Our Philosophy | What We Do | Mobile Holistic Health Care Project |
Holistic Healthcare Community Outreach & Support
| Volunteers |
Volunteer Highlight
| Supporters | Board of Directors


Herban Health is an East Palo Alto based non profit corporation offering holistic health care to local residents. Holistic healthcare works to make good health through supporting the whole person: physical, mental and spiritual. We at Herban Health have been providing holistic healthcare in the extended East Palo Alto community for six years, by working directly in community based organizations in order to reach people in their own environments. Our goal is to help people with limited resources help themselves to live in a more balanced and healthy way.

We have been providing the following services, based in the ancient healing arts. We regularly increase the services that we offer based on what community members need and want matched to the service providers with whom we work. We offer our services freely and by donation only:

  • Acupuncture clinics
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Nutrition
  • Education classes

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Our Philosophy


Herban Health consists of believers and practitioners of the ancient healing arts whose goal is to use the wisdom of those arts, along side of the science of healing, to provide support to those people who are struggling in the margins of our societies.

We come from the belief that:

  • People themselves understand best their own circumstances and we honor and strive to support those who want to heal themselves.
  • Inequality of access to resources is ingrained in our healthcare system which affects the entire fabric of our society.

The ancient healing arts are based on the principle that individuals need the tools to lead a balanced life: physically, mentally and spiritually. And while societys health disparity must be struggled against on a system wide basis, there is great healing that can be done on an individual and group basis with the right tools.

We can and must as practitioners of the healing arts share the gift of that wisdom with those who are struggling to survive in a world surrounded by forces beyond their immediate control but who have the will to persevere, such as the homeless, people in recovery from drugs and alcohol, people who are vulnerable due to racism, ethnocentrism, chronic healthcare problems, sexism, homophobia and violence.

In addition to working to provide institutional access to holistic healthcare services, we can and must find ways to serve those individuals who want to improve the quality of their lives even though they have so few resources, and we at Herban Health are seeking all the ways that we can do that.

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What We Do

Herban Health has two main categories of activities: the East Palo Alto Mobile Holistic Health Center (EPAMHHC) and the Holistic Healthcare Community Outreach and Support Project. (HHCOSP)





The purpose of the East Palo Alto Mobile Holistic Health Center (EPA MHHC) is to provide holistic health care to communities with limited access to healthcare in a manner that is convenient to community members and is responsive to their needs. This form of holistic healthcare can then serve as a model for other communities.






The purpose of the Holistic Healthcare Community Outreach and Support Project. (HHCOSP) is:

  • to promote the access of holistic healthcare to communities with limited access to healthcare through creating and building on exisiting models;
  • to develop partnerships with community based organizations who are providing healthcare in these communities in order to link organizations and individuals who practice the many forms of holistic healthcare;
  • to provide technical assistance for community based organizations which have an interest in integrating holistic healthcare into their services; and
  • to develop ways to increase the number of people of color and medically underserved people entering the holistic healthcare field.

One of the ways that we are furthering this purpose is to create a Bay Area Healthcare Consortium, where community based organizations that are serving medically underserved people can be linked to holistic healthcare providers willing to donate their services. We are organizing a pilot project in the San Jose, California area where we are going to link at least three community based organizations providing services to the medically underserved with at least three organizations willing to provide free holistic healthcare services. The goal of the pilot project is to

  1. Provide services where they are needed
  2. Develop systems in order to facilitate the matching of needs with resources, and
  3. Document and critique the results of this project in order to expand its use, eventually to the entire San Francisco Bay Area.


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Volunteers are what make Herban Health strong. Please help us celebrate our volunteers with this month's Volunteer Highlight!


Volunteer Highlight: Oralia Montoya



Oralia has been a steadfast volunteer for Herban Health for almost five years. She has helped in our Saturday clinics with retrieving files, and assisting patients with completing forms and translating for the practitioners; she has also served as the translator in different forums such as nutrition and yoga classes, as well as creating new forms, and translating many handouts. She is a tireless worker and has been essential in our being able to serve as many people as we do. Her many ideas are always appreciated and helpful!


