Patch Adams Speaks in Philadelphia
to Promote
Free Clinic Here
Patch Adams Patch Adams, the dynamic doctor-clown whose life story was featured in the movie starring Robin Williams, is inviting Philadelphia to host the first free clinic to serve in his spirit and name, beyond the Gesundheit! Institute in rural West Virginia., say local organizers.

He will be speaking in Philadelphia on July 23 (Drexel University College of Medicine, Geary Auditorium B; 245 N. 15th; 6:30pm) and July 24 (Mercy Neighborhood Ministries; 20th & Venango; 6:30pm).  Admission is free.
For 40 years, Patch Adams has insisted that all people deserve the best health care.  He travels the world to show that full healing eases both body and soul.

The Patch Adams Free Clinic at Philadelphia, then, proposes to be loveably different.

This healing-and-laughter "health campus" is preparing to build a solar-oriented structure surrounded by orchards, gardens, greenhouses, playgrounds and parkland.
Preventive and primary care will be available to all visitors.  But members, who would help at the clinic for a few hours yearly, will get extra benefits, like massage, chiropractic, dental, optical, veterinary, green jobs training, and votes in board elections..  "We intend to move beyond charity toward ownership, through the generosity of the community," says Paul Glover, founding director.

"We'll build an energy-efficient passive solar earth-sheltered structure," says Tom Greene, a member of the organizing team.  "Deep earth cover reduces heating and cooling bills toward zero.  "That's so that all our income goes to healing rather than utility bills," he adds.
Patch Adams clinic at Philadelphia summary
According to the preliminary floor plan, the clinic's waiting room will be a wildly decorated Relaxing Room, with soothing live music,, "couches and cots and clowns."   The plan shows spaces for exams, dental, optical, massage (the "Rub Room"), meeting and movie rooms, and a name-your-own-price health food cafeteria.  

Emphasizing their broader view of healing, there will be space for music, art, dance and theatre, plus training for green jobs.

Urban agriculture and "permaculture" are an essential part of the plan because "Fresh food is essential to good health.  And growing food in the neighborhood teaches basic  skills," says Caroline Immendorfer, RN.  She adds, "In the long run, we will be creating a model for healthy eating, healthy living, and healthy communities."

Clinic organizers are meeting with neighbors to discuss their needs and concerns.  Verna Brown-Tyner, founder of Tioga United, says, "We  were working with the landowner, Jason Lerner, to create a healthy living campus and when we heard about Patch Adams, it sounded like an ideal fit.  But of course we will make sure the community is supportive and gets a chance to help develop the plans."

The clinic group has signed an agreement with the landowner, permitting them to clear the land, plant and plan while raising funds for full purchase.  Says Jason Lerner of Michael Realty, "This is the first step in promoting health and well being in the city.  Through this program we will help people take better care of themselves by preventive care and eating properly.  Patch Adams' clinic will provide inspiration to the entire city.  Michael Realty, Inc. is proud to help catapult this program."   Before removing paving, the group's soil team, led by Drexel grad Jim Wurster, is studying where cleanup is needed.

Philadelphia University students have dedicated many hours to clinic design.

As a tax-exempt program of the Community Health Collaborative of Philadelphia, the group is welcoming people to donate and to volunteer through its website:  Organizers are currently seeking tax-deductible donations of storage space, garden tools, building materials, medical and dental equipment without expiry dates, healing and artisan services, the broadest variety of general skills, dollars and, of course, clown costumes.  "A wide variety  of talents will be needed, from carpenters, laborers, artists, gardeners and architects to doctors, nurses and landscapers.  Everyody else, too," says Glover.   
Committees are forming to gather tools and equipment, raise funds, and create mutually-beneficial local networks with businesses and professionals. Upon these networks, the clinic will reward volunteers with MediCash, its own credit system.
Relying on such cooperation and generosity, they expect the clinic to open its colorful doors in a couple years.

Dr. Patch Adams says, "I'm thrilled to be part of the stimulus for Philadelphia's grassroots initiative, for health care in loving service to all. It's so important for We the People to see that we can deliver beautiful health care much cheaper."

* Verna Brown-Tyner [email protected] (215) 686-3446
* Paul Glover [email protected] (215) 805-8330
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