Newswise — Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 13, February 2014 – As the country’s discussion about the Affordable Care Act continues, one issue that is not under debate is the desire for health care that is caring. Last night, and for the second year in a row, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 350 declaring Friday, February 14, 2014 as National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care. Initiated by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) and co-sponsored in the Senate by New Jersey Senators Cory Booker (D), Robert Menendez (D), and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R), the resolution raises awareness of the importance of respectful and compassionate relationships between all healthcare practitioners and their patients as a means to improving healthcare outcomes, increasing patient safety, and lowering healthcare costs.
Initiated in 2011 after the tragic shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care recognizes the importance of compassion between healthcare practitioners and their patients. Representative Giffords’ emergency room physician, Dr. Randall Friese, struck a chord when he said that the most important thing he did for her in the ER was to take her hand and tell her that she was in the hospital and would be cared for. To honor that spirit of caring, the first annual Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was held on February 14, 2011 when healthcare students and practitioners across the country celebrated by performing acts of compassion and kindness toward patients, families of patients, and healthcare colleagues.
In speaking about S Res. 350, Senator Menendez commented, “I’m honored to have sponsored this resolution which recognizes the importance of creating compassionate and respectful bonds between doctors and their patients and that these bonds are vital in providing quality care and facilitating healing.”
This year, the day will be celebrated by more than 74 medical schools and healthcare institutions across the country, involving thousands of healthcare professionals. For the first time, physician’s assistant and nursing schools will participate as well. Each institution will commemorate the day in its own way, but all will focus on the intrinsic importance of the human bond between patient and practitioner in facilitating healing. To kick off Gold Humanism Week, as proclaimed by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, the GHHS Chapters at Marshall University and West Virginia University schools of medicine held a Gold Humanism Summit to allow medical, nursing, physical therapy, and pharmacy students to learn the essentials of delivering compassionate, patient-centered care from practicing health professionals. The Icahn School of Medicine GHHS Chapter has created “The Humanism One-Liner Project” during which medical students will interview hospitalized patients to learn about them as individuals (i.e. grandfather of 10, loves classical music) and then post the information on their doors to be incorporated by practitioners when talking to the patients.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Senators Cory Booker, Robert Menendez, and Mark Kirk for continuing the legacy of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg in sponsoring Senate Resolution 350, National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care. The day is an affirmation that as healthcare practitioners we provide both the art and science of medicine and treat the patient rather than the disease,” Richard I. Levin, M.D., President and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation stated.
The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), with 109 medical school chapters and 10 residency chapters, is an initiative of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. A life-long designation, it is comprised of over 19,000 medical students, residents, faculty, and administrators recognized for practicing compassionate, patient-centered care. GHHS maintains a networked community which shares ideas, resources and support to sustain and advocate for humaninizing medicine. Watch a short video about GHHS.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation works to improve healing and healthcare outcomes by restoring the balance between the cutting edge science of medicine and compassionate, patient-centered care. Learn more.