Trina Noonan, Health In Harmony's Managing Director, is currently in Borneo visiting our pilot program Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Seeing the beautiful new hospital building, and signs of economic development in Sukadana, along with ASRI's successful reforestation initiatives, Trina reflects on how the region has developed over the years.
When my boat driver pulled out his smart phone, it was a bit of a shock. He casually scrolled through Instagram as we sped past the dense mangrove forests and wooden homes perched on stilts over the river. That's when I realized how quickly things have been changing.
Dr. Krista Farey is a physician from California who has visited our pilot program Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) on several occasions. Here is a recent update from Dr. Farey:
Greetings from Sukadana, West Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, where I have the good fortune and privilege to be serving for a third time as teaching support for the excellent team of young Indonesian doctors at ASRI clinic. The environment is as luscious as ever and my work at ASRI clinic, a non-profit linking human health and planetary health, is fun and gratifying. Medicine here remains a calling and is not just a job.
Dear friends of Health In Harmony,
I just got back from a wonderful seven weeks in Kalimantan and I want to thank you all for helping make the hospital possible. Because of visa issues, I had not actually been back since November when the ASRI team officially moved into the building. So for me, the last time I saw the building was in the first week of the team using it.
Thanks to the support of our generous donors, our partner Alam Sehat Lestari’s (ASRI) clinic in West Kalimantan provides an array of women’s health services, including obstetrics, maternity care, family planning, and vaccines for both women and newborns. They’ve also implemented new educational programs to provide materials to all of the moms and children that come to ASRI, not only for delivery services but also for general maternal and child health.
This weekend, the ASRI staff was all hands on deck to help with a BIG transition - moving the clinic into the new hospital building!
Guest blog by Vince O'Hara
Only 17% of my fellow Americans are “alarmed” by climate change, according to a recent survey. More than half (55%) rank climate change last among 23 competing political priorities.
As someone alarmed by climate change, this news is alarming. When I look around and see rising temperatures, increasing carbon emissions, declining forests, dying seas, booming human population, mass displacement, and surging migration, alongside an admirable yet insufficient international agreement that assumes that we will make fundamental economic shifts by mid-century or otherwise face unimaginable heat, I cannot help but be alarmed.
If you are like me, then you too are proudly watching as the Community Hospital and Training Center (CHTC) rapidly approaches completion.
If you are like me, you love hearing stories from community members and volunteers about how the projects at ASRI are affecting them directly and changing the way they see the world.
If you are like me, you are also looking at the future wondering, how can we do more?
In Indonesia, doctors must pay to complete their medical residency, creating a wide gap between those who can afford specialized training and those who cannot. Not only is this an inequitable system, but it means that rural areas are often void of skilled doctors. A small group of Health In Harmony donors has already given $110,000 to three former ASRI doctors currently completing their residencies. These doctors plan to return to ASRI and serve as required specialists in the Community Hospital and Training Center for five years. But they need $74,000 to finish their education. You can help keep them in school with a donation today.
Below, we share the stories of these three doctors.
Our partner ASRI's Community Hospital and Training Center is more than 75% complete, poised to serve over 100,000 people living in the Kayong Utara Regency. This hospital will allow ASRI to offer surgeries and treat emergency patients so that nobody needs to be transferred to the public hospital hours away. Check out the latest photos of construction progress courtesy of visiting photographer Roni Bintang. Thank you to all of our supporters who've made this dream possible!
An open invitation to the villages calling all loggers for hire for construction on ASRI’s new Community Hospital Training Center (CHTC) is taking sustainable construction to the next level.
Well before ASRI broke ground on the CHTC, the staff had made sure to include a clause stating they will hire 40% of local labor during the duration of construction. The labor was defined as low-skill labor to people without construction training for work under the supervision and direction of the CHTC contractor. The jobs include excavation, block laying, and construction of temporary form work to support concrete.
ASRI's Community Hospital and Training Center continues to roll along here in Sukadana as we enter our third month of construction. So far, progress has been stunningly smooth, with the overall timeline tracking ahead of schedule and far fewer headaches than you would normally expect for a project of this size and complexity. We can all confidently attribute the project's preliminary success to the commitment and dedication of the design and management teams, as well as the positive and transparent relationship with the contractor.
It was a big week in Sukadana! In between meetings with the contractors, the team met with the local community throughout the week for “Community Socialization” gatherings. They discussed the details of the hospital and community benefits, and the space allowed members of the community to come forward to voice their questions, thoughts, and concerns regarding the hospital.
Karen Ruby Brown CNM, MSN, a midwife working and living in San Diego, CA found her way to ASRI via the Osborne Foundation, which is dedicated to improving both environmental and maternal-child health and has been one of ASRI's most ardent supporters since 2007.
Stuart Smith’s daughter, Alla Smith, volunteered at ASRI in 2013 while a medical student at Yale. After learning more about the organization through her experience, Stuart and his wife Cynthia Smith were inspired to begin donating, and in 2014 decided to sponsor the laboratory in the Community Hospital and Training Center.
Alice Prussin is the Founder of Illuminosa Design. She serves as a member of the Health In Harmony Board and has been a critical member of the hospital design team. Learn more about her invaluable contribution to ASRI’s Community Hospital and Training Center!
Guest blog by Dr. Yuliana Jeng
A couple weeks ago, when I was doing my daily routine work as a doctor in the clinic, I met him. He is Mr. Helmi, our 40 year old patient with a very bad foot infection. I remember him because he left a deep impression on me. How can I forget him? I still can remember the day when he came.
Awakening to the timbre of roosters crowing up the dawn that blushes over the steamy landscape, my western-world mind takes a moment to settle. As familiar as I’ve become with Sukadana, a small village of 2,200 sitting on the edge of one of the world’s largest islands, Borneo, it never ceases to humble and inspire. In a world starved for real connections, where texts, tweets, Facebook, Myspace, and a myriad of apps substitute, ASRI stands as a beacon of hope and bastion of true human-to-human connection.
Dr. Ronald Natawidjaja, one of the doctors who has served at ASRI since 2012, was recently accepted into his residency in general surgery, which will begin in January. We are so excited to offer heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Ron!
Guest blog by Dr. Yuliana Jeng