Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Have a heart

Fundraiser will feature film screening

Express Staff Writer

A Tibetan woman and her baby are among those who have been aided by the work of health care professionals with One Heart. Photo by

There are many fundraisers and benefits around the valley, and sometimes you have to look deeper inside for reasons to commit time and money. Not for us here in Blaine County, but for the larger family of women the Anne Reed Gallery in Ketchum will host "An Evening with One HEART Tibet" on Saturday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Among associated events will be the world premiere at the Magic Lantern of Steve Crisman's documentary "Compassion: The Dalai Lama Visits Sun Valley."

The film captures the events of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit in 2005. This film captures both the events and the impact it had on the lives of people through his message of compassion.

Following the debut, the benefit will move to the Anne Reed Gallery for a silent and live auction with Dave Reynolds, who does the Sun Valley Wine Auction. There will be appetizers, beer and wine served. There will be a period set aside for a talk with Crisman about the film.

The first One HEART fundraiser in the valley was in 2005. Since then, several valley residents have joined the board and become friends with the organization's Founder and Executive Director, Arlene Samen. One HEART, which stands for health, education, and research in Tibet, counts among its supporters Ketchum residents Ann Down, Steve Crisman and Mariel Hemingway and Jay Blumenkopf. The affection and respect goes both ways.

"The local residents have such a deep love for the Himalayan region and the people and embrace the Buddhist philosophy of compassion," Samen said. "It's one of the most compassionate communities I've ever seen. I really feel Sun Valley is my second home because of that. People reach out to other people."

Founded in 1998, One HEART trains care providers at all levels of the local health care infrastructure. The organization is rare in that its programs collaborate with the local health authorities, including the Director of the Lhasa Prefecture and the Women's Federation, a Chinese advocacy organization.

With cultural sensitivity, One HEART's trained health care providers bring hope to areas that have never had education regarding health concerns and reproduction. One HEART's physicians teach midwifery skills and supply birthing kits, prenatal vitamins and life-saving medications to families in remote areas for a safer delivery.

"People want to help but don't know what to do," Samen said. "What I can do is save the moms and babies. Tibetans need us more than ever due to their isolation, living circumstances and the multiple challenges they face."

Tibetans consider the blood from childbirth to be a pollutant. If such blood contaminated the home, it could curse the entire family. These beliefs left women to deliver their children in unheated barns or sheds.

A Salt Lake City-based maternal-fetal medicine Nurse Practitioner, Samen spent 20 years volunteering for health programs in Mexico, Nepal, India, Philippines, Tanzania, Madagascar, and many parts of South America. She has been actively involved in Tibet for more than a decade and lives in Lhasa, Tibet four months out of the year to oversee all aspects of One HEART's projects and to be with her Tibetan family.

In March, Samen was chosen by CNN's panel of judges as an unheralded person who found "hope and practical solutions to some of the most challenging women's healthcare issues in many regions of the world."

For tickets visit, and click on events at bottom of page.

Fundraiser schedule

When: 4 p.m. "Compassion: The Dalai Lama Visits Sun Valley" 5:30-7:30 p.m. Gallery fundraiser.

Where: Screening at Magic Lantern with filmmaker. Entertainment, live and silent auction at Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum.

Tickets: $125 per person. Space is limited.

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