“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.”
Patch Adams, M.D. of George Washington University, is an internationally known speaker on wellness, humor, and joy. He approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with “zestful exuberance,” according to Time Magazine.
Patch is a medical doctor, a clown, and a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America's healthcare system. He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are integral parts of the healing process. Doctors and patients in his model relate to each other on the basis of mutual trust, and patients receive plenty of time from their doctors. Allopathic doctors and practitioners of alternative medicine work side by side in Patch’s model. Adams and his colleagues have practiced medicine at the Gesundheit Institute together in West Virginia that way for 43 years in what Patch refers to as their “pilot project.”
Through the success of this program at the West Virginia location, a model health care 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 temporarily stopped seeing patients so that he could coordinate plans for raising the $5 million needed for the Institute’s permanent and expanded home, a “model health care community.”
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