Gesundheit! Institute

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Gesundheit! Institute
Gesundheit! Institute Logo.jpg
Gesundheit! Institute Logo
Founded 1971
Founder Hunter "Patch" Adams
Type Not-for-profit Health care
Services integrative medicine
Key people
Chair, Cari Brackett, Pharm.D
John T. Glick, MD
Susan R. Parenti, DMA[1]

Coordinates: 38°05′30″N 80°15′21″W / 38.09163°N 80.2559°W / 38.09163; -80.2559=[2]

The Gesundheit! Institute (German for 'Good health!') is a project founded by Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams in 1971, located outside of Hillsboro in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The Institute states its vision as being dedicated to reforming health care delivery by replacing what the Institute sees as greed and competition with generosity and compassion. The creation of the Gesundheit! Institute was a topic of the 1998 movie Patch Adams starring Robin Williams.[3] It is not merely socialism. Adams wishes to re-define entirely how medicine and all professions are practiced. It is a "free hospital."


The goal of the Gesundheit! Institute is to integrate a traditional hospital with alternative medicine such as naturopathy, acupuncture, and homeopathy. Care combines integrative medicine with performing arts, crafts, nature, agriculture, and recreation. One of the continued missions of the Gesundheit! Institute involves the concept of "humanitarian clowning". The project uses the theme of laughter as an integral element of effective doctoral care. In the past, the Gesundheit! Institute has taken clowns into the war zones in Bosnia, refugee camps in the Republic of Macedonia, as well as South African orphanages.

Current plans[edit]

In October 2007, Patch Adams and the Gesundheit Board unveiled their campaign to raise $1 million towards building a Teaching Center and Clinic on the Institute's land in West Virginia. The plan includes a 40-bed hospital that utilizes holistic healthcare, enabling Gesundheit to see patients in its own facility, while perfecting and sharing better healthcare design theories. They broke ground on the new center in 2011.[4][5]