Contributed by: Brianna Bouchard
The Simmons Community will be welcoming Dr. Patch Adams to our campus on March 6, 2014 from 6-8pm. He be talking from 6-7pm in the Linda K. Paresky Center and will then have a meet and greet in Common Grounds from 7-8pm. Dr. Patch Adams entered medical school in 1967 to use medicine as a vehicle for social change. He used his free time to study the history of health care delivery around the world and to look at contemporary models with the idea of creating a medical model that would address all the problems of the way care is delivered. He did not intend to create a model that would be THE answer to the problems; but to model creative problem solving, and to spark each medical facility to design their own ideal rather than succumb to the garbage of managed care, or a resignation to the impossibility of humanistic care.
From his original vision, all the principles have been maintained through years. There is no charge for the care. The goal is to want to eliminate the idea of debt in the medical interaction as a way to begin recreating human community. They do not want people to think they owe something; they want them to think they belong to something; we cannot not conceive of a community which does not care for its people. The loudest cry of patients is for compassion and attention, which is a call for time. So initial interviews with patients are three to four hours long, so that members of Gesundheit can fall in love with each other. Intimacy is the greatest gift we can give patients, especially at a death bed, with intractable pain or chronic, unsolved medical problems. They fully integrate medicine with performing arts, arts and crafts, agriculture, nature, education, recreation and social service, as essential parts of health care delivery.
At the urging of friends in the US, given the collapse of health care systems in our country, they decided in 2009 to fundraise for phases 4 and 5, the teaching center and clinic, which will provide the indispensable minimum of our hospital vision. Simmons College and the Simmons Student Nursing Association are hoping to raise $15,000 by March 6, 2013 to help support Gesundheit's vision. For more information, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event page on Facebook.