Previous Volunteer Highlight: Joyce Choy-Pik Chiu



Choy-Pik has been a major factor in the success of Herban Health, volunteering at our clinics and at all phases of the organization's planning and implementation. Most importantly, her good heart and commitment to helping people in need has been an invaluable gift to Herban Health.

Choy-Pik is a licensed acupuncturist with a Master degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and practices part time at her San Jose clinic, provides acupuncture at Asian American Recovery Services, as well as volunteers with Herban Health.  Prior to becoming a Chinese medicine practitioner, she received her Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology from Stanford University and did post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School.   She had over 15 years of biomedical experience in the biotechnology industry and managed research teams developing drug and cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases. 

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Herban Health would like to thank all of donors, small and large. Without them we would be unable to do our work, and therefore we extend to them our heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

We would like to take a moment to highlight one of our donors, Bill Somerville of Philanthropic Ventures, whose grant to Herban Health in 2010 has allowed us to strengthen and extend our services.


Bill Somerville, CEO of Philanthropic Ventures



President and Founder of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, Bill brings 48 years of experience in non-profit work, including 17 years as Executive Director of the Peninsula Community Foundation.

Bill is nationally recognized as an expert on creative grantmaking. He has consulted at over 400 community foundations in the United States, Canada and abroad on effective operations and grantmaking. Bill publishes the periodical Building Community Foundations, distributed to 950 community foundations worldwide. He currently teaches courses on philanthropy at Stanford University, UC Berkeley's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and Laney Community College, in Oakland, CA.

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Board of Directors



Patricia Foster



Ms. Foster is a former East Palo Alto City Council member, and currently acts as the Executive Director of the organization Girls to Women. She has over 22 years' experience as a resident and a community empowerment advocate in East Palo Alto. Before founding Girls Two Women late last year, Pat led a profound revitalization of the Girls' Club of the Mid-Peninsula, developed other after-school programs for at-risk youth, counseled juvenile offenders, connected service agencies with volunteers, taught basic English and math skills to low-income adults from immigrant and disadvantaged backgrounds, and facilitated community development and economic empowerment strategies.

As a woman of color and an immigrant herself, Ms. Foster's familiarity with the vulnerabilities and strengths characterizing families among marginalized constituencies goes beyond the professional level to the personal.


Ruben Abrica



Mr. Abrica is currently serving as an East Palo Alto City Council member.

He is also an Instructor at De Anza Community College in the Intercultural/ International Studies Division and serves as adjunct faculty in the Teacher Preparation Department of The National Hispanic University.

His professional work in education includes working in educational research, supervising tutor-counselors for Upward Bound, teaching ESL and adult education, working as a consultant for the California Department of Education, and serving as a Spanish Language Trainer for Peace Corps.

Mr Abrica received his M.A. in Education from Stanford University and did graduate work in Linguistics at UC San Diego. He has lived in East Palo Alto for 30 years and has been involved in a variety of community endeavors. He currently serves as Mayor of the city of East Palo Alto. During the 1990's he served on the Board of Trustees of the Ravenswood School District. Mr. Abrica was also involved in the incorporation movement and served on the first East Palo Alto City Council in the 1980's. He is a founding member of the Ravenswood AYSO Soccer League for boys and girls, the Comit Latino and the East Palo Alto Council of Tenants.


Dyanne Ladine



Ms. Ladine has worked for over forty years for economic and social justice, by partnering with and being on the Boards of many community based organizations, organizing with others several community based organizations such as Lettuce Work Women's Cooperative, EPACAN DO, and Herban Health, all in East Palo Alto CA. Additionally, she has taught at Notre Dame de Namur University for over twenty years and has degrees in law, business, religion and Oriental medicine.


Lillian Barden



Lillian Barden, PhD, currently serves as Professor Emeritus in the School of Business and Management at Notre Dame de Namur University. She has extensive experience in management and finance with both for profit and non-profit organizations. Former Chair of the Intensive Business program at NDNU, Lillian remains active in consulting work with non-profits in San Mateo County. Prior to her work at Notre Dame de Namur University, Lillian taught project management at St. Marys College in Moraga for several years.






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