The Big Apple Circus is very proud to be a part of Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, with its Clown CareSM program which brings laughter and joy to the bedsides of hospitalized children year round. The program was established in 1986 by Big Apple Circus Co-Founder Michael Christensen.
Clown CareSM Clown Doctors are specially selected professional performers who are trained to work in the sensitive hospital environment. Annually more than ninety Clown Doctors make more than 200,000 one-on-one bedside visits in pediatric services throughout the hospital, including: intensive care units, bone marrow transplant centers, burn treatment centers, pediatric AIDS units, emergency rooms, acute care clinics, physical therapy units and in-patient and out-patient facilities.
These Clown Doctors use parody to help demystify and simplify complicated medical procedures by performing their own "highly technical" clown medicine that includes red-nose transplants, kitty cat scans, chocolate milk transfusions, plate spinning platelet tests, and prescriptions of laughter.
There are currently eighteen Big Apple Circus Clown CareSM hospital clowning programs operating in cities nationwide. In addition to Miami, these host hospitals are located in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New Haven, New York, Providence, RI, Seattle and Washington, D.C.