Lisa Gomer was co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization Himalayan Healthcare, Inc. A graduate of Harvard Law School, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Stanford University, Gomer’s integrative and interdisciplinary training enabled her to create a unique approach to global health care efforts. The creation of Himalayan HealthCare started off as a dream between Gomer and her partner Anil Parajuli to start a primary health care NGO in Nepal to reach the poorest of the poor living in remote mountain villages. Neither Gomer nor Parajuli had any significant contacts or sources of funds. Both worked for free for a long time using their own funds to start this NGO as a real labor of love. Gomer worked to raise resources to implement primary health care, adult literacy and income generation projects in the area. She also raised awareness of the plight of the Nepali people by organizing medical treks with American doctors, dentists and nurses as volunteers.All of the staff for the programs were Nepalis and many were local people living in the villages that were being served. Allowing citizens of nations to be involved in such programs initiates self-sufficiency and eventually self-reliance. Too often, have NGOs entered an arena to be found vested in a program effort for years or decades, only to find little progress toward development and recovery. Gomer and Parajuli’s strategy in Nepal may prove to be an effective model for primary healthcare in very poor countries with a population spread out over difficult terrain. Although small, the NGO has now been running for over 20 year and has made significant progress in improving health conditions in several mountain villages in Nepal.
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