The First Clowndoctor “on a visit” with RED NOSES

He is here, at last: Michael Christensen, the man who in 1986 laid the foundation stone for the professional and methodically organised hospital-clown work worldwide with his “Clown Care Unit” in the USA. He has many years of cooperation and friendship with RED NOSES Clowndoctors. Together with the workshops, which Christensen is now running for the RED NOSES clowns, he also found the time to accompany his clown friends on a hospital visit. Moreover, at a personal meeting and greeting, RED NOSES supporters had the possibility to become acquainted with the charismatic performer and his story about the setting-up of the first hospital-clown organisation.

“It is a special honour and pleasure to work together with Michael Christensen after the founding of RED NOSES 19 years ago. His idea of ‘clown doctoring’ has in the meantime seen a triumphal march around the world. He has also repeatedly motivated us with his performance and his visions to set-up international and professional clown programmes,” says with pleasure the RED NOSES president about the visit by Michael Christensen. Monica Culen, who as CEO of the international RED NOSES Group, has together with Austria set-up ten further RED NOSES partner organisations.

If one relates of clowns in a hospital, most people are convinced that that their work stems from the ideas of Patch Adams! But the founder of the professional and methodically organised clown work in a hospital is a completely different man, Michael Christensen.

 

Michael Who?

As a performer and cofounder of the “Big Apple Circus” in the USA, Michael Christensen was already well-known when he created the “Clown Care Unit” in 1986. The idea developed while he provided his brother, who was sick with cancer, with humour and spiritual sensitivity to the last. Christensen was the first to set-up regular clown programmes in hospitals: a team of two clowns always visit once each week, or more often, hospital wards to bring patients the joy of life and optimism in their sick beds. He received multiple awards for his humanitarian and social engagement. Today he is a popular speaker and guest lecturer at renowned universities and clown organisations all over the world.

Picture 1: Michael Christensen as Dr. Stubbs (centre right) with Dr. Rudi Rucola, Dr. Olga Oberwichtig and RED NOSES president Monica Culen at the Open Medical Institute in Vienna.
Picture 2: Monica Culen has worked together with Michael Christensen and his “Clown Care Unit” since the founding of RED NOSES Clown Doctors.

Picture 3: Guests at the meeting and greeting also took great pleasure in becoming acquainted with Michael Christensen and his exciting story about setting-up the clown work. Left to right Dr. Elisabeth Hall, chairperson of RED NOSES Clown Doctors, Michael Christensen, Monica Culen, president of RED NOSES Clown Doctors and director of RED NOSES Clown Doctors International, Dr. Liliana Niesielska, actor and translator, Peter Buchauer, director of Felix Austria PLC.
Picture 4. Left to right: Dr. Rainer Reich, managing director The Boston Consulting Group, Michael Christensen, University prof. and senior consultant Dr. Paul Bratusch-Marrain, medical director of the Province of Waldviertel Clinic, Monica Culen, MA, Constantin Veyder-Malberg, chairman of Capital Bank.
Picture 5. All performers together: Michael Christensen (centre) with Martin Kotal (left), the artistic director of RED NOSES in Austria and Giora Seeliger (right), cofounder of RED NOSES and artistic director of RED NOSES Clown Doctors International.
Picture 6. Michael Christensen and the artistic directors of the RED NOSES Group.

Pictures: RED NOSES Clown Doctors

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