Dr. Dick Harding served as a Presbyterian medical missionary in the
South Asian kingdom of Nepal for many years.
Dr. Harding has a bachelor's degree from Lafayette College, an M.D. from
the University of Pennsylvania, and MPH in International Health from the
Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He also studied
tropical medicine at the Edinburgh University Graduate School of
Medicine (Scotland). He did his internship and first-year residency training
in Internal Medicine at Hartford (CT) Hospital and completed the residency
at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. During this
training, he also served two years in the U.S. Public Health Service
stationed at an Indian Health Service hospital on the Hopi Reservation in
Between 1970 and 2002, Dr. Harding, his wife Suzanne, and four children
spent 22 years serving under the United Mission to Nepal (UMN). His
experiences began with in-patient, out-patient, community-based
medicine, as well as a short term as director of UMN's Tansen Mission
Hospital. Following his MPH study in 1975, he was seconded to Nepal's
national Tribhuvan University's newly formed Institute of Medicine,
developing and establishing a new training program for Community
Medical Auxiliary and later helping to establish and teach in the
Department of Community Medicine of Nepal's first medical school.
The Harding family returned to the USA in 1980. After 10 years as
coordinator of Sampson County Rural Medical Services in rural North
Carolina, he and his wife returned to Nepal in 2001. He served as director
of Lalitpur Community Development and Health Program (CDHP), an
integrated comprehensive health development program in both urban and
rural mountainous areas. After handing over the management of this
large project to competent and experienced Nepalese, he spent his last
several years as UMN's Senior Health Consultant, providing central
support for many of UMN's health institutions and programs, and initiating
a program to support rehabilitative care for handicapped and disabled
Nepali children. He organized and produced a comprehensive
management assessment of Nepal's largest government hospitals and
served on several special committees and strategic planning workshops
for the Ministry of Health. He also was a member of teams performing
evaluations of several international NGO projects.
In 1999, at the biannual convention of the Nepal Medical Association, Dr.
Harding received from the Prime Minister, the prestigious Dharma Pahari
Health Service Award for "outstanding contributions tot he cause of
medicine and health in Nepal."
In 2001, he was also honored by the Health Minister at the first general
assembly of the Nepal Public Health Association for "his effective
contributions in public health development."
The Trust Fund:
Dr. Harding decided to use the cash award from the NMA Medical Trust as
"seed money" to start the Dr. Dick Harding Trust Fund. The purpose of
this fund was to encourage innovative new programs for improving the
health of women, children and disabled in Nepal. He selected the fund's
trustees from among the most respected, mature and trusted Nepali
Christian leaders with whom had worked and developed strong
friendships during his years in Nepal. In addition, to insure continuity, he
also selected his daughter, Ellen (Jyoti), who grew up in Nepal and worked
with him as a health education specialist while she was also a missionary
in Nepal from 1993-2005. In November 2007, the Trust was incorporated
in the state of North Carolina under the name, Dr. Dick Harding Charity
Fund for Nepal, and his son, Dr. Peter Harding, was added as a trustee.