If care and compassion are to be the core of a health care system, then ‘hospital’—as concept, physical structure, symbol and site of  the medical system in its largest possible scale—needs to be reframed and reclaimed.

simple-R-arrow The Gesundheit project, in its 50th year,  is that reclaiming and reframing. 

Reframing ‘Hospital’

We reframe ‘hospital’ as an integration of learning and caring nested within an intentional community. Healing is to be a loving human interchange not a business transaction. 

hospital-project-diagramAs a hospital project—a hospital without walls–we have been active all over the world since 1971. We offer caring and healing (humanitarian clowning, global outreach), teaching and lecturing (Teaching Center, educational curriculum, Patch Adams’ lecturing).

As a hospital building—a hospital with walls— a Clinic, built together with a Teaching Center, will be the first step towards the final 44 bed community hospital building on our land in rural West Virginia. The Gesundheit hospital will embody our activist philosophy: a free, communal style hospital, nested in a community ecovillage, and connected to the Teaching Center. The hospital will deliver care in a context that models our ideal design. The Teaching Center will educate visiting practitioners to create their ideal design and offer programs in caring, self-caring, clowning, social change to local and international participants. They will also be direct to specific communities, for example the combat Veterans of West Virginia.

Constructing the Teaching Center and Clinic

teaching-center-factsThe Teaching Center and Clinic will have 2 meeting halls: large auditorium (50 people) and small hall (20 people), a small media station, 6 classrooms, a blackbox performance hall: with stage and seating for 30 people, an institutional kitchen and dining hall, serving up to 30 people, 3 cafes, one per floor, a variety of sleeping accommodations (up to 30 people), 6 bathrooms, with a variety of shower and bath facilities, media studio, art studio, exercise room, a for the Clinic: consultation room, small examination room, waiting room and an Outdoor Community “Hob-Nobbing” Porch.

Teaching programs will propose change in care systems’, particularly focused on health care, but also on education care, justice care, and environmental care. It will serve the global community, working with participants to find a language for their own desires in care and their own designs for implementation as well as build care systems that are socially responsible and financially just.

The Teaching Center and Clinic building is planned in 25,000 square feet and in three stories with passive solar construction and green roof features. It is built over the Pocahontas Creek.

See the Building Plans

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The friends and allies of Patch Adams and the Gesundheit Institute are pulling together to hold FUNraisers to raise the roof on the land!

The Gesundheit Hospital
by Patch Adams

“In my last year at the Medical College of Virginia, I began working on a line of thought about my dreams to improve health care that would shape the rest of my life.

I drew up a grandiose plan—having no idea how grandiose at the time—that I felt ready to commit myself to. Titled ‘Positive Thinking’, the plan was about providing health care in the best interests of patient and staff alike. A group-communal situation seemed the most promising approach. But I knew of no models in America for a therapeutic medical community that put humanism first. It was clear I would need to plan it out.

 The plan reflected my realization that the systems in which people live—capitalist, patriarchal, militaristic systems—effected not only their finances, choice of work, housing, education etc, but also effected their health. So I envisioned a model of holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the society and the world.

The Gesundheit hospital would be a health care community based on friendship and mutual interdependence, with a staff that lives in the facility with their families in a collective atmosphere of happiness, silliness, love, creativity and cooperation. The atmosphere would enhance healing and relieve suffering.

The plan is to create a model that addressed all the problems of health care in one model.”

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“The Gesundheit hospital would be a health care community based on friendship and mutual interdependence, with a staff that lives in the facility with their families in a collective atmosphere of happiness, silliness, love, creativity and cooperation. The atmosphere would enhance healing and relieve suffering.”

 

Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

© Copyright 2022 Gesundheit! Institute


Before You Go...
The Gesundheit Institute Runs on Donations from People like YOU!

If you have ever felt positive about this project and agree with us that it should continue, we hope you'll be able to step up and donate some amount to help us keep going. Thank You!