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WVU hosts nation's first Gold Humanism Week, February 14-18.

In hopes to stimulate discussion about humanism in healthcare, the WVU Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society hosted the nation's first ever Gold Humanism Week, February 1418, 2011. The event featured a lecture series with refreshments, the HeART of Gold art contest, Cans for Caritas food drive, and the launching of the Golden Student Star Program. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin officially signed a proclamation declaring February 14-18 as Gold Humanism Week.

Although the culture of healthcare is one centered on learning, researching and applying science, the true practice is an art form.

"As the only Gold Humanism Honor Society in the state of West Virginia, we have taken our charge to promote humanistic qualities in healthcare professionals quite seriously," Norman D. Ferrari III, M.D., senior associate dean for student services at the WVU School of Medicine said. "By setting aside a week with multiple activities we also hope to promote a greater inter-professional dialogue with our colleagues in the other Health Sciences programs.

The lecture series kicked off on Feb. 14 when Jame Abraham, M.D., section chief of Hematology and Oncology at WVU, presented "Medicine: A Silent Art in the iPhone Age!".

Mark Wicclair, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at WVU and bioethicist at the University of Pittsburgh, presented "House, M.D. and Paternalism" on February 15.

Josh Dower, M.D., assistant professor and palliative care physician at WVU, presented "Nurturing Humanism Through the Healing Arts of Palliative Care."

The final lecture and highlight of the series was held on February 18 in the Fukushima Auditorium. Arthur Ross III, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Medicine, hosted a panel discussion called "Humanism in Healthcare." Panel members included Shelia Price, D.D.S., associate dean for admissions, recruitment and access at the WVU School of Dentistry; Clark Ridgway, R.Ph., assistant dean of student services at the WVU School of Pharmacy; Elisabeth "Betty" Shelton, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs at the WVU School of Nursing; and Dr. Ferrari.

The inaugural HeART of Gold art contest was held to provide a means to express art in healthcare. The first place winner of the HeART of Gold Contest was James Kingsburgy, a first year medical student, who submitted a drawing titled "A Compassionate Touch." The second place winner, Janice Ahn, a second year medical student, submitted a collage entitled, "What's in a Heart Beat."

The Golden Student Star Program is designed to recognize Health Sciences students who go out of their way to help others. For his efforts to address campus violence, Paul Swickline, a medical laboratory science student, was named the January Golden Student Star, the first to receive this honor. Joanna Adkins, a fourth year medical student, received the February Golden Student Star for her service to the local homeless community. Each month, a selection committee will choose a Golden Student Star. That person will be recognized with a golden star lapel pin and an announcement on the School of Medicine's website.


A "Cans for Caritas" service drive was held for the entire week. Canned food and toiletry items were collected for the Caritas House, Morgantown, an AIDS service organization.

"We are happy that the HSC family and the rest of WVU community joined us for this celebration of humanism in healthcare," Allison Lastinger, vice president of the WVU chapter and member of the School of Medicine Class of 2011, said. "This continues to be a unique opportunity for us to join together and recognize a part of healthcare that is sometimes forgotten - the care of the patient as a human being."

The mission of the Gold Humanism Honor Society is "to promote humanism and professionalism throughout the continuum of physician education from the first day in medical school until retirement from medical practice." The WVU Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was established in 2008.

WVU's Gold Humanism Week was made possible by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and support from the WVU School of Medicine.

For more information on Gold Humanism Week see www.hsc. Gold-Humanism-Week/.
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Title Annotation:West Virginia University; General NEWS
Publication:West Virginia Medical Journal
Geographic Code:1U5WV
Date:Mar 1, 2011
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