Hospital Humor Therapy


“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

“Merry Heart Medicine” is just what the doctor ordered. You’ll find Dizzy the Clown at Ottumwa Regional Health Center or at the McCreery Cancer Treatment Center in Ottumwa, Iowa, every week, tickling funny bones by providing humor therapy. Dizzy is either singing, telling stories, blowing bubbles, juggling, using puppetry, doing tricks, or performing some kind of silly antic.

The medical value of humor therapy has been scientifically proven. Laughter can dispel anxiety and help manage stress, depression, fear, and worry. It can stimulate the healing process. Laughter provides strong medical, psychological, social, and even spiritual benefits by encouraging “coping” attitudes. Laughter is like internal jogging–it enhances the respiratory system, helps oxygenate the body, increases circulation, activates the nervous system, relaxes tense muscles, helps lower blood pressure, and is an all-around pain killer. Humor therapy also enhances the relationship between health professionals and their patients.

Comments from patients and staff:


“It is my experience that some of the best medicine is laughter. When our daughter was suffering with liver cancer, there were few things that could take her young mind off of her plight. The distraction of laughter, the anticipation of a visit, and the memories of the antics of Dizzy were invaluable. I have seen Dizzy perform on many occasions. Each show has been unique and demonstrated a wide range of comedic talents. Sleight of hand, card tricks, and verbal humor are all employed, plus many others. Talent of this nature is hard to find.”
Father of Pediatric patient

“Both staff and patients enjoy Dizzy visiting. She has a calming effect on children and takes their mind off of their surgery. The children and parents enjoy Dizzy. She makes them laugh and relaxes them.”
S.Miller, One-Day Surgery Staff

“Dizzy is an exceptional addition to One Day Surgery. Dizzy alleviates the fears of the kids before surgery. We appreciate Dizzy so much.”
B.Jeffers, Director of Surgical Services

“Dizzy is very delightful, energetic, and a funny addition to our department. The children as well as adults are mesmerized by her jokes, tricks, and soft-hearted attitude. She is enjoyed by staff as well as patients.”
C.Biggs, RN

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