2016 Herbalista Service Report

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HERBALISTA HEALTH NETWORK

2016 Service Report

Building Community Through Herbalism!  

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This past year Herbalista continued our mission of building community through herbalism by offering clinical support and educational opportunities.   We expanded our reach, offering care not only in Atlanta, but around the country and the world.

Members of  Herbalista outside the Open Door Community From L to R: Courtney, Corinne, Lorna, Chelsea, and Hannah

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Our mobile clinics facilitated a total of 38 clinics and 10 health fairs in 2016.  We worked with hundreds of folks, providing holistic care to those who need it most.

Rain or shine, the Cart makes its rounds.

List of Clinics:

16 Herb Cart Clinics

  • Woodruff Park (5)
  • The Open Door Community (1)
  • The Big House on Ponce (10)

17 Herb Bus Clinics

  • The Big House on Ponce (10)
  • The Open Door Community (7)

5 First Aid Stations

  • The Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference First Aid Station
  • The “Jungle” Refugee Camp in Calais, France (2 trips)
  • Herbal First Aid Station at Standing Rock, South Dakota
  • The Home Sweet Home Foot Care and Wellness Station in Dublin, Ireland

10 Community Health Fairs

  • The Big House on Ponce (10)

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The Herbalista Health Network continued to provide educational programming and facilitated 3 Plant Rambles, 3 Grow a Row Workshops, 5 Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshops, 10 educational series at the Herbalista Community Health Fairs, and 2 Herb Cart Weekend Trainings.

Plant Ramble in Kirkwood Forest on August 28, 2016. Atlanta, Ga

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Herbalista began to offer services abroad with Lorna traveling to Europe to both teach and serve.   In the summer of 2016, Lorna spent two months in Ireland, England, and France.

She taught the Herbalista model of community health care at both the HerbFeast Conference in Ireland and the Radical Herbalism Gathering in England.

Radical Herbalism Gathering 2016. Shropshire, UK.

Lorna also made 2 trips to the “Jungle” Refugee Camp in Calais, France, offering holistic foot care at an integrative First Aid Station in the heart of the camp.

Refugee First Aid and Foot Care Support Station. Calais, France. June 8, 2016

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Back in the States, Herbalista again facilitated the First Aid Station at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference.  This gathering is the largest herbal conference in the United States, with over 1200 women and children in attendance.  Our first aid station is an integrative clinic, staffed by both herbalists and EMT’s.

Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference First Aid Station Crew. Lake Eden, NC. October 16, 2016.

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In November of 2016, The Herb Bus drove out to the Standing Rock Reservation to offer relief work at the Oceti Sakowin Herbal First Aid Station.  Due to religious and social observances, they had a strong no alcohol policy and we were able to bring lots of non-alcoholic remedies, such as glycerites, capsules, and vinegar extracts to share at the clinic.

Standing Rock Wellness Area. Oceti Sakowin Camp, South Dakota. November 18, 2016. 

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 8.00.20 PMIn December, Lorna traveled back to Europe to continue assisting in the development of community herbal programming.

She taught an foot care workshop in London to the Herbalists without Borders UK Chapter.

Herbalists without Borders UK Foot Care Workshop London, England December 2016

We also began planting the seeds for a new community initiative in Dublin.  On December 18th, we staged HerbShare Dublin: a Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshop to prepare supportive remedies to distribute to the Homeless in Dublin to help them get through the winter months.

Medicines made at the Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshop. December 18, 2016. Dublin, Ireland.

The night before our workshop, a campaign called “Home Sweet Home” to end homelessness was initiated by local housing activists and artists.  They set up  a new shelter in the Apollo House to provide a safe place for those who had been sleeping rough on the streets for the holiday season.  Lorna helped form the wellness committee which established rotating practitioners offering massage, physical therapy, herbal support, and foot care for both residents and volunteer staff.  We were able to distribute much of our medicine via the Home Sweet Home Campaign!

Foot Care Station at the Apollo House. December 22, 2016. Dublin, Ireland

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We felt so fortunate for all of the inspiring people we met along our journey this past year!  Here are a few of the great folks who dedicate their lives to building a more compassionate and caring world!

