Kartini Clinic was founded in 1998 by Dr. Julie O’Toole, at the time a general practice pediatrician in Portland. Originally designed as an outpatient program, it soon became clear to Dr. O’Toole that most seriously eating disordered patients could not be treated adequately on an outpatient basis. The Kartini Clinic Day Treatment Unit was created in 2004 to provide medically necessary and clinically appropriate eating disorder treatment for children and young adults. From the outset our program has been family-centered with a strong medical emphasis on prompt, adequate weight gain as a prerequisite to a resumption of normal growth and development. Since 1998 Kartini Clinic has treated more than 3000 patients and their families from around the country and around the world, from every walk of life and every conceivable socio-economic background. Since the beginning, our clinical work has taught us that parents don’t cause eating disorders and children don’t choose to have them. Scientific evidence has since proven this to be true.
Who was Kartini?
Raden Adjeng Kartini was a princess from the island kingdom of Java, now part of modern day Indonesia.
Born in 1879, her life was severely narrowed by social restrictions and taboos, the common lot for women of her era. What was uncommon was that her father and brother allowed her to attend a Dutch elementary school across the street from the family’s compound. Kartini’s education and ability to read, write, and speak Dutch set her apart from other young women. Far from flaunting her advantage or settling into feelings of superiority, Kartini spent her short life planning for the education of other women. This is a quote taken from one of the many letters she wrote to her Dutch friend Stella in 1899 when she was twenty:
“I have been longing to make the acquaintance of a ‘modern girl,’ that proud, independent girl who has all my sympathy! She who, happy and self-reliant, lightly and alertly steps her way through life, full of enthusiasm and warm feelings; working not only for her own well-being and happiness, but for the greater good of humanity as a whole.”
By naming our clinic after Raden Kartini, we honor the spirit of a young Javanese princess, very much like your daughters and our own. More information about Kartini’s life and times are available on Wikipedia.