Humorologists bringing laughter from Atlanta to Piedmont Columbus Regional

Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 4:39 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2023 at 5:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Sometimes, a little laughter is all you need to change the direction of your day or even your health. That’s the purpose of a program for patients young and old at Piedmont Columbus Regional.

Gina Rickicki, better known as Dr. TBD, talked about the art of humorology or Clown Care.

Bringing therapeutic fun through artistic performance and, well, clowning around for young and old patients at Piedmont Columbus Regional.

“We’re here to be of service in a sense that we bring all of our many years of collective, professional performance skills,” said the doctor.

The hospital has utilized talent from Humorology Atlanta since 2019, funded by generous community donations to the Piedmont Regional Foundation with help from the Children’s Miracle Network.

Studies have shown that a bit of humor does help patients.

“Humor is very therapeutic. There is research behind what numerologists do that supports humor as well we music and other types of arts that are beneficial to patients.”

Parents are thankful for the gesture.

“The performance was great. It was fun. I think it’s therapeutic. It puts a smile on their faces and lets them forget [about] what they’re going through at the time,” said a parent.

“Getting kids to breathe deep, and there’s nothing better than a good hearty laugh,” said another parent.

Dr. TBD and Okey Dokey have been “clowning” around hospitals for years. The performers, along with hospital staff, all say aside from the research, humor just makes life a bit easier.

“It’s the best thing to ever happen to me... to find this work.”

Humorologists travel from Atlanta to Piedmont Columbus Regional on a weekly basis, visiting patients in the children’s hospital, the NICU and dialysis units.