Prolo Hawaii

In Memory of Jeff Patterson, MD

2Jeff Patterson, MD (Medical Director of the Hackett Hemwall Foundation and the Past President / President Elect  for Physicians for Social Responsibility) my mentor, adviser, friend and prolotherapy colleague....  died suddenly from a Heart Attack on  January 23, 2014 in New York City. He has touched so many people around the world with his teaching, leadership and humanitarian work.  I and the Prolotherapy Community are so shocked and saddened by this news.   

Jeffrey J. Patterson, DO, was born on June 13, 1946 in Iowa,  He died suddenly on January 24, 2014 while on vacation in NYC.  Jeff was a kind and caring man that worked tirelessly to try to make the world a better place for all of us.  Since the birth of his granddaughter, Kira, 2 years ago, he realized even more the importance of working toward slowing Climate Change, abolishing nuclear weapons and power, and promoting world peace.

He was devoted to his family and group of close friends.  Jeff was always there with a hug, a smile, and an ear.  He never tired of playing with his daughter and her friends while they grew up and served as a positive father figure to children who lacked fathers of their own.  For the past 2 years he was passionate about spending time with his granddaughter, Kira.  Her smiles and kind nature have been shaped by his love.

Jeff was a true family doctor.  Many patients will miss his kind, caring manner, his extensive knowledge and his skills in providing their medical care.  Dr. Patterson was, at the time of his death, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Department of Family Medicine.  His affiliation with UW began in 1973 as a family practice resident and continued on as faculty member, Professor, and recently Emeritus Professor.  He maintained a busy medical practice until his death.

Many organizations benefited from Jeff’s hard work and determination to try to make this a better world for all of us.  First and foremost he was dedicated to Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 30,000 doctors across the US.  In 1983 Jeff was a founding member of PSR Wisconsin, in which he has been active since.  Jeff has served on the board of trustees of the national PSR organization for decades, including serving as president for two terms. He traveled extensively, lecturing on the effects of radiation on humans, including to the former USSR after the Chernobyl disaster, and Japan after the Fukushima disaster, in addition to other countries around the world. He has worked tirelessly to try to lessen the affects of Climate Change and to abolish nuclear weapons and nuclear power.   (   In conjunction with his work at UW and PSR, Jeff annually taught a class, Physician Activism, for medical students.  He wanted young doctors to know how influential they could be in the world – and how to go about using their influence in a positive way, to again, make the world a better place.

Another organization that was important to Jeff was the Hackett Hemwall Foundation, HHF. Jeff was the president of the Board of HHF for over 20 years.  Jeff, and his partner Mary Doherty,  worked together with the HHF volunteers to provide medical care in underdeveloped countries.  Each year Jeff and Mary would organize medical trips, taking up to 150 HHF volunteer physicians and assistants to Honduras where they would provide medical care to 4,000 to 5,000 patients each year.   The HHF is known as a teaching organization that teaches the skill of prolotherapy – a therapy in which Jeff was world-renowned.  Jeff, along with his HHF colleagues, taught physicians from more than 28 countries how to do prolotherapy, a treatment for chronic pain.  During the time that Jeff was president of the HHF, the foundation trips grew to include phlebology, which treated ulcers and the treatment of venous disease, ENT surgery and dental care.  Jeff also engaged the UW Schools of Engineering and Physical Therapy in the Honduras trips, students and faculty would also volunteer their services in Honduras.  (

Words used to describe Jeffrey Jon Patterson, DO by his family, friends, colleagues, and patients are:  compassionate, brilliant, generous, committed, kind, caring.  One of his colleagues wrote about Jeff saying he was a man of true integrity, that core quality forming the foundation of a great person, so rare in our society.  We were all privileged and blessed to have known him, to experience his greatness firsthand.  He will be remembered as a genuine role model in life, the kind we can aspire to be.

Jeffrey J. Patterson, DO, grew up in Mediapolis, Iowa.  He graduated from Grinnell College, and  Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine; he completed his internship in Detroit and his Family Medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin.  He spent his entire professional career at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, teaching, mentoring, caring for thousands of patients and being the Family Doctor that he knew he wanted to be from the time he was a young boy, following in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps.

Jeff is survived by his loving life partner, Mary Doherty, his daughter, Becca Patterson, her husband David Francis, and his granddaughter Kira Francis, whom he truly cherished.  He is further survived by his brother, Michael Patterson, PhD, his wife Janice, of Plantation, FL; along with 2 nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Mary’s sons, Daniel Machotka of Black Earth, WI and Bryan Machotka of Belleville, WI, and Becca’s mother and his close friend, Pat Patterson, also survive him.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. H. M. Patterson and Vivenne Patterson, of Mediapolis, Iowa.

A Celebration of Jeff’s Life will be held at The First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison, WI on Sunday, February 23, 2014, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers or other expressions of sympathy, donations will be appreciated to Physicians for Social Responsibility at (mailing address: PSR Wisconsin, 2712 Marshall Court  Suite 2, Madison, WI  53705) or to Hackett Hemwall Foundation at (mailing address: Hackett Hemwall Foundation, c/o Treasurer Julie Olson, 4606 Shore Acres Road, Monona, WI  53716).

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