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Our Story


Pohala, A Place of Healing

A sense of Ohana exists at Pohala. Ohana is the Hawaiian word for family. At Pohala we genuinely care about everyone’s health and well being. We have had many instances where our patients while saying good-bye at the clinic, tell us “I love you.” Who are we? Who are we becoming? When seeking to know ourselves and contribute to humanity, how can we remain intact to be of service, as if each life contributes for the betterment of humanity?

Pohala provides a sacred space for these questions to unfold. At Pohala we recognize that healing comes in many forms, through many doorways.

We believe that it is essential to meet each person with where they are at, in their own stage of healing. On the surface it may be as simple as working with a certain modality to gain access to healing.

Our hope is that at Pohala a person can access healing through the physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual planes.

Pohala houses a model of Integrative Family Medicine bridging mainstream medicine to anthroposophy, naturopathy, and indigenous wisdom.

When we consider that we are all one, knowing that what happens to you, happens to me, we can see that our lives and experiences have a common denominator: LOVE.

As a native Hawaiian, hapa mainlander Julie Foster, Founder of Pohala and Medical Director, holds a deep curiosity for healing. In the Hawaiian way we speak about living our ‘Kuleana.’ In one definition Kuleana is knowing one’s responsibility for this life and standing up to live it.

Today we see the efforts and results of all us living our Kuleana in one way or another.

Julie sees her service as a Family Nurse Practitioner for Pohala as her Kuleana. Her lineage can be followed back to King Kamehameha III. While on the Big Island, visiting the Place of Refuge- Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau and the local ancient healer’s village- Lapakahi she pondered “Where does the Place of Refuge exist within each of us?” How can we know this no matter the circumstance.

Naming Pohala arose out something bigger than herself. You too may have a story like this. The hawaiian words have many layers and meanings. Some of the meanings for Pohala are:

‘to be healed,’

‘to breathe freely and easily after being relieved from severe pain,’

‘to be freed from constraint; to break loose from confinement,’

‘to be relieved of worries’, 

'to be revived after fainting.’

‘to unfold like a blossoming flower,’ and ‘a place for healing.’

In our work, We hope to create a space no matter the complaint for a patient to find this within oneself.This then may extend out to our world Ohana as a Place of Healing, a Place of Refuge.


Pohala Clinic PC
7477 SE 52nd Ave
Portland, OR 97206
Phone: 503-572-4196
Fax: 833-989-2525

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