In 1993, Reed College undergraduate biology major, Kinari Webb, traveled to West Kalimantan, Indonesia to pursue her dream of studying orangutans. There, she both experienced the splendor of the rain forest and felt the precariousness of villagers’ lives without access to adequate health care. The seeds of the connection between human and ecosystem health were planted, and she realized that to protect the orangutans, she would need to work with local communities to protect their habitat.
In Indonesia, Kinari also met Cam Webb, who today is a pre-eminent rain forest ecology researcher. Kinari went on to gain a medical degree with honors from Yale and to do a Family Medicine residency at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. During the years of Kinari’s training, she and Cam felt increasingly drawn to move to Indonesia full time, to find a way to use her medical skills and his knowledge of the forest to conserve habitat and wildlife.
In 2005, Kinari founded Health In Harmony, and in 2007 she and Cam returned to West Kalimantan. After traveling around the region to find a place with a significant human health need, viable forest still able to be protected, and an engaged local government, they settled in Sukadana, where Kinari and Dr. Hotlin Ompusunggu, an Indonesian dentist, established Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), with ongoing conservation guidance and leadership from Dr. Cam Webb. ASRI runs community-guided medical and conservation programs that work in harmony to create a healthier planet for people, animals, and the environment.
Today, Health In Harmony supports the work of ASRI, our Indonesian partner organization in West Kalimantan, by raising funds, investing in professional development, and telling the story of this unique work. Soon, we plan to scale up our model by expanding to other sites in Indonesia and beyond, to address the needs of both the planet and human well-being. Health In Harmony is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and currently employs eight staff members.
In 2008, Health In Harmony received the Mongabay “Innovation in Conservation Award” and in 2014 was nominated for the Classy Awards. In the same year, Dr. Kinari Webb was awarded the Ashoka Social Entrepreneur Fellowship and was selected as Rainer Arnhold Fellow through the Mulago Foundation. Our work has been featured by NPR, Huffington Post Live, Voice Of America, NewsHour, The Lancet, Sierra Magazine, O Magazine, and TEDx, among other journals and publications. We partner with a variety of government groups and international foundations.