In Harmony is proud to have made the list!
Health In Harmony's program work is expanding and we are looking for a qualified candidate to take on the role of Managing Director. Please see below for position details and how to apply. Or download the job description file and pass it along to other interested candidates:
Founder Kinari Webb prepares to visit the US this autumn to build awareness and garner program support.
For the past 4 years, Kinari Webb has spent the majority of her waking hours focused on the operations of HIH's ASRI program on the ground in Indonesia. This September, however, she will return to the States to tell us about the program's successes, trials, milestones and plans for the future. Join an event, or schedule Kinari as a keynote speaker at your event, to learn about the innovative approach HIH is taking in rural Borneo to reverse the depletion of natural resources through efforts that target the link between human and environmental health.
To All Friends of Health In Harmony:
We are writing to you to share exciting news about the future of Health In Harmony. Our organization has grown tremendously over the last four years and, as a result, we are changing our current structure to more fully meet our mission: to provide sustainable, long-term solutions that help individuals and communities while protecting the natural resources necessary for a healthy planet.