In 1969, Dr. Gus Hemwall, a surgeon in private practice in Chicago, established a foundation dedicated to providing medical care to needy people around the world. He named the foundation after his mentor, Dr. George Hackett, who was a pioneer in the area of prolotherapy and one of the first physicians to perform the treatment in the United States. Prolotherapy is often considered a new therapy, but documentation shows that a very similar therapy was performed as early as 400 BC. Although initially known as the Hackett Foundation, the organization was eventually renamed in honor of Dr. Hemwall and his wife, Helen, who dedicated their lives to helping others in many ways. Their lives serve as models for those of us who follow in their footsteps.
Jeffrey J. Patterson, DO, professor at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Department of Family Medicine, was the foundation’s director until his untimely death in 2014. Together, the members of the Hackett Hemwall Foundation dedicate their time and services to provide high-quality medical treatment to people around the world who are otherwise unable to afford medical care. With its many classes, conferences, and clinical experiences, the foundation provides medical professionals with an opportunity to further their training and education. Another objective of the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation involves research concerning the effectiveness of certain medical procedures such as prolotherapy, which is used as a treatment for chronic pain, and vein sclerosing, which is used to help patients with varicose veins.
Since the foundation’s beginning, each year, the director has organized trips to underdeveloped countries. We perform Prolotherapy, Ultrasound guided sclero therapy, and ENT surgery. As the number of participants on our trips increases, the number of patients we are able to treat also increases.