Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hunter "Patch" Adams (b. December 29, 1943 at Washington, District of Columbia) founded the Gesundheit Institute in 1971. His life was the template for the plot of the movie "Patch Adams" with Robin Williams as leading actor.
Patch Adams graduated as a medical doctor in 1971, convinced of the powerful connection between environment and wellness. He holds the belief that the health of an individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, community, and the world. In consequence, Patch and some friends founded the Gesundheit Institute , which ran as a free community hospital for 12 years.
The new-look Gesundheit Institute is a free, full-scale hospital and health care eco-community which is planned to be built in West Virginia. Its goal is to integrate a traditional hospital with alternative medicine--acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. Care will integrate medicine with performing arts, crafts, nature, agriculture, and recreation. The current location accepts volunteers through the website for the summer months. No hospital is yet in existence, although some outreach is done (at a local women's prison and a small hospital). Several videos and books have been produced, both of which are found on the website.
Patch Adams is also a social activist, citizen diplomat, professional clown, performer and author. Each year he organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to Russia as clowns, to bring hope and joy to orphans, patients, and the people. In 1998 he also visited Bosnia.
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