Patch Adams
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Patch Adams
Key Topics:
  • Success
  • Healthcare
  • Humor
  • Bio Info:

    Patch Adams is a physical and emotional healer, dedicated to making people happy. He is founder of the Gesundheit Institute, and is most well known through the movie bearing his name which starred Robin Williams.

    Patch Adams, M.D., is a nationally known speaker on wellness, laughter, humor, and life as well as on the subjects of healthcare and healthcare systems. He approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with "zestful exuberance" (Time Magazine). Dr. Adams believes that "the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy."

    Dr. Adams is founder and director of the Gesundheit Institute, a free health facility in operation for 15 years. Over 15,000 people have been provided with free medical care at the Institute. Through the success of this program at the Arlington, Virginia location, a model healthcare facility is being planned on 310 acres purchased in Pocahontas County, WV. The Institute will include a 40-bed hospital, a theater, arts and crafts shops, horticulture, and vocational therapy. Over five years ago, Dr. Adams and staff temporarily stopped seeing patients so that they could coordinate plans for raising $5 million needed for the Institute's permanent and expanded home, a "model healthcare community." Currently planned is an immediate phase of this dream, a $400,000 WV facility so that their medical service to patients can resume within the next two years.

    The Institute addresses, by action, four major issues in healthcare delivery: the rising cost of care, dehumanization of medicine, malpractice suits, and abuses of third-party insurance system.

    Dr. Adams, also known as Patch, adds to his training as a physician his experience as a street clown. In working with health and mental health professionals, he explores the relationship between humor and therapy using his unique blend of knowledge, showmanship, and 'hands on' teaching techniques. Says Dr. Adams, 'I interpret my experience in life as being happy. I want, as a doctor, to say it does matter to your health to be happy. It may be the most important health factor in your life.' He joyfully believes that 'the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy.


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