Sister Mary who offers a free foot care clinic for the homeless at the Capuchin Day Shelter in Dublin, Ireland.
All of the health care workers and activists at Standing Rock!
Nurse Cecilia Ibeabuchi of St. Francis House, who provides foot care as a part of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.
Maggie O’Keeffe, Herbalista and Housing Justice Activist at a Resource Station outside of the GPO in Dublin, Ireland. 

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Thanks to all of our supporters, sponsors, and volunteers who make this work possible!

We look forward to building a healthier future together!

~The Herbalista Crew

 

New Uploads to Toolkit!

New uploads to the Herbalista Toolkit!
Take a little spin through the mother apotheke at Herbalista HQ; download the new template for your very own script pad; and oh so much more 😘
 
The Herbalista Toolkit is filled with the tools to help you realize your herbal project!  And the Dublin Herb Bike is a perfect example of how well it can work! Many of the forms we used to build our apothecary and also for facilitating the clinics are in this Toolkit. These downloadable resources can then be customized for your needs.
Become a sustaining member and help us as we work to build community through herbalism!
 

Herbalista Apprenticeship

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Join the Herbalista Crew!

We are now accepting apprenticeship applications for Fall of 2017.

Application Deadline – August 15th

Thank you for your interest in our work and helping us build community through herbalism! The link to the application form is at the bottom of this page.

 


APPRENTICESHIP HERBALISTA 

This apprenticeship is a blend of educational opportunity, responsibility, and hard work! We are a small operation facilitating a large number of projects.  Joining our crew will allow you to participate in the nuts ‘n bolts of grassroots community healthcare.  Please note, this is NOT an academic clinical program but an experiential opportunity.

The Herbalista Health Network, hubbed in Atlanta, provides clinical and educational services in the Atlanta area, across the country, and even across the pond.

This current apprenticeship opening is to work at the Atlanta Herbalista HQ, which is the heart of our operation.  From here we maintain the mother dispensary and facilitates all of our local programming such as the Herb Cart, the Herb Bus, the Grow a Row Program, the Herbalista Community Health Fair, and the Harriet Tubman Foot Care Clinic.

The main apprentice days of work are Monday afternoons, when we work the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic, and Wednesday’s for the other Herbalista programming.  There can also be other events scattered throughout the year, such as teaching events or fundraisers or plant processing work, that will require additional assistance.

Due to the large amount of responsibility our apprentices manage, a strong working knowledge of herbal medicine is required.  You must have a foundation in medicine making, materia medica, and western medical herbalism.  A familiarity with TCM and/or Ayurved is also helpful.


FULL DISCLOSURE:

Dedicating yourself to free community herbal healthcare is not an easy task! Basically, it’s not always a rose-scented-cauldron-stirring kinda situation.

The hours we spend in actual clinic are minor in comparison to all of the behind the scenes work we must do to keep a project like this going! There is bottle washing.  There is schlepping. There is paperwork.  There is medicine making.  There is kit maintenance.  There is organizing… and reorganizing. There is scheduling.  There is fundraising.  And yes, there is laundry and dishes.

We are the underbelly of healthcare and we take on what others won’t or can’t.  We make the best of often shitty situations.  We navigate difficult personalities and bear witness to injustice at all levels of society.  We do a lot with a little and a little with next to nothing.  We make a difference… sometimes.  We are cultivating community day by day, planting seeds and pulling weeds (which we then turn into medicine, of course.)

We self-reflect.  We acknowledge our privilege and our trauma. We acknowledge those things in the world.  We meet people where they are at. We hold safe space.  We do our best and we make mistakes. We learn and we give it another shot.  We are works in progress.

Community herbalism inspires creativity and promotes agility.  It is empowering and humbling. It illuminates your mind, nurtures your capacity for love, but can also break your heart.  For me the important thing is that we are in this together.   We have each other and we have the plants.

We are lucky to be community herbalists indeed!


This apprenticeship requires a 1 year commitment. There is no tuition fee for this program. We have between 2 and 3 apprentices on a rolling basis.  Most apprentices join the crew after becoming involved in other aspects of our health network, either volunteering for our Herbalista Community Health Fair, the Harriet Tubman Foot Care Clinic, or joining the Herb Cart Program.

