About us

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.

Prolotherapy is a very useful treatment that the foundation’s physicians use to treat chronic pain. Often it is a one-time treatment that gives most patients long-term relief so it is a very useful therapy in our volunteer medical clinics. Vein sclerosing is performed on patients who have severe varicosities that affect the integrity of the soft tissues of their extremities. In recent years we have increased our phlebology work to include more physicians and the use of diagnostic Ultrasound. Remarkable results have been obtained with the Hackett Hemwall Foundation’s work in both of these areas.

In addition to prolotherapy, vein sclerosing and occasional general medicine, the foundation also provides ear, nose, and throat care to patients in Honduras. Dr. Michael McDonald, an ENT surgeon in Madison, Wisconsin, joined the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation in 1999 and provides ENT treatment, surgeries, and physician teaching at a hospital in La Ceiba.

In recent years, the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation has also been helping small hospitals in La Ceiba, Olanchito and Tela.Through the purchasing of medical supplies and medications and collecting donations from hospitals, medical clinics, and private individuals, the foundation is assisting these hospitals. Another project that the foundation is involved in is the C.R.I.L.A. Rehabilitation Center in LaCeiba and C.R.E.V.A Rehabilitation Center in Olanchito.  Rehabilitation. services were virtually unavailable to the majority of Hondurans but now, through a joint effort of group of kind caring citizens of LaCeiba and Olanchito, and the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation, there are rehabilitation services, and care, for patients in LaCeiba and Olanchito and the surrounding areas.

For additional information, please contact the



To donate medical supplies, money, or your time to the Hackett Hemwall Foundation, please contact Mary Doherty at the above email address.  Donations may also be made on our Donation Page of this website.    All donations are greatly appreciated. Your contribution will enable the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation to continue and expand its work of caring for patients, training physicians, and assisting the underprivileged world community.


©The Hackett Hemwall Foundation, 2002-2016
2532 Balden Street
Madison, Wisconsin

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