“My involvement starts with my admiration and enthusiasm for the leadership of Kinari, who I have known since her medical student days. And the team that she surrounded herself with, they struck me as people with ideas that our society should be listening to. I was always taken with remarkable conceit, the idea that one could trade health care to commitments to saving rain forests. Then to see the marvelous effectiveness of how health care is being delivered, especially how it has become a center for training, it is helping guarantee the delivery of excellent health care.”
- Dr. Thomas Duffy, a professor from the Yale School of Medicine, who sponsored an out-patient room
As a villager in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, what would you do if your child became severely ill and the nearest hospital was 2-12 hours away over rutted roads and impassable rivers? How would you feel if you arrived at the hospital to learn that the cost of treatment is so high you would need to illegally cut and sell trees in the nearby national park, destroying your local habitat, just to be able to afford it? Limited access to high-cost and low-quality healthcare is a daily reality for families living around the Gunung Palung National Park; a reality that forces impossible choices between short-term survival and long-term wellbeing.
We have a solution: the ASRI Community Hospital and Training Center (CHTC), which we are currently raising $1.4 million to build. The original design for the building was put together as a Georgia Tech Architectural School project with additional modifications by Vera Yusnita, an Indonesian architect, Roberto Cipriano, an architect who left his high-paying job in NYC to volunteer time towards the completion of the hospital plans and Richard Ramer, who has been instrumental in finalizing designs. It’s a model of smart, sustainable design and energy efficiency, featuring fifteen beds, two operating rooms, a TB quarantine ward, lab, pharmacy, neonatal nursery and more. It will allow us to provide more services that function as powerful incentives for villagers to protect Gunung Palung National Park, rather than log it for the cash to pay medical bills.
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The hospital will also act a “motherhouse” for Health In Harmony. Not only will it provide space for community meetings and trainings for our conservation programs, it will be a place to train people in our model; using radical listening and win-win solutions to change the face of conservation and global health through community engagement. The training center will allow leaders across the globe to expand this successful model of health people and healthy planet.
We will soon have the final drawings of the hospital building to post here, but we do have room naming and sponsorship opportunities listed here.
The new ASRI Community Health and Training Center will feature:
- Facilities within patient rooms for the patient’s family to sleep comfortably
- Easy access to ASRI’s organic garden and seedling nursery, where family members may choose to work during a patient’s stay to pay for medical bills
- Isolation rooms for patients with tuberculosis
- An upstairs eat-and-meet space with a view onto the national park
- Open, covered walkways that pass through green gardens between sections of the hospital
- Construction aimed at maximizing use of natural light
- Solar power as a backup energy source for critical electrical needs
- Equipment such as vaccine refrigerators and a blood bank, entirely solar-powered