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Who We Are

With over 60 years of collective experience, our co-founders, Karen McCarty, Dina Paul Parks and Deborah Kaufmann are committed to making Healthy Humor the premier healthcare clowning organization in America for generations to come.

Our Mission

Healthy Humor is an arts organization whose professional performers create moments of joy, wonder, laughter and comfort for hospitalized children and all others who are most in need.

Our Vision

We hope for a world transformed by humor, joy and the power of human connection – a world less burdened by pain and fear.

Our Values

We are driven to serve those in our world who are hurting.

Our Values

We are passionate about play and its ability to empower the individual and transform any moment.

Our Values

We believe in the power of humor to break down walls and reveal the essential connectedness that all human beings — across our differences — share.

Our Values

We are guided by the highest levels of artistic excellence and creativity.

Our Values

We love to laugh and inspire laughter in others.

The Founders

Dina Paul-Parks

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dina Paul-Parks

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dina is responsible for ensuring the vision and overall management of Healthy Humor and its strategic growth. Prior to launching HH with her partners, Dina was the Vice-President of Community Programs at Big Apple Circus, where she was responsible for the implementation for BAC’s Clown Care program and other initiatives that brought the joy, wonder and magic of classic circus arts to children, families and seniors in pediatric hospitals, nursing homes and other community venues. She was responsible for a staff of over 100. Before joining BAC, Dina served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the administrations of both New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with a particular focus on communications and public affairs. Dina has more than 20 years of progressive experience in education, public policy and community development. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters.

Karen McCarty

Co-Founder & Artistic Director

Karen McCarty

Co-Founder & Artistic Director

Karen is one of the world’s foremost experts on clowns and the growing profession of healthcare clowning. As former Creative Director of the Big Apple Circus and Community Programs and now Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Healthy Humor, she has performed with and managed hundreds of clowns in leading pediatric hospitals across the country for almost three decades. For these efforts she was presented the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award. Karen has been featured on numerous television programs as her clown, “Dr. Ginger Snaps”, including Good Morning America, Comedy Central, and Chicago Hope. She also performed in the original and first national tour of the Broadway musical, Barnum. Karen’s new vaudeville theatre company, Serious Foolishness, staged performances internationally for over 20 years. Her memoir of the same name focuses on her survival of pediatric cancer and subsequent career as a professional idiot. Karen has a BFA in acting and directing from West Virginia University and is a graduate of L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Deborah Kaufmann

Co-Founder & Director of Training and Education

Deborah Kaufmann

Co-Founder & Director of Training and Education

Deborah was a founding member of Big Apple Circus Clown Care (BAC) in 1987. Now, at Healthy Humor, her character, “Dr. Dibble”, continues to bring her own brand of buffoonery to hospitalized children and their caregivers through the Red Nose Docs. She has more day-to-day, on-the-floor experience than any other healthcare clown, worldwide. In addition, she oversees the recruitment, vetting and training of Red Nose Docs and our Vaudeville Visits performers, while also guiding ongoing artistic enrichment and staying current on relevant research about the arts in healthcare. “Dr. Dibble” has been featured in many television programs, including The Today Show, Healing Quest, and Chicago Hope. As Associate Creative Director of Community Programs at BAC, Deborah ensured the overall artistic quality of the work of hundreds of performers around the nation. She has taught healthcare clowning in Brazil, France, The Netherlands, Finland, Portugal and Australia. She tours her solo clown and puppetry works internationally, at theaters and festivals.