'Patch Adams' Joins Effort to Bring Comedy to Patients with LaughMD
Noted physician, Dr. Doherty Hunter "Patch" Adams, whose life story was told in the film comedy "Patch Adams," has joined an Indiegogo campaign aimed at bringing comedy channels directly into hospital rooms and patient waiting rooms to help patients heal.
Adams is part of the advisory board for the campaign headed by LaughMD, seeks to raise $25,000 to bring comedy and its healing powers to hospital patients . The campaign which began July 24 and ends on Sept. 7 is at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/laughter-the-best-medicine.
Adams is known for creating the Gesundheit! Institute which ran a free community hospital, as well as for establishing free clinics and traveling around the world with fellow doctors to bring humor and medical care to orphans, elderly and other patients in need of treatment. His life became the focus of the hit 1998 film "Patch Adams" starring Robin Williams.
The LaughMD effort is based upon recent studies that show that laughter helps patients heal faster by reducing their stress levels. A 2005 University of Maryland study showed that laughter improved blood flow in blood vessels thus promoting healthier arteries and the ability to heal. Likewise, a 2010 study by Loma Linda University's School of Allied Health showed that laughing not only enhances a person's positive mood, but lowers stress hormones, increases immune activity, and reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, much like moderate exercise. And this 2014 LA Times article highlights more recent findings.
With this in mind, adjunct professor and Web video expert Frank Chindamo created LaughMD in part because of the experiences he saw when he was with his family in hospitals. His father suffered from heart attacks and cancer and was in the hospital 17 times before he died. His brother passed away after months in a hospital. And other family members have spent weeks in hospitals. Chindamo saw that most of the time, patients were doing nothing but watching TV, and the TV channels available to them made them more anxious, aggravated and sicker. He felt there had to be a better way!
"I had heard of these medical studies that showed the benefits of laughter for hospital patients and I knew then that I could create a technological solution that would bring comedy programming directly to these patients and help them get better," Chindamo said.
"LaughMD was recently accepted as a Certified Benefit Corporation or 'B Corp' and we are beyond excited and proud to join the list of some of the most well-respected, trend-setting and socially conscious companies in the world."
Certified Benefit Corporation is private certification for for-profit organizations that meet specific requirements for social and environmental performance.