Didi Pershouse Speaking in Montpelier 10/21

Thursday, October 21st, 2010 6 pm – 8 pm at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Vermont (see directions below)

How much of modern medicine is dependent on cheap oil? If oil prices double or triple, how much of our current health care system would still be functional? For example would hospitals and ambulance companies still be able to make enough of a profit to bother staying in business?

Didi Pershouse, founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, and author of the Sustainable Medicine Manifesto, will talk about what she learned while visiting and researching Cuba’s extraordinary post-oil health-care system: that creating affordable, local, “powered-down” health care is an important piece in building resilient communities and citizens. And that it can be done.

She will discuss how to create an inventory of an area’s current health care related resources, to see what resources and skills a town may want to bring back, and whether current laws and regulations in their area are supportive of small-scale powered-down health-care models. Our rural communities have a rich history of health care that is embedded in the community, including “fast squads” of EMTs and local ambulances, lay midwives, parish nurses, country doctors, and village herbalists. These models can be tapped into, strengthened, and revived.  Do the current zoning, licensing and insurance regulations support doctors whose clinics are attached to their houses? Midwives doing home births? Herbalists who can sell what they have harvested?

In sustainable agriculture, the term “re-skilling” means relearning basic skills of farming that are not dependent on oil. What does re-skilling mean for the health care community?  Are there hands-on methods of diagnosis and treatment that don’t depend on technology? How dependable are they? Is there anyone in the region who knows how to repair hospital equipment? What parts of technology are essential to good medicine, and which are more optional?

Participants will learn about how other areas have succeeded in creating low-cost sustainable systems that provide high quality care, discuss ways to build resilience that are specific to the needs of the town or area, and come up with an action plan for the coming months.

About the Presenter:

Didi Pershouse founded the Center for Sustainable Medicine in 2006, which functions as a model of a small, sliding-scale, powered-down clinic using practices that are not dependent on cheap oil. It also functions as a think-tank and international resource via its website and workshops. She was also the founder and director of the Two Rivers Clinic–a group practice which provided Primary Care Natural Medicine, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Psychotherapy, and Body-Mind Therapies for rural communities in the Upper Connecticut River Valley for over 14 years.


Didi Pershouse

The Center for Sustainable Medicine

P.O. Box 277,

Thetford Center, VT 05075

(802) 785-2503



Directions: The Kellogg-Hubbard Library is in an Italianate granite structure at the corner of Main and School Streets in Montpelier, Vermont’s capital city (Exit 8 on I-89).

135 Main Street?Montpelier, Vermont 05602


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