Why This Project Matters To Me
Jamie Menzel is a community herbalist from the Northwest who started this project out of a desire to increase herbalism's relevance in crisis situations. She's been interested in herbs and wildcrafting for a long time, and is primarily focused on harm reduction and acknowledging racial and other health disparities due to trauma experienced because of race, sex, class, and gender presentation. She is explicitly interested in working with homeless and under-served people who've historically been offered little to no access to holistic healthcare.
Jamie studied herbalism at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies in Portland, Oregon, and the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon. Beyond botany and herbalism, Jamie has also studied anatomy and physiology, as well as physical assessment skills for the clinical herbalist with renowned herbalist Howie Brounstein. She was the Executive Director of a non-profit in Seattle called AHAC, the Alternative Healthcare Access Campaign, which served to bring alternative healthcare to various homeless shelters and encampments around the city. Before AHAC, Jamie also volunteered at a homeless drop-in center in Olympia, Washington, where she first gained insight into the dangerous gaps in our western medical system, felt most acutely by those already burdened by poverty and other forms of oppression. Since moving to Oakland, California, Jamie has taken classes with both Charles Garcia and Joshua Muskat, further honing her clinical intake and street-level herbal skills, and she is a current volunteer at the Street-Level herbal clinic with Michelle Steinberg.
How It Will Work
With the money raised through this campaign, Jamie will be purchasing all materials necessary to run a no-cost mobile herb clinic, five days a week, for one entire year. Some of the infrastructure and necessary materials to run a low-budget clinic that these funds will support include:
- A vehicle, such as an RV or Box Truck, as well as the gas, oil changes, & other routine maintenance costs to keep it running
- A Stethoscope, Otoscope, Reflex Hammer, & Blood-Pressure Cuff
- Herbs to be purchased in bulk from local herb shops, or by mail-order from reputable herbal businesses, such as Mountain Rose Herbs
- High-grade alcohol, for use in tinctures, as well as hundreds of amber dropper-top bottles for administration of tinctured formulas
- Latex & non-latex exam gloves, disposable table paper, a thermometer, medical light, antibacterial soap, & sharps container
- A tea kettle, hundreds of to-go cups, & plastic sandwich bags
- Pup-tent & several folding chairs
- Several locking file cabinets, file folders, & photocopies
- Parking permits
- Staffing costs
- Other extraneous office supplies, such as pens & clipboards, as well as all unforseen costs that can only be discovered through experience
How You Can Help
Especially at the beginning, helping to fund-raise and hyping the
project are really useful ways to help get things off the ground. Consider donating to this project in whatever capacity you are able, as well as helping to spread the word to local businesses, friends and family, and other public healthcare advocates who may be potential allies in our goal of providing free, alternative healthcare to homeless and underserved people in our community.
Herbalist & Founder