Art of Presence – 12th Annual Healthcare Renewal Retreat

Health professionals and care providers from all faiths, beliefs and cultures are invited to participate in an interdisciplinary retreat designed to provide respite and renewal, reflection and nourishment, and to reconnect with their original call to serve in the healthcare field. It provides time and space to immerse oneself in our own spirituality (that may oftentimes seem disconnected from our professional lives), and provide space to reflect on ways to integrate our spirituality into our daily professional lives more intentionally.

Now is your chance to visit a contemplative and beautiful city, visited by millions each year. During this one-of-a-kind retreat, we experience a much-needed pause, and reflect on what gives meaning in our lives. We explore the importance of being present not only with our patients, but with ourselves.

Be engaged in a contemplative week of personal and professional renewal with experienced guides:

  • Christina Puchalski, M.D., Renowned Healthcare Clinician & Educator
  • Michael Stillwater, Musical Artist & Educator
  • Doris Laessar Stillwater, Contemplative Psychotherapist
  • Edward O'Donnell, Spiritual Director & Educator

Getting There
The retreat is held at the Monastero di Sant'Andrea in Assisi, Italy. Most participants fly into Rome or Florence and then travel to Assisi by train, a trip that takes about three hours. If you chose to drive, parking is available at the monastery.

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The monastery provides meals and sleeping accommodations. There is an abundance of vegetarian offerings, as well as meat, for meals. If you enjoy Italian cooking, we trust you will be happy with the food! A double occupancy room and meals are estimated at $500; a single occupancy room and meals are estimated at $600 as available. Actual costs will be determined by the dollar-euro conversion rates at the time of the retreat. We ask that the lodging and food cost be paid in euros in Assisi (this is what works best for the sisters). You can convert dollars to euros in Assisi.


Retreat Tuition for 2017 is $1,095. A $250 deposit holds your space; space is limited. The deposit will be refunded if a written request is

 received on or before Friday, July 14; after July 20 the deposit is nonrefundable. 

  • Written cancellations received before Friday, June 16, 2017 are eligible for a full refund, minus a $50 processing fee. 
  • Written cancellations received between June 16, 2017 and July 20, 2017 are eligible for a refund of 50%, minus a $50 processing fee.
  • Tuition is not refundable after July 20, 2017.
  • Registrations can be transferred to a colleague, with a written authorization from the original registrant.

Continuing Education Credits

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians (category 1 credit of the Physician Recognition Award of the American Medical Association). The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences also is an approved provider (VNA-CEA provider number VNA# 09-04-01) of continuing nursing education by the Virginia Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. For individuals seeking continuing education credit for other professions, the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences offers a certificate of attendance. Continuing education credits (26.5) are included in the registration fee.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 6:00pm to Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 12:00pm

Assisi, Italy


For all questions or registrations, please contact:

Najmeh Jafari, MD



George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWish)

2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20037