Our History

In 2008, a group of pioneers in health care, comprised of Vermonters from Putney, Brattleboro, and Guilford, naturopaths from Connecticut, and Ayurvedic physicians from Washington and Massachusetts, dared to challenge the assumption that naturopathic medicine is complementary to conventional medicine. They sought tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a health care organization that utilizes naturopathic medicine as the basis for primary health care. Their efforts were rewarded in 2009 when HeartSong achieved status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt outpatient hospital. To the best of our knowledge, HeartSong is the only naturopathic medical clinic with this status in the United States.


Nonprofit Health Care

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in health care in the United States, filling gaps in service availability provided by for-profit or governmental agencies. They are also typically innovators in the development of new services. HeartSong was founded because of growing evidence that for-profit health care does not serve individual and community health needs as well as it could, and to encourage people to support nonprofit naturopathic medicine as a means to improve the quality and availability of holistic health care in the United States.

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Community Benefit

501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit health care organizations are legally and ethically required to use earnings to benefit the community -- to cover the cost of services, to increase offerings, and to improve quality and efficiency. Activities that meet the IRS standard for community benefit include health care for at-risk populations, uncompensated care, community education, medical education and research.

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Collective Governance

Nonprofits are governed collectively by people from the communities they serve. These people set goals for the organization and ensure that activities are conducted in a manner that is fiscally responsible and reflective of organizational values. They usually volunteer their time. HeartSong has two governing bodies and one advisory group. A Board of Directors (BOD) supervises operations, quality and vision. A group of Hosts (members) -- people familiar with HeartSong's history and its local community -- oversee the BOD to ensure organizational integrity. The Advisory Board, comprised of local and national leaders in natural health care and related fields, offers expertise related to specific areas of service delivery.

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Organizational Integrity

Organizational integrity refers to an organization's ability to operate in a principled manner to achieve desired outcomes. HeartSong's Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, written according to federal and state guidelines, define us as a legal entity. They are a matter of public record.

Since non-profit organizations serve to benefit the communities where they operate, organizational transparency and accountability are key. Transparency is achieved by preparing clearly stated policies that describe how the organization operates. In 2012, HeartSong developed internal self-governance policies using the Policy Governance® Model, an integrated board leadership paradigm designed for non-profit organizations by John Carver.

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Sustainable Business Practices

HeartSong is committed to improving individual and community well-being through an approach to health care that empowers people to engage in lifestyles that promote personal and environmental health. As an organization dedicated to ecologically sustainable medicine, we make every effort to conduct our business in a way that protects and improves natural resources

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Click here to see the structure of our organization.

Hear what members of our governing boards have to say about HeartSong


Annual Report

Click here to read our 2012 Annual Report