Health Care Justice Celebration

Dec 27, 2017 – Jan 1, 2018 | Hillsboro, WV


Early Bird Discount!* Pay Before November 1, Save $100


“In medical school, I received no lectures on health, care or justice but instantly found them to be the foundations for my practice of medicine” – Patch Adams, MD 

The Experience

Come join us at our five day Health Care Justice Party, December 27 through January 1, 2018 at the Gesundheit Institute in Hillsboro West Virginia! Organized by School for Designing a Society and the Gesundheit Institute, these five days are for people who feel called on to create positive change in health care and are looking for sympathetic folks to learn from and strategize with. Happy new year!

The universal human need for health care and the humane impulse to fulfill it have somehow been turned into contentious issues. Health care systems that are no longer actually caring – and unequal access to genuine care- are injustices crying out for organized, compassionate action. Even the modest attempts to reform health care systems in the US are meeting fierce resistance from forces that benefit from inequality.



The focus of this year’s gathering will be Immigration and Health Care Justice, and the limits and opportunities of both. Borders of countries, and the displaced people who attempt to enter or exit them, are being ideologically manipulated in order to confuse and conceal the real issues behind them. What are these issues? In the US most citizens have difficulty having access to healthcare—how does this connect (or dis-connect us) to the plight of immigrants? Can there be newly forged solidarity between resident and immigrant populations?

The Health Care Justice Celebration is an activism-oriented meeting of students, physicians, medical professionals, clowns and community builders, whose programming is organized and created by it’s participants. In its ten year history, this conference has reached out to people from around the world with the participation of students and practitioners in the healthcare profession as well as teachers, carpenters, poets and mothers. The meeting draws strength through building a lasting community.


Who is offering this?

Facilitators and presenters include:  

Patch Adams, MD — Entered medical school in 1967 to use medicine as a vehicle for social change; promotes and practices living a life of public joy as a revolutionary act; fountain of ideas for avoiding burn-out in long-term social justice and health. Enthusiator.

Dr. Susan Parenti — a composer, tap dancer, accordionist, activist. Familiar with the words ‘idealist’, ‘romantic’, ‘unrealistic’. Writes theater plays on how she wishes people would speak, rather than how they do actually speak.

John Glick, MD — a doctor, musician, touring performer, writer, and collaborator with Dr. Patch Adams. … for 10 years before opening West Virginia’s first acupuncture clinic in 1991.

Paul Glover — an activist, planner, community organizer, mover and steadier, author and inventor of Ithaca Hours (a time-based alternative currency)


Who is invited?

You are! No prior background is required, just concern for the welfare of others and willingness to try things out.


General Information


Cost | $700 for tuition, room, and board, New Year’s Eve Party (YAY!), and transportation to/from airport/train station. Deposit: $200 non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your participation. Cost for Early Bird Registrants is $600, so pay before November 1!

Where? | The program takes place on the Gesundheit Institute’s 320 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with mountain trails, waterfalls, extensive gardens, and a lake. Gesundheit’s project-in-progress is a  unique model of holistic health care that will serve as an inspiration for us to coax each other to dream big—in our personal lives, in our community involvement, and in our contributions to global peace and justice

Facilities | Gesundheit lays on a pristine tract of farm and mountain land in rural West Virginia. The dacha, with its onion domes and Russian architecture, serves as a residence and meeting place, and has won awards for its unique design.

Meeting Spaces | Gesundheit Institute offers many unique meeting spaces and classrooms. There are quiet spaces for meditation or study and large rooms to house workshops and classes. Gesundheit hosts events focused on education—at the site of the future hospital and elsewhere.

Accommodations | Accommodation are in dormitory-style group settings. There are laundry machines at Gesundheit that you can use. We offer very slow WIFI (cannot download, cannot use skype, sorry!). Clean sheets and towels are provided.

Travel: Please plan on meeting us in West Virginia on the evening of December 27, 2017. You can plan to leave on January 1, 2018. The only meal we will be providing that day will be breakfast.


How Do I Apply?

Registration consists of 2 parts. Cost for Early Bird Registrants is $600, so pay before November 1! We hope you’ll join us!

  1. Registration form: Please take a moment to fill out the registration form and make your payment by Credit Card, Bank Transfer, or Check. We suggest you submit your application as soon as possible to guarantee your spot. Be Prepared to pay your $200 deposit to confirm your participation. Register NOW >
    OR if you prefer Send a check payable to Gesundheit! Institute and mailed to: Gesundheit Institute, ℅ Caren Cohen-Heath, PO BOX 307, URBANA, IL 61803.
  2. Please Send your Final Payment by December 15th to confirm your participation. Scholarships are not available.


Questions ?

Please Contact: Caren :