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Panoramic view of the Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center, 2020.

Photo courtesy of Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center.

Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center

By Kuk Heon Lee


Kuk Heon Lee graduated from Sahmyook University (B.A.), Newbold College (M.A.), and Sahmyook University (Ph.D.). From 1990 to 2009, he served as a pastor at Korean Union Conference. In 2010, he joined Sahmyook University as a lecturer and professor at the Theology Department. His research and teaching interests are in Church History. He wrote several books and published several papers on the subject. Currently, he is also the Dean of Planning at Sahmyook University.

First Published: April 20, 2021

Yujawon is a senior sanitarium facility operated by the Seoul Adventist Hospital and was opened on March 3, 2008, after constructing a sanitarium center with the support of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Yujawon is equipped with facilities such as a medical room, a physical therapy room, and a rehabilitation program room, along with an inpatient room that can accommodate 120 senior patients aged 65 or older and provides complex services such as medical, nursing, social, and psychology. Yujawon is located at 82 Mangwoo-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, on the premises of Seoul Sanitation Hospital, with seven employees and 70 volunteers serving as of 2021.1


Due to changes in the demographic structure, Korea entered an aging society in 2000 and an aged society in 2017. As the elderly population increases, the Korean government has promoted a policy to expand welfare facilities for the elderly. The Korean Union Conference and the Seoul Adventist Hospital have made a plan to establish specialized sanitarium facilities for the elderly on the hospital premises and appealed for support from local governments and central governments. In 2006 the Ministry of Health and Welfare decided to provide $2.6 million (3.1 billion won) to the Seoul Adventist Hospital. The Korean Union Conference raised $840,000 (1 billion won) and began building a three-storey building (3,748 square meters) in August 2006 with a total construction cost of $3.4 million (4.1 billion won). The building was completed in 2008, and the Seoul Adventist Hospital opened a Senior Sanitarium Center under the name of Yujawon on March 3 of that year.2

Yujawon was the only sanitarium center for the elderly located in a general hospital in Korea. Elderly people admitted to Yujawon can receive medical services directly from Seoul Adventist Hospital; so, emergency treatment was possible 24 hours a day, and commissioned treatment by a medical specialist belonging to Seoul Adventist Hospital was possible. Immediately after opening, Yujawon received 60 seniors who were judged to have a long-term care grade for the elderly (grade 1 to 2) and began operation.3

History of the Institution

At the time of its opening in 2008, Young-ja Han was appointed as the director of Yujawon. Counseling services, life-support services, medical-rehabilitation services, social-psychological services, and program services were provided here. Residents received comfortable services within a unit built with a home-style living space. Fifteen people can live together within one unit, and the Yujawon consists of a total of eight units.4

It was in December 2008 that the Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center building was completely completed. After the completion of the Yujawon, 120 seniors were 100 percent hospitalized and received medical-care services.5 Yujawon, which has established itself as a leading social welfare center, held a charity bazaar from April 12 to 15, 2009, to help the elderly who have difficulty living their daily lives due to severe or higher senile diseases such as dementia and stroke. Yujawon practiced charity service to help the poor elderly with the funds raised through this bazaar.6 This event has been held every year since then.

Yujawon was selected as an excellent institution in “the 2009 Long-Term Care Institution Evaluation” co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Health Insurance Service. This evaluation was conducted on 119 institutions nationwide, and Yujawon received excellent evaluations in the top 10 percent.7 The results of this evaluation were recognized as an elderly specialized sanitarium institution that has excellent facilities and provides high-quality services as soon as the Yujawon was opened.

