Current member Cornelia Wathen of the Rondout Valley Holistic Health Community
Compiled by Katie Clayton
In March 2017, the Rondout Valley Holistic Health Community celebrated its fifth anniversary. Since its inception, RVHHC’s mission has been to facilitate collaborative holistic healthcare in its greater community through donations, exchanges, or the concept of “paying it forward” through acts of kindness to others.
RVHHC holds regular, and very popular, Community Holistic Healthcare Days on the third Tuesday of every month, where an average of 18 holistic practitioners and 12 administrative volunteers offer their services at no charge for four hours starting at 4pm. In 2016, an average of 50 clients were serviced each month. A total of 269 clients came at least once in 2016, while many came back repeatedly.
The mission of the Rondout Valley Holistic Healthcare Community is to provide “affordable holistic healthcare for all.”
When did you help co-found RVHHC?
RVHHC was started in 2011 when three local women met at the Transition Marbletown trainings. Sharing the dream of starting a local and holistic health center, we decided to work together, gathering inspiration from two already existing models in Maine and Ithaca. A very informative and collaborative experience with these groups led to sustaining our commitment to a “community dream.” Since then we’ve been joined by several other women and men to form an “organizing council.”
How is RVHHC unique from other organizations?
RVHHC is run entirely by volunteers and is a nonprofit corporation that offers a wide variety of holistic healthcare practices. Our events offer free health care to those who attend ranging from a holistic doctor, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, reflexology, orthobionomy, a variety of energy healing modalities, and a variety of psychological modalities. We also offer monthly educational classes for community members to learn more about ways they can practice self-care independently.
How would you like RVHHC to grow in the future?
Our dream is to one day have a building of our own; until then we will continue to remain grateful for the use of the Marbletown Community Center.
Why do you think it’s important to have this kind of community in the Hudson Valley?
We deeply believe in holistic health care; we feel there is a lot left out of Western medicine that needs to be addressed in regards to the emotional, energetic, and spiritual sides of our health. We are making holistic healthcare available to our local community but are constantly working to extend beyond that. At the moment we are in the ground stages of a film project with an intention set to showcase our model of a holistic center to give as a gift to the community and practitioners across the country.
What is the purpose of the Community Holistic Health Days?
They’re for everyone, regardless of whether the people who come have health insurance or not. Insurance does cover some forms of holistic health care but certainly not all the things that we offer. We want the community to come out and have the opportunity to explore things they’ve never explored before. Prior to the start of our events we clear the space and hold an opening circle for practitioners and volunteers to fill the room with love. The group intention of healing and togetherness in the space is very powerful and we believe that the members of our community who attend can feel that when they enter the room.
How have Currents been used in your business, or how do you intend to use them?
A number of our practitioners accept Currents for their private practices. We are eager and willing to accept Currents either as a donation at our events or for other educational and health care purposes.
For more information about RVHHC, visit www.rvhhc.org. The Community Holistic Health Care Day this month is Tuesday, May 16, 4-8pm at the Marbletown Community Center in Stone Ridge.