If you have passion for supporting and serving your neighbors (both people and plants), if you have a basic knowledge of herbal medicine, if you can dedicate the time to our mission, and you are ready to make a commitment to our crew, please complete the application form from the link below, and return via email to Lorna@Herbalista.org

Thank you for your commitment to building a more vital and verdant community through herbalism. Viva la Herb Bus!

~Lorna Mauney-Brodek, Herbalista

Herbalista Apprenticeship Application

 

The Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic

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Painted for the 25th Anniversary of the Open Door Community.

After 4 decades of service, the Open Door Community, home to the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic, is closing its Atlanta house and relocating to Baltimore, MD.  We will greatly miss the community that grew up around the Open Door.  We will miss their leadership on important issues.  We will miss their strong opinions that spoke truth to power. We will miss their welcoming hearts that built a more loving Atlanta.

And so we found ourselves in search of a new home for our little clinic.  We were fortunate to recently receive an invitation from Mercy Church, another community center dedicated to serving our friends on the street and in prison, to begin holding foot services in their Center.  We are currently moving our supplies to their facility which is located just a couple of blocks away, and look forward to reopening the clinic in the next couple of weeks. More details to follow!

Thank you all for your support during our transition.

The Open Door

The Open Door

For the past 10 years, I have spent most Wednesday’s at the Open Door Community, be it an early morning Herb Bus Clinic in the back parking lot or staying late for the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic, as we care for the feet of our friends on the street. These offerings were only a small part of what the Open Door has shared with Atlanta these many years. They also provide free women’s and conventional medical clinics. They host educational and radically inspirational events. They serve meals and facilitate showers. They stand up for our rights. They aren’t afraid to speak truth to power. They are willing to be arrested in defense the most vulnerable. They walk a path of loving devotion and I have been so blessed by their guidance and companionship all these years.

Now after 40 years of service, the community has made the difficult decision to close the Open Door. Please follow this link to read the letter they published in their most recent edition of Hospitality.

http://opendoorcommunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/May-June2016-web.pdf

 

IMG_2612The Open Door hosted all three of Herbalista’s free clinics (the Herb Cart, the Herb Bus, and the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic) and so this is a great loss to not only Atlanta, but to the Herbalista Health Network.

While the Herb Bus and the Herb Cart will continue to service our other stations around town, the Foot Clinic will need to find a new home beginning in 2017. We will keep you posted as we adjust to these changes and rest assured, that as they say at the Open Door, “We gonna do the best we can ’til we can’t.”

Herbally yours,
~Lorna

Herbalista Expedition 2016

IMG_7391This summer I will spend several weeks traveling through Ireland, England, and France.  Each year I try to take extended tours so I can expand my understanding of the world and of the different trends in healthcare. This might be what you could call my version of continuing education.

27-29 May, HerbFeast (Cork, Ireland)
30 May, Herbalista Workshop (Cork, Ireland)
1 June, Herb Patch installation (Dublin, Ireland)
1 June, St. Anne’s Physic Garden (Dublin, Ireland)
2-5 June, Radical Herbalism Gathering (Shrewsbury, England)
6-10 June, Refugee Support Foot Care Clinic (Calais, France)
17-19 June, Body & Soul Festival (Ballinlough Castle, Ireland)
2-7 July, Refugee Support First Aid and Foot Care Clinic (Calais, France)

Update June 7th: Just finished my 2nd day working at First Aid Station in the refugee camp in Calais, France. There is much need, and I am glad to be able to offer foot care and comfort here. I will try and prepare information to share with those who are interested in making this journey.

Update July 7th: Today was my last day working at the refugee camp in Calais. My feelings are jumping all over the place and I imagine that my relatively easy bus ride back across the channel to England will only compound it. Many of the men whom I treated were from Afghanistan and knowing how much US policy has impacted their lives and the lives of their families weighs heavily on me. For what little difference it makes in the larger picture, I am glad to have had the chance to offer them at least some comfort and care.

