The San Mateo County Medical Association in California has awarded its Distinguished Service Award for this year to Dr. Nancy Harris for her contribution towards improving the health of the Tibetans in Tibet.
Harris runs the Terma Foundation which implements public health programs including nutrition, education, primary and preventive health care among the Tibetan people. Terma was founded in 1993 as the Tibet Child Nutrition Project (TCNP).
Harris started thinking about working with the children of Tibet in 1990, on her first trip there. The Noetic Sciences Review of Spring 1993 quoted her as saying, "I had just arrived in Lhasa and I found myself thronged by children, begging, an uncommon sight in China. To distract them I began asking them their ages, and children I would have guessed were six or seven said they were thirteen. I was shocked by their markedly short statures–particularly in comparison to children I observed in other provinces of the People’s Republic of China and to Tibetan children outside of Tibet."
Harris received the award at the Stanford Faculty Club in Palo Alto on June 25, 2003.
"Harris said she was very surprised to have received the County's award and considers it a great way to be "reinstated" with her peers in the Bay Area medical community," the San Mateo County Times reported on June 26, 2003.
In addition to running these projects Harris has also written informative papers on the health situation of the Tibetan people. These include "Nutritional and Health Status of Tibetan Children Living at High Altitudes" in the New England Journal of Medicine and "Effects of Age, Community Location, and Illness on Nutritional Status of High Altitude Tibetan Children, 0-7 Years" in the International Journal of Child Health.
Harris lives in Moss Beach, CA, but travels frequently to Tibet. You can visit http://www.terma.org for more information on Harris' work.