Taste of the Talk | Arlene Samen, “Dying to Give Birth”

TEDxSF: Can you tell us a little about yourself and One-Heart Worldwide?

AS: I have been a nurse practitioner specializing in maternal fetal medicine for 30 yrs. Now I am the president and founder of One-Heart Worldwide. We’re focusing on training mid-wives in developing countries.

In 1997, I met His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in India. At that time he asked me to go to Tibet to help Tibetan women and children. I had no idea how to get into Tibet, but in 1998 I made my first trip. I heard story after story of women who died in childbirth. There wasn’t a day that went by without someone telling me about how their wife or their newborn child had died. After that, I brought in a team of doctors from the University of Utah so we could try to help them.

We spent over 10 years working on maternal and newborn health in Tibet. In 2008, there was a political uprising, which made it difficult for us to continue our work. In 2009, we turned the project to a local team who has continued our work. We took the model to Nepal to remote areas of the Himalayas and we are down in the bottom of the Copper Canyon in Mexico working a very small tribe of the Raramuri Indians.

TEDxSF: What will speak to in your talk?

AS: I am going to show how simple it is to save lives. With simple life saving messages, clean birth kits and delivery rooms, we can turn back the tragic tides of birth related deaths. It’s not high tech, it’s high touch.
TEDxSF: How do you live your best life?

AS: Every day I wake up and give gratitude. I bow to my self and as a Buddhist practitioner, I just acknowledge the God within me and the God within other people. I focus on living my life with compassion.

Listen to the full interview below:

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