Keynote address: Cultivate Joy
Patch Adams is an American physician, clown and a social activist, who believes in treating his patients with love, humor and creativity, apart from the traditional medical services. His suicidal attempts as a teenager got him hospitalized three times in a year and he decided to change all this forever. To give shape to his vision, he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia) in 1971. Passionate about spreading love and laughter all around, he founded Gesundheit! Institute as a free community hospital. After running it for free for 12 years, he moved out of his cocoon and traveled worldwide, giving presentations and delivering lectures to medical schools and conferences to spread awareness about the alternative medical facilities for treating patients, thereby bringing a change to the existing healthcare system in America. He also made clown trips to hospitals, elder homes, orphanages, war zones, natural disaster sites, and refugee camps. Of late, he is working hard to re-build Gesungheit Institute as a community eco-village health care facility in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, which will include a 40-bed hospital and other amenities such as theater, horticulture, vocational therapy, and arts and crafts shops.