New York N.Y. Shortly after the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Dr. Lauri Grossman, a New York City-based homeopath flew into Port-au-Prince with a team from Homeopaths Without Borders. Together with other nurses and doctors she wished to bring healing and comfort to the hundreds of thousands of people impacted by the earth’s tremor. Lauri (as she prefers to be called) left behind her successful Upper West Side practice, her teaching responsibilities and her speaking engagements because she’d worked in disaster areas before – for many months with trauma teams at Ground Zero in NYC – and because she knew she could make a difference by training health professionals in Haiti and by treating people- one man, woman, and child at a time.
“It took us days to get to Port-au-Prince. The airport closed and flights were cancelled, but we persevered. We flew to the Dominican Republic and found a man who drove us over the mountains in a van whose doors flew open on each and every bump in the road. There was little food to be found so we shared peanut butter and dried fish and whatever else we were able to pack in our bags. No one brought extra clothes. The space in our luggage was saved for essentials- food, water, and homeopathic medicines,” Lauri said,” but the people of Haiti were wonderful. They were incredibly grateful for the support of the international community and did whatever they could to help us, finding neighbors who could help translate, bringing the wounded to our makeshift clinic, and standing in line with the aged. I wish we could have done more, seen more patients, helped more families – and I realized that in order to do so, I needed to create a broader plan.”
Fortunately the American Medical College of Homeopathy (AMCH) was there to provide support. The college has a deep commitment to expanding the reach of its American-based programs and was more than willing to provide teaching materials for doctors and nurses in countries in need of safe, effective, low-cost and low-tech healing modalities. So Lauri began to spread the word that AMCH was willing to partner with institutions in developing nations to create sustainable programs that could make a difference in the health of their people. Within months, Lauri’s computer screen was filled with emails and Linked-In messages from health professionals and community leaders from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
According to Dr. Todd Rowe, President of the American Medical College of Homeopathy, “Lauri is an enormous asset to the college. She demonstrates and lives the qualities of humanism and serves as a humanistic model to all of those around her.” Lauri feels strongly about her ties to the school:
I am so grateful for the commitment of the American Medical College of Homeopathy and for President Todd Rowe’s willingness to provide AMCH’s curriculum to health professionals in emerging countries, particularly those challenged with conflict or violence.The model is very simple and very scalable – provide teachers and materials to train conventional doctors and nurses so they can train others and organically build capacity.
For relatively little money, we can treat many people particularly in areas where there is no access to healthcare – no hospitals, no clinics, no costly medicines. We are determined to identify partners and build quality educational programs and delivery systems for the homeopathic medicines which the majority of countries count on at least as much as costly and difficult to find pharmaceuticals.
Lauri is a woman of action, who focuses her time and energy with organizations that “walk the walk.” Recognizing the need for more care in Afghanistan, for example, Dr Lauri found a young physician, Dr. Abdul Nasir, passionate about bringing a homeopathic system to Afghans, and she immediately began a steady stream of communications and partner development. Today, as the Medical Director of Champion Technical Training Centers, Dr. Nasir has put in place the support of the Ministries of Health and Education, and has received a pledge of a complete floor of a small, modern hospital in Kabul to set up the country’s first Homeopathic Care Center.
“With the help of Dr. Lauri and the AMCH’s generous gift of curriculum and training systems, we have been able to accelerate the work necessary to build as high quality a program as our friends in India,” Dr. Nasir said. Homeopathy is the number one form of medical care in India, where millions of people are treated each year by highly skilled doctors, nurses and homeopaths. “Dr. Grossman has also given me the confidence and information I personally needed in order to move forward and fulfill this dream.”
Lauri has also pledged to help bring programs to Kenya, through a new partnership with Care for Kenya, an organization that brings health services, vocational training, and economic opportunities to women. “With a system in place, we can easily identify and begin working with NGOs and other organizations who already have established facilities. There, doctors and nurses trained in homeopathy can meet with patients and provide ongoing low-cost care. Community members with an interest in health can learn simple home care methods as well. So we can see an improvement in maternal health, the well-being of infants and children, and the health of the family all-around, In addition to having the support of an institution like the AMCH, we have the support of pharmacies like Hanneman Labs, a company that has frequently donated provisions for medicinaries for areas in need. So there is no cost to maintaining on-going services.”
Thinking big – for example, creating a homeopathic system in Afghanistan – or thinking small – getting training and treatments into small villages in Africa – Lauri’s concentration is on the practical. “I am tired of all the talking going on in the international aid community,” she said. “It’s one thing to discuss dreams, but another to take action– and I prefer working with the people who take their dreams and turn them into effective programs.”
Lauri heard the call to serve humanity as a healer decades ago and her passion for the mission increases every day. Like many homeopaths, she knows that natural medicines can treat the whole person in a safe and gentle way that works with the body’s innate healing potential. Health improvement is possible in areas that still stymie conventional doctors: areas like PTSD, chronic disease, and many childhood illnesses. Homeopathy is 250 years old and practiced regularly around the world. For a variety of reasons, people in the United States have less knowledge and access. Perhaps the work Lauri is doing to bring integrative healing to other countries and the results health leaders are witnessing, will resonate with Americans who are inundated with expensive medical practices and pharmaceuticals. Then her work will come full circle and the gifts of Dr Lauri Grossman and the American Medical College of Homeopathy will bring healing and humanism back to their native land.
Lauri Grossman is a licensed chiropractor and homeopath. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Hahnemann College of Homeopathy. While traveling with and for the American Medical College of Homeopathy and spending several months a year on service missions, Dr. Grossman developed the curriculum in Homeopathy for the graduate nursing programs at New York University and the College of New Rochelle. Known and respected as an expert in integrative care, Dr. Grossman has taught at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Hospital for Special Surgery, Lenox Hill, and Columbia Presbyterian Hospitals.
Cynthia Artin | The Inspirers
Cynthia Artin has been writing for The Stewardship Report since 2011, starting with her column An American In Afghanistan. Back from Kabul, but still very active in supporting Afghan social entrepreneurs, she is now inking a weekly column on leaders in humanitarianism who are creating innovative and efficient models for positive change and sustainable impact. Cynthia is Founder and President of Artin Arts and a Global Advisor to The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation.
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