Thanks-thanks-thanks, global health

Helen Holter (October 2011) CU

Helen Holter: a global health thank you

WRITER ANN LAMOTTE boils down much in life to ‘help-help-help’ and ‘thanks-thanks-thanks.’ I say ‘thanks-thanks-thanks’ to so many–Seattleites especially–who’ve taught me their own global health lessons.

I’VE TALKED WITH YOU. Or listened to you speak. Read your insightful articles or books. Viewed your web sites. Or visited the place(s) you’re working in global health. So thanks.  I’ve tried to sprinkle your names throughout this web site as a way of honoring and recognizing you, especially the global health educators. Your influence is all over me in what I choose to write, and how I write it.

BEYOND THAT,thanks-thanks-thanks’ to those who woke me up to global health and to the power of humans to change the world’s health, for better or worse. They are the Soviet and Ukrainian government officials who tore through red tape to get me to Chernobyl in 1990 when I worked as a Soviet TV news correspondent through the Netherlands’ Alerdinck Foundation. There I saw first-hand what few at that time had seen: the effect of radiation, secrecy, and human-caused disaster seeping into the lives and health of so many… many now dead.

If ever there was a wake-up call to global health, Chernobyl was my alarm. To all, I am grateful.