The EVE, Enlightened Voices for the Environment, Circle was a gathering of women with shared purpose that was formed under the leadership of LaVerne Baker Hotep of the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime.   Volunteers of the Original Medicine Institute for the Healing Arts hosted a day at Thyme In The Country Farm Retreat,  July 10, 2010.

Members attending this event had the opportunity to get up close with nature, learn about medicinal plants, interact with the farm animals, observe food growing in raised beds, eat healthy delicious home cooked meals, practice yoga on the lawn, learn how to drive a tractor, and rest or nap between adventures.

Featuring “Mother Africa” and “Limpopo River Song” from Power of One

Special thanks to Sue Brandell for photography



Healing the Heart of Medicine: Balancing Career, Health and Healing was held at the Bedford Springs Resort in 2010 and was a result of a collaboration with the Institute and the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime in Pittsburgh, PA. The 3 day retreat brought together well known leaders to offer an innovative and transformative program for people interested in resilience. Copy and paste this link to view the summary of this life changing event: Healing the Heart of Medicine


In 2011, we were asked to host a group of 6th grade African American young men from the Pittsburgh Public School system who had started a Journey to Medicine Program to help them be more interested in school, to be mentored, and to consider a career in medicine. We invited them, their families, and their physician mentors from the Gateway Medical Society to a 109 acre farm south of Pittsburgh for a day to enhance their experience of health and wellness.

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We took them on a tour of the garden where organic food had been grown for them for this special day. Each young man saw the plants that provided for their meal and each one planted a seed to take home to nurture. They learned about chickens, eggs, goats, goat milk, goat cheese, honey bees, pollination, the benefits of local honey,  and how to appreciate Nature.

Our guests learned how to grill from a chef, learned about herbs and how to pick, prepare, and saute them. They participated in making their own salad dressing while hearing about portion sizes. They learned about the cow that was the source of the beef that they ate, that he came from just down the road, was grass fed, and had prayer prior to slaughter. And they went on a walk together in the woods to learn about medicinal plants and how they are used.  After all the experiences, participants  ate a meal together with the volunteers of the Original Medicine Institute of the Healing Arts.

Today, these young men are ready for college and still talk about their visit to the farm. Continuing the Journey to Medicine Program throughout school, they have become mentors for the younger men who have come after them, teaching them about the importance of where your food is sourced and how to prepare it.


The mission of the Original Medicine Institute allows us to be of service in diverse and creative ways. If you find some aspect of what we offer of interest, consider becoming a member of the Institute! We hope you enjoy exploring our history.



In the summer of 2012, a volunteer (Kathleen Werner) of the Original Medicine Institute for the Healing Arts educated the community of Gibbon Glade, PA about the benefits of spay, neuter, release, and veterinary care for 23 homeless cats. As a result of her efforts, 22 cats were placed in loving homes in the community and a few in Pittsburgh, PA.

The cat colony, which started with only a few fertile adults, quickly multiplied over the course the spring and summer. “A pair of breeding cats who could have 2 or more litters per year can produce 420,000 offspring over a seven year period. Four million animals a year are killed in shelters. Seventy two percent of cats who enter shelters are killed. Eighty percent of those killed are deemed unadoptable because they aren’t socialized. “

Timely education, networking, and coordination of resources resulted in successfully changing attitudes about cats and saved the lives of these precious kitties.

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In 2012, we were honored to offer a Blessing and Dedication Ceremony prior to the start of construction for a building project at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. When people come together in shared purpose with a vision to benefit all concerned, Nature responds with beauty and joy.

If you have not visited the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, it is worth the trip. Just minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh, there are trails, children’s activities and serenity to restore your soul.

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