On October 13, 2010, Seoul Adventist Hospital opened a Day Care Center by adding a space of 285.27 square meters (95 pyeong) to the first floor of Yujawon. The Day Care Center is a facility that provides rehabilitation treatment and emotional guidance programs while caring for elderly people with stroke and dementia who are difficult to protect at home during the day. The Day Care Center of Yujawon provided services to 20 seniors every day.8

On June 26, 2012, Young-ja Han retired, and on July 11 of that year, Gwi-ok Woo took office as the second director of Yujawon. She was a supervisory nurse at Seoul Adventist Hospital and had a career in receiving the Presidential Industrial Award” in 2002.9 Under her guidance Yujawon developed into the best welfare institutes. From July to December 2015, Yujawon received the “2015 Long-Term Care Institution Evaluation” conducted by the National Health Insurance Service. In this evaluation of 3,988 nursing institutions nationwide, Yujawon received the highest rating in all evaluation areas, as in 2009. In this evaluation only 300 institutions (7 percent) received the highest rating like Yujawon.10

In 2016, on the occasion of Senior Citizens’ Day, the event was held to commemorate "Infinite Youth." This event expanded the annual Senior Citizens' Day celebration event to raise social interest and respect for the elderly. The event was held with various programs such as music performances, food markets, and talent donation events for more than five hundred participants.11 Through this event Yujawon firmly established its image as an institution serving the local community.

In September 2017 Gwi-ok Woo, the director of Yujawon, received the Seoul Special Mayor's Award at the "Dongdaemun-gu Social Welfare Conference." This award was held in Dongdaemun-gu to commemorate the 18th "Social Welfare Day." Gwi-ok Woo received this award in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of welfare for the elderly in Dongdaemun-gu as the director of Yujawon.12

According to the report of the 36th General Meeting of the Korean Union Conference held in December 2020, more than forty-two thousand seven hundred elderly people receive welfare benefits every year from 2016 to 2019. In addition, about 5,000 people are receiving day and night protection services, and about ten thousand people are receiving visiting nursing services.13 On March 1, 2020, Young-sil Jang was inaugurated as the third director of Yujawon.14 The new director is striving to further develop the Senior Sanitarium Center with a sincere heart of respect for adults. With her dedicated work, Yujawon received sponsorship from CJ Corporation for all sinks replacement project in November 2020 to improve the facility, and in October 2021, it also promoted indoor-environment improvement such as LED replacement work. With the promotion of these projects, Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center is developing into a better welfare institution.

Role and Position in the Country

Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center is a specialized elderly care institution affiliated with the Seoul Adventist Hospital and plays an important role as one of the best senior welfare institutions in Korean society, which has entered an aged society. Yujawon practices the love of Christ as a welfare institution belonging to the Korean Adventist Church. Yujawon also provides employment opportunities for social-welfare experts at the Korean Adventist Church who are interested in social-welfare projects and provides volunteer opportunities for many church members. In particular, various churches and organizations come to this institution every year to serve, and Yujawon plays a role as the center of social welfare of the Korean Adventist Church.

List of Directors

Young-ja Han (2009-2012); Gwi-ok Woo (2012-2020); Young-sil Jang (2020- ).


Address Book of Korean Union Conference 2021. Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2021.

Korean Adventist News Center, May 6, 2002; March 4, 2008; December 19, 2008; March 4, 2009; April 14, 2009; March 23, 2010; May 19, 2016; October 19, 2016; November 1, 2017.

Minutes of the General Meetings of the Korean Union Conference. Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2011, 2015, 2020.


  1. Address Book of Korean Union Conference, 2021 (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2021), 50.

  2. Korean Adventist News Center, March 4, 2008.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Korean Adventist News Center, March 4, 2009.

  5. Korean Adventist News Center, December 19, 2008.

  6. Korean Adventist News Center, April 14, 2009.

  7. Korean Adventist News Center, March 23, 2010.

  8. “A Report of Seoul Adventist Hospital,” Minutes of the 34th General Meeting of the KUC (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2011).

  9. Korean Adventist News Center, May 6, 2002.

  10. Korean Adventist News Center, May 19, 2016.

  11. Korean Adventist News Center, October 19, 2016.

  12. Korean Adventist News Center, November 1, 2017.

  13. “A Report of Seoul Adventist Hospital,” Minutes of the 36th General Meeting of the KUC (Seoul: Korean Union Conference, 2020).



Lee, Kuk Heon. "Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 20, 2021. Accessed April 16, 2024.

Lee, Kuk Heon. "Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 20, 2021. Date of access April 16, 2024,

Lee, Kuk Heon (2021, April 20). Yujawon Senior Sanitarium Center. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 16, 2024,