Update July 11th: I’m back in Dublin and preparing for tomorrow’s journey home to the ATL. It’s hard to describe the growing pains this journey has triggered and I imagine the lessons from this trip will continue to reveal themselves over time. I am so grateful for the many compassionate, thoughtful, and straight up incredible folks that I met along the way. When I feel disoriented by the events that crash upon us each day, by the violence and the injustices that can feel so senseless, it is a blessing to encounter these bright lights to walk alongside. Thank you. x

And for those with more visual inclinations, here is a link to photos from my trip.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153665452172965.1073741861.558987964&type=1&l=6a74d94445

‘Practice of Medicine’

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‘Practice of Medicine’– This little phrase dictates our ability to access health care in a big way. The ‘practice of medicine,’ as currently defined by state law and enforced through subsequent federal rulings, creates a detrimental monopoly within our health care system. (Monopoly defined: the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service; this lack of competition can result in higher prices and inferior products or services.)

I feel this insult on multiple levels. As an herbalist, I must operate on the fringes since caring for my community is, by definition, a crime. As a patient, my options are diminished and the care that remains is more costly.  As a person, I am offended by the privilege and perspective of some crushing the vitality and views of many.

Oh the nuances to pick and considerations to weigh.  Oh the statutes to read and legal precedent to examine. Oh how my head hurts and will I get in trouble for using Skullcap?

At the bottom of this rant is the link to an article by Michael Cohen that I found useful.  May it play a part in helping us better understand, take apart, and ultimately transform this medical clusterf#$k.

“The current regulatory scheme, embodied in state ‘practice of medicine’ statutes and related case law, reflects an outmoded view of health care, in which the physician is the sole purveyor and guardian of health…To shift from an exclusively medical paradigm to a framework that includes touch and other forms of holistic healing does not mean that the insights, discoveries, and therapeutic devices of modern medicine will be discarded or diminished. Nor does the movement from medicine to healing mean returning to the Dark Ages or succumbing to quackery. Rather, rethinking the paradigm means freeing the law from conceptual and historical limitations, and opening to embrace a broader set of possibilities for the journey into health.” 

Mr. Cohen doesn’t just offer a critique of current regulation, but shares ideas for moving forward. And while I’m not an advocate of additional licensure as an option, I do appreciate his view of legislatively redefining the ‘practice of medicine’ so that healing isn’t restricted to the pinhole through which the American Medical Association sees the world. “On a legislative level, medical practice acts must be amended to define ‘practicing medicine’ in terms specific to the medical profession, rather than in global, functional terms derived from historical notions of physician dominance.” 

Word up Mr. Cohen!

Full article here:

http://www.camlawblog.com/articles/faqs/laws-governing-holistic-healing-some-basics/

2015 Herbalista Service Report

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HERBALISTA HEALTH NETWORK

2015 Service Report

Building Community Through Herbalism!  

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This past year the Herbalista Free Clinic expanded services by adding a new member to our fleet.  In January 2015, the Herb Cart hit the pavement to join the Herb Bus providing free herbal healthcare around the Atlanta area. 

Together these herb-stations-on-wheels facilitated 38 clinics in 2015, serving hundreds in our local community!

Duane pushes the Herb Cart towards Woodruff Park for a Sunday Clinic alongside the Food Not Bombs Crew. May 2015

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We continued to pour sweet, sweet herbal medicine, custom compounding all sorts of remedies for our patients, from teas to tinctures to oils and more!   And though we are mobile, we provide regular opportunities for refills so that we can be a service folks can depend on!  Over the course of 2015 we poured over 6 gallons of extract blends, 8 pounds of loose herbal blends, 1500 capsules blends, a quart of fixed oil preparations, dozens of aromatic inhalers, salves, spritzers and more! 

Christina in the Herb Bus Apotheke.

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We served at herbal first aid stations around the country.  At these stations, herbalists and conventional practitioners (nurses, EMT’s, ect.) work together, providing patient focused healthcare.     

