Who we are
The Center for Sustainable Medicine was created to:
- Educate the public and scientific community about the need for ecologically sound forms of medicine.
- Help preserve indigenous medicinal plants and knowledge for future generations.
- Create dialogue between practitioners, thinkers, and visionaries in the fields of Medicine, Alternative Healing, and Environmental Studies
- Support the worldwide development of clinics and hospitals providing sustainable healthcare
Didi Pershouse: Director
Didi Pershouse is well known as a health-care provider in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, with over twenty years experience treating patients with gentle and respectful care. She also teaches deep self care and peer support for community leaders. In 2006 she started The Center for Sustainable Medicine, to bring together cutting-edge thinking in the fields of environmental studies, health care, and systems theory to create a new model of care. She is putting the finishing touches on her book “Sustainable Medicine: Reimagining Care with Our Inner and Outer Ecosystems in Mind.”
Didi grew up in a family of medical and educational pioneers, and spent her childhood bicycling through the hallways of her world-famous-neurosurgeon grandfather’s house and attending experimental schools in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Cambridge Massachusetts, as well as Mexico City. She received her B.A. in Asian Studies from Barnard College in New York City, and did extensive coursework at the Institute for Depth Psychology in Rye, New York.
After college, she worked as an editor and writer in the Creative Services Department at New York Magazine for five years, then embarked on a multidisciplinary career in health care–starting with a teacher’s training course at Integral Yoga Institute, where she used to go to recover after long days in the smoke-filled editorial office. She did an internship in Shiatsu, then attended Seattle Massage School. She obtained her license in Acupuncture after completing four years of training in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine at the Northwest Institute for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and the New England School of Acupuncture. She did postgraduate studies in Acupuncture with both blind and sighted teachers from China and Japan. She also became nationally certified as a classical homeopath by the Council for Homeopathic Certification, and co-authored “Vital Expression, A Workbook on Homeopathic Casetaking.” (Inner Health Publications).
Since moving to Vermont, she founded the multidisciplinary Two Rivers Clinic, spearheaded a successful effort to preserve the Zebedee Headwaters Wetland as a conservation commissioner, and now maintains a sliding-scale private practice in acupuncture and health counseling. When not seeing patients, looking for wild edibles in the woods, or jumping in the river with her sons, she works as a resiliency consultant for individuals, groups, and organizations.
She is a single mother of two young men: both are jazz musicians and baseball pitchers.
Marisa Hebb: Apprentice
Marisa is delighted to be working at the Center for Sustainable Medicine pursuing her long-time interest in the healing arts and healthy living. She helps to manage the farm at the Mountain School, and is helping to develop the local foods network as a founding member and treasurer of the Pompanoosuc Agricultural Society. She contributes to the Center’s philosophy of food as preventative and curative medicine by educating patients about finding, growing, and cooking local healthy meals. She also brings her skill as a Reiki practitioner into the clinical setting.
Marisa graduated from Bard College with a BA in Asian Studies (which included eight months of study and research in China) and a minor in Dance. During her off-hours, she teaches Chinese Language at The Mountain School and teaches social dances including Swing, Argentine Tango and Salsa as well as Capoeira, a Brazilian dance form/martial art.
Dale Gephart: Advisory Board
Dale Gephart MD, is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. He has taught in several courses, mainly as a problem-based small-group tutor, since 1973. He developed a fascination with the medicinal use of plants while studying with renowned ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes at Harvard. Dr. Gephart went on to teach medical botany at Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth College and ILEAD, and led seven trips up the Rio Negro in Amazonia teaching rainforest ecology and the uses of amazonian plants. From 1972 to 2005 Dr. Gephart had a Primary Care, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics practice in Windsor, VT. He also taught and worked as a physician in Sudan in 1988, in Kerala in 1992 and in Kosovo in 2006.