One of my earliest childhood memories is of my father driving 2000 miles to fetch our chronically ill great Aunt Lucille. He parked his Cadillac hearse-turned-camper beside our front porch and it became the home-grown care center, where Lucille lived out the rest of her days. It wasn’t long after that we adopted the 96 year old neighbor Harry Dunn, who lived alone with his elderly dog. Our family looked after him until he died at the age of 104.
It just seemed natural to spend my teenage years caring for the elders in the local nursing home, and that’s what I did from the time I could drive until I graduated from college. I had decided to pursue a career in art, determined to avoid “traditional women’s work,” but after 7 years of working as a graphic designer, I had the good sense to follow my heart – and it took me back to school, to study nursing.
In 1995, I graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing. In 2006, with 12 years of experience in hospital nursing, I graduated from Winona State University with a Masters Degree in Science, as a family nurse practitioner. For the next 5 years, I worked at the Winona Clinic in family practice, providing primary care for individuals of all ages. In January of 2011, I had the unique opportunity to start a palliative care service at Mayo Clinic Franciscan Healthcare, in La Crosse, WI, and for 6 years, I worked with individuals and their families as they journeyed through serious illness, and/or the end of life.
Through all of these experiences, what I have loved best is learning about people and hearing their stories. As an advanced practice nurse, I’ve used these stories to integrate nursing’s “whole person” philosophy with the science of medicine, to optimize health and well-being. In my search for better ways to do this, I found myself drawn to the ancient practice of herbalism.
For the past 3 years, I have been studying botany, plant medicine and western herbalism. In the spring of 2019, I completed Rosemary Gladstar’s Science and Art of Herbalism program, and a 6 week internship at the United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Southeast Ohio.
Now, I bring this blend of nursing, medicine, and herbalism to a community practice. Although I haven’t parked a hearse-turned-camper in front of our home, picking plants from my garden and turning them into medicine for people in the community makes me feel like I’ve come full circle.
“Donna Kamann’s herbal remedies not only proved to be efficient in battling a nasty virus but they also provided a much needed boost to my immune system, making me stronger and more resilient in the long run. Donna is a real healer – I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the treatment she has generously offered. All the symptoms (a fever, sore throat, bad cough, fatigue) have disappeared within 3 days. Herbalism and natural therapy at its best.” Prof. Anna Nacher, Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence
“Our 22 year old son came to you and was diagnosed with depression. I wanted to tell you how profoundly he was impacted by your kindness…he left with solid ideas to help himself, and a better understanding of Seasonal Affective Disorder.” S.L.
“I’ve been on a prescribed NSAID for long-term use, and it upsets my stomach. Taking the pill with lunch, followed by a cup of Tincture of Thyme Stomach Soothing Tea has been the answer. It kept me off of more medication (proton pump inhibitor) and it has a great fennel taste.” C. M.
“During a solo Boundary Water’s canoe trip, I developed an ulcer on my heel and a red streak running up my leg. Donna gave me salve for the wound, and herbal extract for the infection. After 1 day, both were improving, and after 2 days, the redness and pain were completely resolved. The wound healed perfectly, and I was able to avoid antibiotics.” E.C.