12 Gold ways we cared in 2020

As we bid 2020 goodbye, and hope for a healthier and more just 2021, we reflect here on the milestones we crossed this year with your help. Thank you to all of you who are part of the healthcare community for caring so valiantly in this terrible pandemic. We hope this work helped you in some way. We are sending you love and compassion and hopes for a better year ahead.

1) Humanism in healthcare demands we address racism

The Gold Foundation has long had an inclusive and diverse ethos and a focus on underserved and at-risk patients. In early June 2020, we were moved to put those values in explicit terms for the first time, specifically stating that humanism in healthcare must be anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This statement was followed by a task force and multiple projects and plans to ensure that our Gold voices and work reflect Gold values.

2) Gold Human InSight Webinars

This year, we launched a new series to bring inspirational live and pre-recorded virtual webinars to healthcare professionals and learners with the theme “Care, Compassion, & Collaboration during the Dual Pandemics.” The Gold Human Insight Webinars included the global premiere of the documentary Why Doctors Write and a panel discussion; Mindful Practice techniques in this year of uncertainty  with Dr. Ron Epstein and Dr. Mick Krasner; a narrative medicine workshop with Dr. Deepu Gowda & Catherine Rogers; and many other topics.

3) Tell Me More® for COVID-19 Care

We adapted our Tell Me More® tool in a free downloadable kit during the pandemic for care of COVID-19 patients, which was accessed by more than 100 institutions. Tell Me More® helps the health team connect with patients on a more human level, allowing personal details to shine through and create stronger bonds during difficult times.

4) Virtual White Coat Ceremonies and keynote address

To assist medical and nursing schools in shifting ceremonies online, the Gold Foundation created a toolkit and co-hosted webinars with wonderful partners AAMC (the Association of American Medical Colleges) and AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing). The toolkit for schools included videos of inspiring keynote speeches by Dr. Vivek Murthy, 19th (and now nominated for 21st) Surgeon General and 2020 recipient of the Vilek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare, and Rep. Lauren Underwood, a nursing leader and the youngest Black woman serving in Congress.

5) GHHS National Initiative and Gold Connection podcast

In August, we launched the 2020 GHHS National Initiative: Humanism and Healing: Structural Racism and its Impact on Medicine, which encourages GHHS chapters and all Gold community members to start conversation and action around combating racism in medicine. At the same time, we released the first episode of Gold Connection, a new podcast created and produced by members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

6) Gold connections through community

From Gold Humanism Honor Society chapters to the Gold Writing Workshop, many initiatives sprang up to strengthen connections in this difficult year. Icahn School of Medicine adapted its learner-led PEERS (Practice Enhancement, Engagement Resilience, & Support) well-being program, author Judith Hannan convened 10 physicians for writing sessions, and GHHS member and NYU physician Dr. Mike Natter created #ColoringCare pages for a cathartic art activity,

7) Two new members of the Gold Corporate Council

We welcomed two new members to the Gold Corporate Council: Teladoc Health, the global leader in whole person virtual care, and Siemens Healthineers, an innovative medical technology company. The Council is a group of leading healthcare companies that have committed to adopting humanistic policies and procedures within their own organizations and to partnering with the Gold Foundation to create greater change. These two new members join BD, CVS Health, Henry Schein, Inc., IBM Watson Health, Medtronic, and Quest Diagnostics.

8) Five new Gold Trustees

We welcomed incredible leaders to our Board of Trustees. Dr. Barbara A. Lee, a lawyer with deep expertise in higher education and the Distinguished Professor of Human Resource Management at Rutgers University; Dr. Kimberly Manning, Professor of Medicine and Associate Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Emory University School of Medicine and a leading voice of humanism in academic medicine; Pascal Montilus, a business leader and vice president at Colgate Palmolive; and Alice Vilma, managing director on the Multicultural Client Strategy Team at Morgan Stanley and co-head of the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab. Dr. Jillian Horton, a physician-author and voice of humanistic care in Canada, joined the Board of Trustees of the Gold Foundation for Humanistic Healthcare, Canada.

9) “Humanism in Health and Healthcare” virtual course

Our new NextGenU.org curriculum was released in spring 2020 and has since been used in 40 countries throughout the world. Free for both individual learners to take and for faculty members to use as the curriculum in their own humanism courses, the course was particularly timely given the dramatic increase in remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The course was developed in partnership with Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine, NextGenU.org, and the Gold Foundation. In summer 2020, with Gold Foundation support, Dr. Jason Adam Wasserman and Dr. Hedy S. Wald led the first live interprofessional, intergenerational class based on this course.

10) Gold recognition of champions of humanism

We honored many exemplars of humanism for their great contributions and care, including Tow Humanism faculty and student award winners and institutional honorees through the ACGME-Gold DeWitt (Bud) C. Baldwin Jr. awards. Among the 2020 awards were the Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Award for Humanism in Healthcare to Nani Cuadrado of Valley Health Partners Street Medicine, the Gold Humanism in Medicine Award at the AAMC to Dr. Patricia Garcia of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the AFMC-Gold Humanism Award and Lecture to Dr. Jillian Horton to University of Manitoba’s Max Rady College of Medicine, and the Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare to 19th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

11) Student reflection & action

Medical and nursing students shared their reflections on moments of human connection in the Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest, with six beautiful winning essays published in both Academic Medicine and Journal of Professional Nursing. And 17 medical students awarded Gold Student Summer Fellowships embarked on research and service projects to help assist underserved communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

12) 2020 Summer Reading List for Compassionate Clinicians

Our annual list recommends 12 books worth a read anytime, including over your winter break. Expand your understanding by picking up Dr. Vivek Murthy’s Together: The Healing Power of Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Dr. Michele Harper’s The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, or any of the other wonderful books.

This is only a sampling of all the work underway in an immensely hard year and the myriad touchpoints of humanism you helped create, physician to patient, professor to student, person to person.

Thank you for your support of humanism in healthcare in 2020!