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National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care

Washington, DC – Today, The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences joins with dozens of medical schools around the country undertaking projects to demonstrate the power and importance of compassion and empathy in healthcare.  

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) chapter at GW SMHS has chosen to hand out gold wristbands as a reminder to be humanistic in the practice of medicine.  Members of the chapter are handing out the wristbands to GW medical students and faculty both in the medical school and at various hospitals throughout Washington, DC.  Chapter advisors Dr. Yolanda Haywood and Dr. Charles Macri have been very supportive of the National Day of Solidarity, helping the student coordinators – Subhashini Katumuluwa, Sister Mary Gretchen, and Justin Azar - coordinate the event.  

Today, members of GHHS, which includes both GW medical school faculty and fourth-year students, are passing out wristbands throughout the medical school, GW hospital, and other hospitals in Washington, DC where GW students are rotating.  

This National Day of Solidarity was initiated by the Gold Humanism Honor Society of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.  It was created in support of the work of Dr. Randall Friese, triage physician at the University of Arizona Medical Center.  Dr. Friese was the trauma surgeon in charge of triage as the victims of the Tucson, Arizona shooting arrived at the emergency room.  

In response to what Dr. Friese said in an interview concerning Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s arrival, Nancy Koff, PhD, senior associate dean for evaluation at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, remarked, “…I think it was powerful that he considered most important his action of holding her hand, speaking to her and reassuring her that she was in the hospital and would be cared for….”

Ninety-two schools strong, the Gold Humanism Honor Society is a force for humanism in medicine and patient-centered care.  The Society recognizes exemplars of empathy, compassion, altruism, integrity, and service in clinical work.  We support chapter member projects and educate for humanistic leadership.  The Gold Humanism Honor Society is an initiative of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.  

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare, enhancing the doctor-patient relationship by combining the high tech skills of cutting edge medical science with the high touch skills of communication, empathy, and compassion.  Among the Foundation’s two dozen diverse program initiatives are the ubiquitous White Coat Ceremonies 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; grants for service projects; and support for curricular change in medical education.  


Yolanda Haywood, MD
The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences