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Press Release

A Year After Tucson Shooting, Compassionate Medical Care is Lasting Message

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Englewood Cliffs, NJ (PRWEB) February 15, 2012

Last year’s shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords along with eighteen other individuals shocked the nation. Ms. Giffords has been back in the news recently for the remarkable progress she’s made toward recovery. But in the hours after the shooting when her life hung in the balance, University of Arizona Medical Center trauma surgeon Dr. Randall Friese’s remarks struck a chord with the country when he commented publicly that the most important thing he did for her in the ER was to take her hand and tell her she would be cared for. This seemingly small gesture of compassion also struck a chord with the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, resulting in the creation of the first annual GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care.

To mark the day, which coincides with Valentine’s Day, over 40 medical schools and institutions from across the U.S. and Canada showed their solidarity with Dr. Friese, by designing and participating in projects and ceremonies that honored the importance of empathy and compassion in patient care. This February 14th about 40 medical schools and institutions will participate in the second GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care. Planned activities range from health care providers at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine spending time with patients and families listening to their feelings, experiences, and perspectives and West Virginia University School of Medicine students raising money and collecting food and clothing to donate to the local homeless shelter, to UC Irvine Medical School students who will distribute Valentine candy hearts to the nursing and ancillary staff to personally thank them for their dedication to compassionate patient care.

“It is a distinct honor to have my actions contribute to the organization of this event. I am pleased that a message of humanism in medicine is being communicated across the state and the country. Thank you for taking my small action and helping others to understand its importance.” Dr. Friese wrote in a message to the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Medical schools that participated in last year’s GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, such as Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, University of Arizona Tucson, and University of Alberta (Canada) were joined this year by Jefferson Medical College, Georgia Health Sciences University, University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston and scores of others. The projects and ceremonies they created were all unique, but each honored and acknowledged the importance of a physician’s compassion and empathy as an integral part of a patient’s healing process

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), a program of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, is an association of role models for compassionate patient care. Top medical students, residents and faculty members are chosen for demonstrating outstanding empathy, compassion, altruism, integrity and service in working with patients. Begun in 2002, GHHS has 95 chapters at medical schools across the United States and Canada and more than 13,000 members. The Society supports chapter projects, holds a biennial national conference, and educates medical students for leadership and advocacy. For more information about GHHS visit

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of health and patient care by enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. Its work encourages the development of physicians who combine high tech, cutting edge medical science with the high touch skills of communication, empathy and compassion. Among the Foundation’s diverse programs are the White Coat Ceremonies held in 94% of U.S. medical schools, touching more than 18,000 students each year; the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine awards which recognize graduating medical students and outstanding role model faculty members; an annual humanism in medicine essay contest; the Gold Humanism Honor Society; fellowships for service projects; and support for curricular change in medical education. Find out more at

Schools of Medicine and Hospitals Participating in National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care

Albert Einstein
Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Englewood Hospital
ETSU Quillen College of Medicine
Georgia Health Sciences Medical College
George Washington University
Hofstra-North Shore LIJ
Howard University
Jefferson Medical School
New Jersey Medical School
New York Medical College
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Oregon Health & Science University
Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Texas A&M Health Science Center
Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ca
Tulane University
University of Alberta (Canada)
University of Arizona – Tucson & Phoenix
University of California, Irvine
University of California, San Diego
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Illinois – Peoria
University of Kansas School of Medicine
University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri - Kansas City
University of South Alabama
University of Tennessee
University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
University of Toledo College of Medicine
University of Vermont
University of West Virginia
University of Wisconsin
Wayne State University

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