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Clown Care Postage Stamp by Israel Post

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The image of a clown entertaining a sick child in hospital that appears on this stamp has become the symbol of clown care in Israel and around the world.

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 humor, games and clowning in order to improve patients' spirits. The highly successful 1998 film 'Patch Adams', starring Robin Williams, portrayed his work.

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.

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