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Patch Adams

About Patch Adams

Patch Adams is best known for his work as a medical doctor and a clown, but he is also a social activist who has devoted over 40 years of his life to changing America’s healthcare system. He believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process and, with the help of friends, he founded the Gesundheit Institute in 1971 in order to address all the problems of health care in one model.

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Gesundheit! Institute

Gesundheit! Institute

The Gesundheit Institute, a non-profit healthcare organization, is a project in holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the society, and the world. Our mission is to reframe and reclaim the concept of ‘hospital’.

About Gesundheit!

Global Outreach

Formed in 2006, Gesundheit Global Outreach (GGO) encompasses humanitarian clowning missions and aid, educational programs, building projects and community development around the world. The goal of this work is the improvement of the health of individuals and communities in crisis from sickness, war, poverty and injustice.

What We Do


Gesundheit is a model designed to influence discussions of health care delivery systems around the world. As such, our mission is primarily educational and inspirational. Our hospital project delivers care in a context that models our ideal design, while our Teaching Center educates health care practitioners to create their ideal design. Through a variety of educational programming, our aim is to seed/design a variety of projects that move the healthcare delivery system away from the corporate-business context into models of compassion and service.

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Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

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