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FounderSas Carey
TypeNon-governmental organization
Focushealth care and cultural preservation
  • 248 Washington Street Ext., Middlebury, VT
Area served
Methodeducation, institutional development, and documentation
Formerly called
Mongolian Medicine Project

Nomadicare is a non-governmental organization that provides health care services to nomadic herders in Mongolia under the auspices of Ecologia, a 501(c)3 non-profit[1] The stated mission of the organization is that "Nomadicare supports and preserves traditional Mongolian nomadic culture through healthcare, films, and stories".[2] Nomadicare also provides educational talks, screenings, and seminars in the United States and internationally to further awareness of the Mongolian culture.


Nomadicare's founder Sas Carey began traveling to Mongolia in 1994 and studying traditional Mongolian medicine, a health system with roots in Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine. Following work as a United Nations Development Programme consultant in the Gobi Desert, Carey began documenting the lives of nomadic herders and delivering medical supplies to rural hospitals in the Gobi.[3]

In 2003, Nomadicare was asked to assess the health needs and traditional health practices of the Dukha reindeer herders of Khövsgöl Province by Totem Peoples, a project of Cultural Survival.[4][5][6] Since that time, Nomadicare has focused its work on two indigenous populations of herders, in the Gobi and in the Mongolian Taiga. In addition to documenting traditional health practices, Nomadicare provides education and vitamins and arranges for herders to be seen by volunteer health care providers. It also delivers diagnostic equipment to rural hospitals and coordinates professional training opportunities for Mongolian health care providers.

Nomadicare has also provided assistance with independent projects that support Mongolians or promote education about traditional nomadic life and health care.[7][8][9][10]

Nomadicare has researched and documented traditional Mongolian Shamanism.[11][12][13]

Dukha Health Database[edit]

With the assistance of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, Nomadicare maintains a health database of the Dukha reindeer herders.[14] Data on basic medical parameters and health concerns have been assessed on a yearly basis for seven years and shared with the Mongolian Ministry of Health, the provincial Ministry of Health, the Sum center, the local doctor, and the people themselves.

Dukha Health Database

Sum Hospital Project[edit]

Traditional Mongolian Medicine Training

Nomadicare has included training in integrated medicine for Mongolian health care providers since its inception.[15][16][17] However, in 2010, Nomadicare created a formal goal to provide Mongolian health care providers with training in both modern and traditional Mongolian medicine in rural provincial centers,[18][19] a project that has attracted the attention and support of Jane Goodall.[20] In aimag-based conferences, doctors from rural areas were brought together with practitioners of traditional Mongolian medicine and also provided with up-to-date information on modern diagnostic and treatment options.[21] 250,000 people were impacted by this harmonization of traditional Mongolian medicine and laboratory safety techniques.

Laboratory Project[edit]

In 2001 and 2002 Nomadicare donated microscopes, centrifuges, and supplies to the Manlai Sum and Mandakh Sum in East Gobi.[22] The equipment was donated to Nomadicare by New England hospitals. A medical technician also provided laboratory training for the equipment. About 10,000 nomadic herders can now get tested close to home.

Vitamins and Hygiene Kits[edit]

Dukha reindeer being led by a nomadic herder.
Vitamins and Hygiene Kits

In 2002 after Nomadicare discovered children with bleeding gums due to a lack of greens and vegetables in their diet. Nomadicare now provides a supply of vitamin C to the 250 nomadic reindeer herders in the East and West Taiga of Khovsgol. They also provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, moisturizer, lip balm, sunscreen, candles, matches, and flypaper to 55 nomadic reindeer herder families to promote general health.[23][22]


  • Steppe Herbs, Mare's Milk, and Jelly Jars: A Journey into Mongolian Medicine (1997)
  • Shamans Among the Reindeer Herders (2004)
  • Dukha Reindeer Herders Moving (2004)
  • Gobi Women's Song (2006), re-released with the short film Revisiting Gobi Women in 2011
  • Taiga Heart Song (2007)
  • Ceremony (2015)
  • Migration (2016)


  • Searching for Mongolian Medicine in the Gobi Desert, Ayur Vijnada (a periodical on Indo-Tibetan and allied medical cultures). West Bengal, India. 2002. Reprinted in German in Germany 2004. Reprinted by the Mongolian Society.
  • Reindeer Herders in My Heart: Stories of Healing Journeys in Mongolia. (Taiga memoir. Travel. Healing) 2012. Wren Song Press.


The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation

The Firebird Foundation

Swift Foundation and Legacy 13, LLC

Mongol American Cultural Association

Lehman Charitable Fund

Three Hearts Fund

Middlebury College Chaplin’s Fund

Chinggis Khan Foundation

The Help for People Foundation

Neat Repeats Resale Shop

Middlebury Friends’ Meeting (Quakers)

See also[edit]

  • Cultural Survival
  • Dukha
  • Shamanism
  • traditional Mongolian medicine
  • Taiga
  • Gobi Desert


  1. Nomadicare Projects in Mongolia, Virtual Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  2. About the Nomadicare Project. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  3. Filming the Life of Gobi women, Friends Journal, Aug 2007. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  4. Oman, K. Totem Project Research and Vitamin Program Work Toward Improving Dukha Nutrition, Cultural Survival Quarterly, 29.1, Mar 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  5. Cultural Survival Special Project Annual Report. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  6. A Trip to the Taiga, spirit of change, Aug 2005. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  7. DayarMongol. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  8. Naranchimeg ready for surgery. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  9. Mongolian girl comes to Boston for treatment, WHDH Channel 7 news, 2012-04-12. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  10. Film credits, The Horse Boy, Independent Lens, Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  11. "Reindeer Herders in My Heart: An Interview with Nomadicare Founder Sas Carey". Nomadic Expeditions. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  12. Seife, Ethan de. "Sas Carey's New Documentary Explores Mongolian Rites". Seven Days. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  13. Carey, Sas (2014-12-18), Ceremony Trailer One, retrieved 2017-09-18
  14. Dukha health project 2012, Virtual Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  15. U.S. nurse organizing Buddhist medical training for Mongolian doctors Mongolia-Web, 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  16. Nomadicare Rural Health Project, Virtual Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  17. "Mongolia | U.S. nurse organizing Buddhist medical training for Mongolian doctors". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  18. Hilmes, T. medical bootcamp in Mongolia, Addison County Independent, 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  19. Health services mobilize for nomadic herders, Mongol Messenger, 2010-10-01.
  20. Jane Goodall letter. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  21. Sas Carey (2011-03-15), Nomadicare, retrieved 2017-09-24
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Sas Carey returning to Mongolia | Addison County Independent". Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  23. "VF Proposal: Vitamins for Reindeer Herders 2004 - 2006". Retrieved 2017-09-18.

External links[edit]

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