new friends of Gesundheit! And greetings to our many old friends!
What an amazing year. Patch Adams
became the most popular release ever for Universal Studios and within
weeks, 20 million people had seen it.
It's hundreds of millions now, and growing.
As a small organization with
a staff of six, we have weathered a tidal wave of attention with as much
fun, creativity, cooperation and good cheer as possible. Thanks to all
of you who have expressed interest in learning more about the Gesundheit!
Institute and wanting to get involved.
We appreciate your compassion and hope you understand
that sometimes your generous offers to help have exceeded our ability
to respond. Though there are many of you and few of us, we've done our
best to maintain Patch's personal, friendly style of interaction.
We're encouraged that so many of you are activists and self-starters,
already changing the quality of life in your communities.
so what's gesundheit! all about?
We want to bring fun, friendship and the joy of service back into health
care. Please join us. We are working to replace greed and competition
with generosity, compassion and interdependence. Because they're healthy
and fun, we want to nurture the growth of grassroots, neighborly mutual
support and personal activism. We need your help!
about the hospital ...
As a stimulant to broaden the dialogue on health care delivery, we want
to build a hospital/healing community where:
- All the healing arts will be welcome;
- All patients will be treated as friends;
- There will be no charge for health
- No third party reimbursement will be accepted;
- The health care experience will be infused
- No malpractice insurance will be carried by the Institute; and
- The health of the staff will be valued equally with the health of
is it built yet? is it built yet?
Since the movie's release, we have received several offers of huge donations
which would allow us to build the hospital of our dreams right away!
After 30 years of persistence in this quest, can you imagine anything
It has been a roller coaster, more than once being told it could be
"any day". We remain hopeful, but we are still waiting. We have established
the Gesundheit! Hospital Foundation, and are ready to take the next
leap when big money arrives.
This time of suspense has greatly reinforced our appreciation of all
your individual supporting contributions that have keps us afloat through
thick and thin.
This spring we have received a $60, 000 challenge grant for architectural
work, and a generous $60, 000 grant from a family foundation. Wanting
to build the Gesundheit! hospital has inspired us for years.
We remain committed to health care, even a world, based on caring for
one another, the healing power of friendship, and the
life-giving joy of service.
what can we do now?
The good news is we don't have to wait for a hospital. This new culture
is growing today, in the good works of a worldwide network of people
drawing inspiration and support
from our common vision. You are probably one of them.
You're helping to build Gesundheit!'s foundation with creative personal
activism; our most accessible tool for change.
patch adams: human dynamo!
Patch has increased his already whirlwind speaking schedule since the
movie release, responding to pleas for his clowning, inspiration and
persistent joy. He maintains a prodigious correspondence with friends
all over the world, and performs regularly with activist Susan Parenti.
Patch has visited more countries than we can keeptrack of, spreading
the contagious belief that caring for your neighbor not only makes for
a better day, but also a better world. This past year Gesundheit! clowns
have visited Russia, Macedonia, El Salvador, Haiti, Australia and many
We've done "housecalls" in homes, hospitals, nursing homes and even
in west virginia
On our land in West Virginia, construction continues on the Dacha, a
home for those caring for the site of the future hospital. We have received
thousands of requests from people wanting to come and volunteer.
Talk about too much of a good thing! Since we cannot accommodate more
people on the land, we are seeking to redirect this outpouring of generosity
by encouraging people to volunteer in their own communities.
the housecalls-a-gesundheit! conspiracy
Please consider grabbing a friend and joining the Gesundheit! Housecalls
team (see below). This is a great way to grow friendships and make your
own community a home of Gesundheit! health care. Do it together and
have fun with it.
Simple gestures of loving care are powerful healers.
how can you get involved?
Give! Give! Give!
TIME - get involved in our Housecalls Program.
MONEY - if you'd like to support what we're doing, make a tax-deductible
contribution. Consider helping us match the $60,000 challenge grant
for architectural work on Phase One of the hospital.
Thanks to the tremendous volunteer efforts of professional videographer,
Judith Bourque, there is a new documentary with an inside view of Gesundheit!
and Patch's work, titled The Real Patch Adams.
You can buy a $29.95 home video from (800) 543-3764 or from www.bullfrogfilms.com
JOIN THE GESUNDHEIT!
HOUSE CALL TEAM
We are looking for people who want to join us by offering
one free house call per month. This house call would be a chance to
do the generous, creative, fun and friendly health care of your dreams.
And we are talking about health care in the broadest sense here.
While the program was conceived for health care workers, it is open
to anyone who wants to feel good having fun helping their neighbors.
Caring for someone's health can mean shoveling their walk, getting them
groceries, or listening to the stories that they need to share.
Just showing up is enough, but imagine the possibilities! You could
dress up as your favorite character, bring your ukulele, or take along
all the makings of a charming tea party for two. Give your imagination
You can offer the form of health care you are most familiar with, or
you can use this as an opportunity to venture into kinds of care you
want to explore. The key element is that this be a gift from your heart
that the two of you enjoy together.
Health care exchanged in this context of delight and sharing can revive
those core reasons that inspired you to enter health care in the first
place. In this setting, taking a blood pressure can help heal the soul.
For many of us in health care, the delight of creative, fun house calls
is the sort of thing we wish we could be doing all the time. Committing
to make one free house call per month is good for us good for our patients.
Keep in touch with us, and you become a part of the Gesundheit!
House Call network.
You'll get a regular dose of this caring fun and know you're joining
like-minded friends all over. By offering this service without money,
you bring health care back home to a relationship between friends and
make a powerful statement that reclaims it from the
dragon of profit-motivated care.
how to do it
Like many things, housecalls can be even more fun when they're done
with a friend. Grab someone you like to spend time with, and ask them
to join you. You'll get double creativity, double satisfaction.
Here are the details: you choose the person that you want to visit and
contact them. Picking a person you know helps you create a house call
that really works, but it's also possible to act on a recommendation
from a friend. Maybe you'll find inspiration in the housecall stories
that follow this note.
Keeping house calls local helps improve the health of the community
you're living in. Put some creative thought into how you could make
this visit enjoyable for both of you. Patch's two books, Gesundheit!
and House Calls, can be good sources of inspiration.
To be a part of our network, write a note after you have done your first
house call and describe something about it: what you enjoyed, what worked
well, what you learned, how it can support your other health care work.
Send your note by mail to Heidi Read at 5531 Lynwood Place, Boise, Idaho
83706, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
That's your ticket to join our team. Keep having fun making the world
a better place.
Lots of love from the whole Gesundheit! gang XXX
Copyright 2003 The