I founded the Courageous Heart Foundation in Ashland Oregon in February 2012 after many thwarted attempts to provide acupuncture and holistic services to veterans through the VA system. The amount of firey hoops I had to jump through just to hear that “we don’t have the space,” or “we really don’t think they will be interested” was maddening. So being a good soldier myself, I hearkened to the wisdom of my drill sergeants…”if you can’t find a way, make a way,” and that is exactly what I did.
To be clear, “we” consists of me, my intern and collaborator Jen Hall-Brooks and all our amazing volunteers. So we started out really small with me providing free acupuncture at People’s Choice in Ashland. We could accomodate about 8-10 veterans on a Saturday afternoon. Shortly after Jen joined the team we move to Southern Oregon University and have been able to provide care to over 50 combat vets and their family members in a four hour period.
Our outreach clinics are free and consist of 2-3 teams of volunteers who in their awesomeness are excited to give up a Saturday morning to provide free healthcare for our combat vets. Each team is comprised of an acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapist, craniosacral therapist and Reiki practitioner.
So now we are just a bit bigger than really small and want to stay that way. This way we can focus on providing good and consistent care in our local community instead of producing huge fundraisers to pay all of our executives…which really consists of just me and my dog oso, who is also a care provider in her furry, grunty waggy way.
A quick side note, the care we deliver has far exceeded my expectations. The outcomes are exceptional and the feedback we receive from the vets and the VA (they changed their tune a bit) is all positive and encouraging. For many of the soldiers they have expressed that after a morning with us they have felt pain free and relaxed for the first time in many years. So we are doing good work it seems.
There is some magic in combining multiple therapies at the same time. It’s like a good recipe with all the ingredients supporting one another.
We are a non-profit and do accept charitable donations if you are so inclined. We have some aspirations to expand our services a bit, but the beautiful thing about a collective of folk medicine practitioners is that it is cheap to run, especially since we don’t pay anyone anything.
If you have any other questions check out the rest of the site, and if you still have questions email Joshua at firstname.lastname@example.org