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Patch Adams Speaker Profile
Founder and Director of the Gesundheit InstituteTopics:
– The Joy of Caring
– Humor and Health
– What Is Your Love Strategy?
– Living In Community
– Medicine For Fun, Not Funds
– Magic Elixirs of Life
– Poetry and Music
– Passion and Persistence
– Desire and Design
Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams, born may 28th 1945, the second son of a united states army officer and his wife – a school teacher, is many things: a social activist, an author, a citizen, a diplomat, an American physician, but most important – he is a clown.
Patch had a difficult childhood growing up on army bases throughout the world. His father had fought through World War II and Korea before being stationed in Germany. Patch's father war experience caused a rift and a true connection between father and son wasn't made until the final days of Mr. Adams Senior. In 1961 Patch's father passed away due to a heart attack, leaving behind a wife and two sons. After that widow Adams moved the family to Virginia where Patch encountered the ugly truths of segregation and as a consequence suffered attacks for his beliefs resulting in him being hospitalized. It was where he found a desire to serve humanity through medicine and made a commitment to never have another bad day.
Patch Adams graduated from Wakefield High School in 1963 to start pre-med courses at George Washington University. After three years, he began to pursue his doctor of medicine degree at Virginia commonwealth. It was here that his commitment clashed with the old values of his professors. In spite Dr. Adams continued to make the patients laugh. To him happiness was the best form of medicine.
In Patch's opinion the health care system was broken. He ''envisioned a communal eco-village hospital that would address every problem of the way health care was delivered in one model.'' This way of thinking became the foundation for the Gesundheit Institute. In final year of medical school Patch Adams met his future wife Linda who became instrumental in the Institute.
With the help of friends Patch was able to create Gesundheit Institute and the "pilot" hospital which operated for twelve years out of a communal home. The institutes policy's included:
1) no charge,
2) no health insurance reimbursement,
3) no malpractice insurance,
4) 3 to 4 hour initial interview with the patient,
5) home as hospital,
6) integration of all the healing arts,
7) integration of medicine with performance arts, arts and crafts, nature, agriculture, education, recreation and social service
8) the health of the staff is as important as the health of the patient.
For twelve years the Institutes team saw thousands of patients. Unfortunately couldn't find the funding to continue and the Institute need a facility. Dr. Patch Adams and the team decided to go public and found themselves busy as speakers.
Patch Adams, M.D., is a well-known public speaker that is an expert on the grounds of: wellness, laughter, humor and health care, health care systems. He approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with “zestful exuberance.” With the smile on his face spreads the unconventional way of using laugh as one of the methods to make global health care systems better. According to Time Magazine Dr. Adams believes that “the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy.”
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