'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.
"By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance, we look to distinguish ourselves doing social good by making sick people feel better and heal faster," Chindamo said.
The campaign will fund an upgrade of LaughMD's beta testing at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hollywood as well as LaughMD's launch in Marina del Rey Hospital, both in Los Angeles. It will also go toward completing the LaughMD mobile app and Web site. For every additional $10,000 raised, LaughMD will be able to expand into one additional location.
As part of the fund-raising campaign LaughMD is offering a variety of merchandise and other perks to get the donations coming. Among these is a chance to receive an associate producer credit by donating $100 or if becoming a video disc-jockey is more interesting, donors can become a virtual VJ for a $250 donation. But for the real comedians out there, they can make donate $2,500 and get the chance to do five-minute standup act on the LaughMD Channel and show if they truly have what it takes to get the laughs going!
The LaughMD team is made up of Chief Content Officer and Founder Frank Chindamo, Chief Technical Officer John Frank Rosenblum, Chief Executive Officer Joshua Berman, expert advisors besides Dr. Patch Adams include Dr. Paul "Dr. J" Jacobson, recognized expert in psycho-neuro-immunology and behavioral science, and host of the LaughMD channel; Dr. Geraldine Crean Ph.D. formerly of Pfizer and Bill Gates' One World Health, serving as advisor on new business development and government affairs; Dr. Cynthia Shelby-Lane, private practitioner , anti-aging specialist and talk show host; Rick Feldman, former CEO of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE); Col. Dr. Robert Slay, a practicing emergency physician, board certified Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine and retired colonel of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.; Dr. Jeffrey L. Gurian, Ex-Associate Clinical Professor at New York University College of Dentistry, and comedy writer, producer, author and host Comedy Matters TV; Ron Friedman, Emmy Award-winning writer of "All in the Family," "Barney Miller," "Get Smart" and many other TV shows and movies.
ABOUT LAUGHMD - Founded by Frank Chindamo, president and founder of noted production house, Fun Little Movies, LaughMD is dedicated to creating a fun and healing environment for hospital patients nationwide through its proposed LaughMD channel. Based upon medical studies showing the healing and stress-reducing powers of laughter on people, Chindamo and his team of business and medical experts have helped develop LaughMD as a viable and positive force for healing hospital patients. To learn more, visit www.LaughMD.com.