Started the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971 – The only model in the world addressing all the problems of health care delivery in a comprehensive model.
Ran a pilot of the model 1971-1983, seeing 15,000 patients in a large communal home. It was such a rich experience Patch has spent the last 26 years seeking funding to build a “Fantasy Model Hospital”, eliminating 90% of the cost of health care. Thousands of doctors and nurses from all over the world have committed to working at the hospital.
For 26 years, Patch has been lecturing and performing 200 – 300 days of the year, throughout the world in 68 countries, giving 50 separate presentations. He has lectured at 90 medical schools here in the United States and in universities and medical schools in over 60 countries.
For 25 years, Gesundheit! has lead clown trips, known as “Global Outreach” (up to 9 per year) to the most impoverished communities, war zones, refugee camps, and disaster areas. People representing 40 countries, ages 3-88, have clowned. Six years ago, they began to include building clinics, and schools. Patch’s dedication toward clowning in hospitals has sparked a movement that now has clown groups in 120 countries.
He has 2 books published: Gesundheit and House Calls. Both have been translated into 14 languages.
In 1998, Universal Studios released a movie on Patch’s life, (Patch Adams) based on his book Gesundheit, starring Robin Williams. The movie remains a massive success all over the world, and is frequently aired on television.
In 2002 an Italian director made the documentary film, Clown In Kabul, which chronicled the Gesundheit Institute, taking 22 clowns from all 6 continents along with 10 tons of aid into Afghanistan. They stayed for 4 weeks while the country was in conflict with American troops. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Dr. Patch Adams has won countless humanitarian and peace awards around the world. He is a beloved figure in Health Care, and the Gesundheit! Institute is known throughout the medical community as the only model of medicine truly centered on care.