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Patch Adams here to explore free clinic

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A doctor who was the inspiration behind a Hollywood hit movie has come to Philadelphia. He is hoping to continue his mission to change medicine.

Who can forget Robin Williams portraying the fun-loving, inspirational doctor in the 1998 blockbuster movie 'Patch Adams.'

Today, we met up with the real Patch Adams.

The political activitist, now 68, is in Philadelphia to help raise awareness about a movement to open unique health clinics nationwide. The first one is tentatively to go on a 4.9 acre plot on the 17-hundred block of West Allegheny Avenue in North Philadelphia.

Adams believes medicine has become a greedy business. So using the model he used in the past for his now-defunct Gesundheit Institute, the Patch Adams Clinics will be free for the poor and the rich alike.

"We never wanted you to think you owed something, rather that you belong to something called community," says Adams.

Designs unveiled at a community forum show the clinic will include space for preventative and primary care, meeting rooms, a medical library, plus outdoor space for an orchard and a garden.

"Where people can grow food for the community, so they will learn a new lifestyle so they can become healthier, " says Jim Wurster, a volunteer with the clinic project.

The building will also be 'green,' using both solar power and earth sheltering to reduce heating and cooling costs, and constructed with regional and recycled materials.

The clinic, started by local activist Paul Glover will also allow people to volunteer time in exchange for complementary services like massage, yoga and meditation.

Adams says he is lending his name and his advice on what it takes to make medicine make a difference.

"Actually there are 6 qualities: happy, funny, loving, cooperative, creative and thoughtful," he says.

That is how he would like to see all medical facilities operate.

If you would like more information on the proposed clinic or on the movement, go to www.patchadamsclinic.org.

The campaign is still in the works. Organizers say they aren't sure yet how healthcare reform will affect the movement.

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