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News Release

Date: 6/05/08

Patch Adams to visit Kirksville

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – Medical doctor, professional clown, performer, author, and social activist Hunter “Patch” Adams, M.D., will deliver the keynote address at A.T. Still University – School of Health Management’s commencement ceremony June 7, 2008. Dr. Adams will also entertain the Kirksville community with a comical performance and sign copies of his books Friday evening, June 6 from 6-8 p.m. at ATSU’s Thompson Campus Center, located at 210 S. Osteopathy. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Dr. Adams has devoted 30 years to changing America's healthcare system. A nationally known speaker on wellness, laughter, humor, and healthcare systems, he approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with exuberance and believes the most revolutionary act one can commit is to be happy. He believes laughter, joy, and creativity are an integral part of the healing process and therefore true healthcare.

Since starting his campaign to raise money for the Gesundheit Institute, a free community hospital in West Virginia, Dr. Adams has written two books: “Good Health is a Laughing Matter” and “House Calls.” In 1994, he won the Institute of Noetic Sciences Award for Creative Altruism and has become well-known through the movie based on his life, “Patch Adams,” starring actor Robin Williams.

In working with health and mental health professionals, he explores the relationship between humor and therapy using his unique blend of knowledge, showmanship, and hands-on teaching techniques. Says Dr. Adams: “I interpret my experience in life as being happy. I want, as a doctor, to say it does matter to your health to be happy. It may be the most important health factor in your life.”


Founded in 1892 as the nation’s first college of osteopathic medicine, A.T. Still University provides graduate level education in whole person healthcare. Recognized internationally for its integrated approach, ATSU equips students with the knowledge, compassion, and hands-on experience needed to address the body, mind, and spirit. The University now comprises the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Health Management, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, the Arizona School of Health Sciences, the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, and the Postgraduate School of Osteopathic Clinical Research.