GIC Presents: Patch Adams

posted Jan 15, 2013, 8:37 AM by Great Issues Committee   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 9:11 AM ]

‘Medicine for Fun, Not Funds’

Event Details: 7:00pm Wednesday, February 13, 2013 Busch Student Center, Wool Ballrooms 170-173, Lower Level,  20 N. Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103

Great Issues Committee is proud to present Dr. Patch Adams, Founder and Executive Clown of the Gesundheit Institute, a holistic healing center that has provided free medical care to thousands of patients since 1971. Patch is both a medical doctor and a clown…but he is also a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America's healthcare system, a system which he describes as expensive and elitist.

Dr. Adams believes that laughter, joy and creativity are an integral part of the healing process and therefore true health care must incorporate such life. 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 will work side by side. If you think that all sounds like a utopian impossibility, it isn't. Patch and his colleagues practiced medicine at the Gesundheit Institute together in West Virgina that way for 12 years in what he calls their pilot project. They saw 15,000 patients. Patch Adams has devoted his life to the study of what makes people happy.

Through the success of this program at the Arlington, 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 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 health care community. Currently planned is an immediate phase of this dream, a $400,000 facility so that their medical service to patients can resume within the next two years.

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

In his speech he will address the history, philosophy, and future of the Gesundheit Institute while engaging in a dialogue with the audience.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open to students with ID at 6:30pm and the public at 6:45pm. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Parking is provided in the Laclede Garage, just mention you are here for Patch Adams.

For more information, email Mitch Garrett at