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Circus Wellness

Circus Mojo & Circus Wellness

Circus Wellness is a Circus Mojo enrichment program that helps those who are sick become active participants in the circus arts. Circus Wellness prescribes immediate enjoyment and empowerment to participants through music, improvisation, and instruction. In a hospital setting, a Mojo artist might enter a patient’s room playing the melodica (an instrument similar to but smaller than the accordion) to make initial contact in an easy, non-threatening manner. From there, artists entertain participants with theatrical clowning and teach a variety of skills from balancing a peacock feather to spinning a plate. For instance, a kid who learns to spin a plate while laying in a hospital bed gets to show off a special skill their parents, nurses, and doctors do not know how to do. This role reversal takes on profound meaning as the young patient shares something new and interesting with their caretakers.

Circus Wellness Brochure 

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Circus Mojo Evaluation Report by Dr. Jenny O’Donell


C.A.R.E. Consultancy Reports from our Circus Wellness work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center:

C.A.R.E. Consultancy Inpatient Report – Circus Wellness

 C.A.R.E. Consultancy Waiting Room Report – Circus Wellness

C.A.R.E. Consultancy Orthopaedics – Circus Wellness

Check out this great post on the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital blog!

Circus Mojo solves issues relevant to specific groups.

For major medical institutions we solve many issues in a very unique way, Circus Mojo at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) keeps customer service satisfaction high for parents and children in hospital waiting rooms. Survey results from a recent quarter at CCHMC provided by 611 customers revealed 582 Very Satisfactory, 16 Satisfactory, and 13 Unsatisfactory regarding waiting room experience at Children’s Hospital (Unsatisfied Comment: “There were no circus performers” & ”I wish I came here on Wednesday” Mojo’s scheduled day). Circus Mojo uses humor as a coping tool while offering a unique opportunity for patients to learn a new skill. Our goal is to diminish limitations and inspire confidence, increase coordination, and improve behavior.

We positively impact staff morale which builds staff retention rates and makes for an enjoyable place to work for employees and staff members. In many ways our leading product is the work we do in hospitals and in the medical field. We have earned a second year contract at CCHMC and we believe we can replicate this work at leading hospitals across the United States.

Circus Wellness specifically engages staff with the children and their families in the hospital setting. We work in the Rehabilitation, Orthopedic, Hematology/Oncology Clinic and in the day hospital, the Psychiatric Unit, Dialysis, Radiology, and in the concourse and other waiting areas and clinics. The program design was created to impact three areas at CCHMC:

• Customer satisfaction

• HR employee morale/retention recruiting

• Child self-esteem/ healing


We recently received additional funding and our new contract supports an increase in the number of days in the hospital for the Circus Mojo staff. These marketable metrics are as invaluable to a hospital’s bottom line as they are personally satisfying to its staff and administration.

With additional funding, our project will increase to three days per week, including additional visits to the Pediatric Psychiatric Unit at their North College Hill campus and other satellite units.

We are working to expand the program from CCHMC to hospitals across the United States! (Read about us in the CCHMC Newsletter)

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What our parents say:

Amber T. – “I just wanted to say THANK YOU! Our daughter is a regular patient at CCHMC and we were surprised a few weeks ago when we saw you in the corridor. It made her whole day!!! (And ours too for that matter!) I am in tears reading about Mojo Medicine!!! 🙂 People think this stuff is silly but it is not at all! The ability of children to LAUGH and PLAY through invasive medical treatments is a beautiful thing. It gives us parents back a small piece of their childhood that we lose sitting inside those four walls (including two open hearts that landed us in the CICU in Cincy for a month) and spent more than a year’s worth of days in the hospital in her four years of life. She has lost so much TIME being a kid. It kills me. Thank you for giving just a few minutes of that back to her!!! :)”

Caressa H – “Thank you so, so much for coming to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital today! My nephew and his friends had a blast. Keep up the good work. I know you are putting many smiles on the kids’ faces.” 

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 What our clients say:

“They brought a lot of laughter and a lot of smiles to the kids. The patients look up quickly when they arrive and look forward to what they will engage them in. I have some pictures if you want them!”

–Deb C., B.S., CCLS, CLSI, Division of Child Life, Cincinnati, Ohio

Are We in the Hospital?

All the circus tricks, spinning plates and balancing feathers are a great way for patients to use fine and gross motor skills without them realizing they are doing just that. Not once did I hear “I can’t do that.” It was almost like they completely forgot they were in the hospital. We had a great session with three patients along with their families. The parents enjoyed Mojo Medicine just has much as their son or daughter did.

–Nikki P., MS, CCLS, Rehab Unit Cincinnati, Ohio

Waiting Room Lifesaver

“All of the parents voiced how appreciative they were to have this type of distraction in a clinic waiting room as they had been waiting at least an hour past their appointment time. Mojo Medicine is a lifesaver in the waiting rooms! The kids were so excited to tell all of us about what they saw and how much fun they had and also tried to show us what they learned.”

–Patty H., CCLS, Child Life Specialist I, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Trick Is to Shine

“The patients let go of inhibitions and fears and find themselves transformed from the hospital environment to the circus ring. One patient, described as withdrawn and nonverbal, eagerly helped with a trick. Patients who suffer from low self esteem shine when Mojo Medicine visits.”

–Nancy P. Child, Life Specialist, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Skill of Feeling Better

“Mojo Medicine helps children who typically feel inadequate learn new skills neither their well friends nor the almighty staff have. And this makes the children feel better about themselves.”

–Robyn H., M.Ed., CCLS, Director of Child Life Services, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

Manuel Garcia Juggling with Patient Low Res

New Spin on Participation

“The Mojo Medicine teachers and performers appear to instinctively be drawn to the children who can benefit most from their participation. When he arrived home, a developmentally delayed, deaf teen immediately used sign language to communicate about how he could spin a plate.”

–Meredith V., LCSW, Quality of Life Program Coordinator, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas

Circus in Hospitals

On April 14, 2011 were the featured performers at the Society for the Arts in Health Care in San Fransisco, CA.

 “During their performance, a developmentally delayed, deaf teen was chosen to participate on stage to spin plates. When on stage, the child immediately started beaming and taking direction about how to perform the trick. When we arrived home, the first thing that this child did was to use sign language to communicate to his mother all about his circus performance and how he could spin a plate. Circus Mojo teachers and performers appear to instinctively be drawn to the children who can benefit most from their participation.”

– Meredith Vela, LCSW – 
Quality of Life Program Coordinator
, Texas Children’s Hospital

Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired

“It’s one of the neatest things I have ever seen here. He (Paul) has a way with students and a way with helping them allay their fears and realize they can do things that they probably didn’t think possible.”

–Michael W., VP Program Services

Circus Mojo at Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired



We also offer programming for adults with mental and physical disabilities at our space in Ludlow KY!

Circus Mojo Brochure – CircAbility (pdf)

Click here for more information on CircAbility