Just over a year after a brutal triple-homicide caused the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic to shut its doors — most thought for good — the popular herbal medicine and acupuncture clinic is preparing to reopen.
New owner Tram Pham said therapies and the pharmacy will remain unchanged as she treats many of the same clients as her predecessor, Dr. Weidong “Henry” Han.
In March 2016, Han, his wife, Huijie “Jennie” Yu, and their 5-year-old daughter, Emily, were discovered dead in their home on the 4600 block of Greenhill Way, between Goleta and Santa Barbara.
All three died from gunshots to the head, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
The Oceanside man charged in their deaths, Pierre Haobsh, is awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for May. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.
According to the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic’s revamped website, the establishment was opened in 1982 by herbalist Dr. Jean Yu, who handed it off to Han nine years later when she moved to San Luis Obispo.
Han and his wife operated the traditional Chinese medicine shop at 3886 State St. until their deaths last year.
Pham, a UC Santa Barbara and Yo San University alumna, had relocated with her husband from Los Angeles, where she practiced various treatments at several clinics, including pain management and sports medicine.
In Santa Barbara, Pham’s house calls began taking her to former patients of Han, one of whom urged her to pursue the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic.
“She said, ‘You would be doing the community a big favor,’” Pham told Noozhawk. “There are thousands of patients stranded without an acupuncturist or herbalist.’”
Han’s estate was already looking for a qualified, licensed practitioner.
“I didn’t want the story to end in an even greater tragedy,” where patients were “left with nothing to go to, no one to help them,” Pham said.
Even before Monday’s announcement that she would be taking over, Pham said, former patients were calling in as the turnover spread around town through word of mouth.
“I think Santa Barbara is a very tight-knit community, especially the natural health care realm,” she said.
Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, reopening its doors May 1, is now at block down the road at 3760 State St., Suite 102., near Hitchcock Way.
According to the clinic’s announcement this week, “Patient files have been formally transferred to Ms. Pham consistent with state and federal confidentiality rules, to ensure a smooth resumption of clinic operations.”
Though she’s retaining all of Han’s therapies and remedies, Pham said her United States-sourced herbs, powders and other ingredients will be of a higher standard than before.
“I have really strict standards about what I’d put in my body and what patients put in their bodies,” she said.
She also says patients can expect lower prices for their remedies.
“I want it to be affordable for the community.”
The Herb Clinic under Han and Yu was popular and they were well-liked members of the community.
Han, who was 57, grew up in China and came from a family of doctors. The Hans’ daughter, Emily, was a kindergarten student at Foothill School in Goleta.
Several hundred patients, friends, coworkers and members of the community turned out for an Arroyo Burro Beach memorial last April.
— Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.