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“Patch” Adams Hopes To Help Raise Money For North Philadelphia Clinic

Paul Glover standing by 5 acre site he hopes to acquire for Patch Adams clinic. (credit: Pat Loeb)

Paul Glover standing by 5 acre site he hopes to acquire for Patch Adams clinic. (credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A doctor made famous by a 1998 movie is bringing his pioneering theories about health care to Philadelphia. Hunter “Patch” Adams will speak at two events, Tuesday and Wednesday. He’ll be kickstarting an effort to establish a health center in North Philadelphia.

“A doctor’s mission should be not just to prevent death but to improve the quality of life.”

That’s a line from actor Robin Williams portraying “Patch” Adams and boiling down the guiding principal of what community leaders in Tioga hope will become a free clinic and garden on five acres at 17th Allegheny Streets.

The idea of health care that is more than pills and surgeries,” says Paul Glover, the driving force behind the clinic. “(It’s) learning and play and food and work, so within the clinic and surrounding it would be opportunities for all these.

Glover says the five acre site — currently privately owned and zoned light industrial — would include an orchard, greenhouses, even low-income housing. Community leaders such as Billy Williams are behind the plan.

It would be a wonderful thing for the community,” Williams says, “and surrounding communities as well…

The project has a long way to go but Glover is hoping Dr. Adams’ visit will launch fundraising needed to buy the land.

The events take place Tuesday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Drexel College of Medicine, Geary Auditorium, 245 N. 15th St. (at Vine) and Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, 20th and Venango Streets in Philadelphia.

There is no admission charge for either event.

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