Florida Earthskills Gathering
The First Aid Station at the Florida Earthskills Gathering. February 2015
Joining 7Song’s Northeast School of Botanical Medicine to serve at the CALM First Aid Station at the Rainbow Gathering in Manistee National Forest, Michigan.  July 2015.
The First Aid Station at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference in Lake Eden, North Carolina. October 2015.

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This year the Bus drove nearly 10,000 miles delivering healthcare and herbal education in Atlanta and around the country. The  2015 Herbalista Expedition was the Herb Bus’ most ambitious trip yet, clocking 8,000 miles and covering over 20 states during her 2 month voyage.

 Viva la Herb Bus!  

At well over 200,000 miles, this little bus just keeps on going!  The Catholic Worker’s Hippy Kitchen on Skid Row, Los Angeles, CA. August 2015

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 8.00.20 PMAnd while we do rely on donations from the greater community, we are always striving to create more of a self-supporting system, from seed to remedy!  This past year we watched Herbalista evolve from a “free clinic” into a “health network.”

( And we’re not done yet. Stay tuned for this year’s Seed Library!)

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Flow Herbalista

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And as usual, our programming combined service with education!

Processing Tulsi Basil, donated through the Grow A Row Program
Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshop. March 22, 2015
Creating teabag blends that will stock the free clinic at a Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshops.
The Herb Cart Service Project. Woodruff Park, ATL, GA. January 2015
Apprentices training through the Herb Cart Service Project.
Health education at the Herbalista Community Health Fair.
Health education at the Herbalista Community Health Fair. Big House, Atlanta, GA. March 2015.
It’s hard work I tell ya!  Herbalista Community Health Fair at the Big House, Atlanta, GA. June 2015

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 8.00.20 PMWe made new friends and reconnected with old ones!

Serving alongside the Foot Not Bombs Crew at Woodruff Park. Atl, GA November 2015
Serving alongside the Foot Not Bombs Crew at Woodruff Park. Atl, GA. November 2015
Atlanta Beltline Fruit Forage and Herb Ramble with Concrete Jungle. September 2015.
The Radical Herbalism Gathering, Shropshire, England. June 2015.
Botanizing in Michigan with 7Song's Northeast School of Botanical Medicine.
Botanizing and wildcrafting in Michigan with 7Song’s Northeast School of Botanical Medicine.
Picking Monarda in Montana with the lovely Kris of Hill Botanicals. July 2015.
Visiting the Olympia Free Clinic in Olympia, Washington.
Visiting Herbalist Renee Davis and the Olympia Free Herbal Clinic in Washington State. July 2015.
Serving with Occupy Medical in Eugene Oregon.
Serving with Occupy Medical in Eugene Oregon. August 2015.
Learning and serving at the Gubbio Project for the Homeless in San Francisco with Nurse Roehrick. August 2015.
The California School of Studies.
All aboard! The Herb Bus visited the California School of Herbal Studies. Forrestville, CA. August 2015.
Once again, tending the feet of our friends on the street on Skid Row. Catholic Worker's Hippy Kitchen, Los Angeles, California.
Once again, tending the feet of our friends on the street on Skid Row. Foot Care Friday’s at the Catholic Worker’s Hippy Kitchen, Los Angeles, California. August 2015.
Sitting with white sage in the mountains of southern California.
Sitting with white sage in the Laguna mountains of southern California. August 2015.
Visiting Ponderosa High School in Flagstaff, AZ, where Terra Birds is empowering youth through gardening and permaculture skills.  August 2015.

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We look forward to a new year filled with herbalistic adventures in healthcare…

Won’t you join us? ~The Herbalista Crew

 

2016 Herb Cart Training Sessions

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The Herb Cart is a service project of the Herbalista Free Clinic. We provide free, herbal first aid to communities in need around the Atlanta area, such as serving alongside the Food Not Bombs Crew, working with the Open Door Community, and supporting events such as the Herbalista Community Health Fair.

The Herb Cart Program also serves as a clinical training opportunity for new herbalists looking to expand their skills. If you have been looking for a way to put your herbal knowledge to work, if you are looking for a chance to serve your community, then here is a chance to do BOTH!!

We have scheduled two weekend training sessions for the Herb Cart in 2016. Please see the website for complete details:
www.Herbalista.org