Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Medical Clown in Israel

The image of a clown entertaining a sick child in hospital that appears on the stamp has become the symbol of clown care in Israel and around the world. The stamp has issued by Israel Post on year 2009.
Clowning embraces silliness, joy and disarray, in clear contrast to the supreme seriousness of the medical profession. In the 1970’s Dr. Patch Adams, considered to be the founder of clown care, was determined to change doctors’ patronizing attitude toward their patients and to get them to see those patients as people, not just as cases.

Patch Adams claimed that combined treatment of both the body and the spirit is the best way to defeat disease. He utilized a lot of humour, games and clowning in order to improve patients’ spirits.
A number of years after Patch Adams began his mission, real clowns from the Big Apple Circus began visiting children’s wards in New York hospitals. Adams’ message spread quickly and today medical clowns operate in most countries around the world, working in conjunction with medical teams.
Clown care came to Israel in 2000, with Shlomi Algosi considered to be the first Israeli medical clown.  The Dream Doctors organization, which is supported by the Magi Foundation, works  professionalize clown care in Israel, through academic training and by establishing clowning in hospitals. Most of the Dream Doctors clowns are trained actors.
Simchat Halev (Inner Happiness) is a non-profit organization that trains and operates medical clowns throughout Israel on a voluntary basis.
In recent years, medical clowns have also begun working in adult wards, whose patients benefit just as much as the children.
(Resources from Israel Post Info)
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