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 forestsdying 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.

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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?

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Guest blog by Maggie Gumbinner

Last month, a group of nine Health In Harmony supporters traveled to Sukadana in West Kalimantan, where our partner ASRI operates, as part of the 2016 Friendship Tour. On the trip, they met members of the ASRI staff, saw the rain forest that they helped reforest, talked to the patients whose lives were saved at the clinic, and watched the hospital grow before their eyes. Below, Health In Harmony Board Vice President and trip participant Maggie Gumbinner shares her reflection from the trip.

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Why rain forests are important is a question with a complex answer. Rain forests are Earth’s oldest and most complex ecosystem. Fifty percent of the world’s plants and animals are found in rain forests, and scientists estimate that there may be millions of plants, insects, and microorganisms still undiscovered.

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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.

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A fundamental part of Health In Harmony’s mission is to improve the health of the people we serve. By building the Community Hospital and Training Centerin rural West Borneo, Indonesia, our organization, in partnership with ASRI, is able to provide the education and services that Indonesians need to provide health care in Indonesia, allowing people to stay healthy and live longer.

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Over the past two weeks, a group of nine Health In Harmony supporters have been traveling around Sukadana in West Kalimantan, where our partner ASRI operates. On this trip, they’ve had the opportunity to meet members of the ASRI staff, see the rain forest that they helped reforest, talk to the patients whose lives were saved at the clinic, and watch the hospital grow before their eyes. Below, Health In Harmony Board Vice President and trip participant Maggie Gumbinner shares a series of beautiful photos from their journey. Next stop: Bali! Read More

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Sitting on giant blue plastic tarps to protect from the ever-damp ground, I was among about 100 villagers in the chief’s front yard, gathered to watch two new short films about to be projected onto a giant white sheet strung across the front porch. The films, about the relationship between human and environmental health and how the villages could benefit by taking care of both, starred some of their neighbors.

I was really nervous. I had produced and directed these films. Read More

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We’re back with another edition of Research Rundown! This month, Health In Harmony Research Director, Bethany Kois, interviewed Herfina Nababan, a volunteer who recently returned to ASRI after seven years to conduct 71 in-person interviews with members of the community for a realist evaluation aimed at uncovering Health In Harmony’s theory of the change. Below she shares how ASRI has changed since her last trip, and what brought her back after so many years! Read More

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July’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between. Read More

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Today, our partner ASRI received Indonesia’s prestigious Kalpataru Award, considered the top conservation award in the country. Read More

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Imagine a beautiful place where wildlife thrives. It’s tranquil, lush, and almost completely untouched by humans. It’s a place that benefits the Earth because the plants and animals in it coexist exactly as Mother Nature intended. Many of you would call this place a paradise. Unfortunately, this paradise is being threatened. It’s being destroyed, leaving animals without a home and accelerating climate change. Rain forest conservation in Borneo is the key to stopping this destruction.

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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!

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This month Health In Harmony Research Director, Bethany Kois, interviewed Dr. Gill Westhorp, an Australian researcher who is designing the realist approach survey to evaluate our model at Project ASRI. Read More

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June’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.

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Health In Harmony has partnered with ASRI to teach local farmers about farming in a way that is helping combat climate change in Indonesia. Sustainable farming techniques reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and holding carbon in vegetation and soils.

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Guest blog by Jessie Kittle

Seven years of advanced and expensive training in the US has prepared me to be an attending in a few months. Particularly in my practice setting, expensive and complex interventions are the norm and sometimes benefit the patient. I’ve recognized throughout the years that the system that shaped me has some serious flaws. Health care access is often disparate, and we spend more time facing the computer than our patients. Futile care at the end of life and over-utilization of expensive interventions are common, and the bankrupting of patients occurs regularly (and beyond the view of doctors who contributed). I have sometimes felt my passion for this version of doctoring wane, and I came to ASRI seeking the holistic ideal of connecting with patients and improving the community with my practice.
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Rural health care in Indonesia is in crisis right now. Consider these statistics: The life expectancy in Indonesia is 67 years old. Only 5% of the population is currently over the age of 65. In addition, approximately a third of children under 5 suffer from stunted growth. Diarrheal disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and polio are some of the most common killers among Indonesians.

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May’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
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Spring has sprung, folks! The roses in our Portland gardens are blooming and so are our ideas about how to maximize impact and guide Health In Harmony programs toward greater effectiveness. With our whole staff together in Portland, we thought now would be an excellent time to introduce our Research Director – Bethany Kois – the lady charged with evaluating Health In Harmony’s programs.

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