Publish Date: 9/17/2012
September 17, 2012
MANSFIELD, PA— Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams, MD, the doctor and activist portrayed by Robin Williams in the 1998 film Patch Adams, will speak about “The Joy In...Living, Learning & Loving” at Straughn Hall on Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m. the presentation is free and open to the public.
Adams’ public lecture will complete a full day at MU, during which he’ll be speaking with students, faculty and staff, as well as visit The Green Home in Wellsboro with Mansfield student clown assistants.
The campus community has been preparing for the visit with a series of events, including showings of the movie, holding “Red Nose Day” on campus, and clowning lessons and competitions.
Adams is not a big fan of the movie, feeling it downplayed his philosophy and activism and portrayed his as just a funny doctor. “I am a doctor, but above all else I consider myself an activist for peace, justice and care for all people,” is how he describes himself.
The murder of a friend while he was in medical school convinced Adams to explore the connection between environment and wellness. He believes the health of an individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, community, and the world. His prescription for this kind of care relies on humor and play, which he sees as essential to physical and emotional health.
Adams founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971. The Institute is a not-for-profit health care organization made up of practitioners and educators. In its history, Gesundheit has offered care to tens of thousands, given workshops and lectures in over 65 countries, built and supported clinics, schools, and orphanages from El Salvador to Cambodia, and delivered the joy of clowning. Each year Adams organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress as clowns in an effort to bring humor to orphans, patients and others.
In the summer of 2011, the Gesundheit! Institute started construction of a teaching center and clinic in West Virginia.
For more information, go to patchadams.org
Adams’ visit to MU is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), First Citizens Community Bank and The Green Home in Wellsboro.
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