Podcast: Leilani Johnson of Circle of Health International

Circle of Health International (COHI) is a non-sectarian, grass-roots, non-profit organization that works with women and their communities in times of crisis and disaster. They ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care, at a time when that access may otherwise be interrupted due to a natural disaster, conflict or other crisis. Some examples of their projects include sending a rapid response team of 11 women’s health professionals into Sri Lanka following the tsunami and partnering with the Acadiana Outreach Center in Louisiana to support women surviving the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Babies will come when they come, even in the middle of a disaster zone, and COHI strives to be there to help.

When an earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, COHI responded. And now, as the second anniversary of that earthquake nears, they’re responding again. They want to send Karen Feltham, a Certified Nurse Midwife and Clinical Instructor of Nursing at Binghamton University, on a 10 day trip to Haiti. While there, Karen will review existing protocols for managing emergencies, run emergency drills for complications and improve monitoring processes at the clinic. In short, she wants to teach evidence-based approaches to Haitian midwives, which will improve outcomes for mothers and babies. To help get her there, COHI is raising money, and they need your help.

The “Get Karen to Haiti” campaign is trying to raise $1000 to … wait for it … get Karen to Haiti. True to their grassroots style, they’re asking you to donate whatever you can afford, even if it’s only $10, to help ensure that women in Haiti have access to appropriate maternity care. When I was having my babies, I always knew that emergency services were there if I needed them. Most of you enjoyed that same luxury. While we may feel that many interventions are overused in modern hospitals, we also know that in some cases the ability to access them can mean the difference between life and death. So give what you can to help get Karen there. Then follow COHI on Facebook to get updates on their work.

Strocel.com Podcast Circle of Health International ClinicAfter hearing from my friend Hillary about COHI and their work, I was privileged to be able to interview Leilani Johnson, the organization’s Executive Director. She talked about the what COHI does, including the current effort to send Karen to Haiti. She also told me about a very exciting upcoming project they’re working on. If you’re a birthy type like me, and you want to hear about some very important work to protect mothers and babies, take a listen:

Next week I’ll be sharing an interview with blogger Anna Hackman. She’s an environmentalist who’s passionate about green building and renovation. Her passion is so infectious that I left our conversation feeling excited about caulk and energy conservation and picking non-toxic paint. Subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute!

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  1. Thanks so much for supporting COHI – love the podcast!
    Jeanette McCulloch’s last post … Get Karen to Haiti: A Grassroots Fundraiser for Safer BirthsMy Profile

  2. Hey Amber, that was so awesome! I get the goosebumps every. single. time. I hear about the work COHI is doing. Near and dear to my heart. We’re really excited to be right at the halfway mark of the indiegogo fundraiser and are so thankful to have your support!
    Hillary’s last post … Get Karen to Haiti: A Grassroots Fundraiser for Safer BirthsMy Profile

  3. Wish I were working, but best wishes to them and for the fundraising. I’ll post it on my FB wall.
    nelle’s last post … by penMy Profile

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