Students who have seen the 1998 hit movie Patch Adams may recall that the story is about a doctor who seeks to help his patients through humor. However, learners may not know that this film was based on the life of a real man.
Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1971 with a doctoral degree in medicine, People magazine reports. While working in an adolescent clinic at the Medical College of Virginia - VCU's medical campus - in his final year of school, he met Linda Edquist, a fellow VCU student who volunteered in the clinic. Soon after graduation, Patch, Linda and their friends founded the Gesundheit! Institute - originally known as the Zanies - which ran as a free community hospital for 12 years.
Since the 1990s, Adams has supported the Ithaca Health Alliance (IHA). In January 2006, IHA launched the Ithaca Free Clinic, which brought to life key aspects of Adams' vision of health for the family, community and world, Greater Good magazine reports.
In October 2007, Adams and the Gesundheit Board unveiled a campaign to raise $1 million to build a Teaching Center and Clinic in West Virginia.
Adams was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award on January 29, 1997.
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