Remarkable corporate-nonprofit collaboration reaches milestone in its ongoing work to elevate humanism within the healthcare industry
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation is delighted to announce that the Gold Corporate Council, which is made up of global leaders of humanism in healthcare, is marking its 5th anniversary in 2022.
The Gold Corporate Council, or GCC, was formed in 2017 by the Gold Foundation, a nonprofit that champions humanistic care for all. Current members include BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Henry Schein, Inc., IBM Watson Health, Quest Diagnostics, CVS Health, and Siemens Healthineers. Medtronic and Teladoc Health have also served on the council. Together, these leading healthcare companies have committed to enhancing humanistic practices by adopting humanistic policies and procedures within their own organizations and to partnering with the Gold Foundation to impact change across the broader healthcare ecosystem.
This unique corporate-nonprofit partnership has led to new initiatives, illuminating webinars, conference sessions, articles, and customizations of Gold programs. The GCC has released joint articles, including its statement vowing to help shift healthcare to be more inclusive, equitable, and just and a MedCity News piece titled “Eight examples of humanism in action during COVID-19 and the global racial reckoning.”
“We are proud of the Gold Corporate Council members for their visionary work, showing how successful corporations can be human centered,” said Dr. Richard I. Levin, Gold Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “In five years, these global leaders have elevated our shared mission of humanism in healthcare through the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism and raised their voices in support of a critical shift in healthcare. And there is so much more to come. The true impact of the Gold Corporate Council is just beginning.”
The idea for the Gold Corporate Council was championed by Dr. Levin and born out of conversations between Chairman, CEO and President of Quest Diagnostics Steve Rusckowski and Gold Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Sheerr. Their discussions centered on the notable absence of an action-oriented group of global companies that could act as leaders of humanism in the healthcare industry. Mr. Rusckowski acted as the catalyst who contacted fellow CEOs and helped bring together the founding members. This year, the Gold Foundation will be honoring Mr. Rusckowski with the National Humanism in Medicine Medal at its Annual Gala on June 9.
“Truly humanistic modern healthcare requires collective effort on the part of all of us. It does not happen by accident. The GCC is setting a precedent of how corporations can partner with nonprofits to further a mission that benefits all,” said Mr. Sheerr. “Each GCC member company is going beyond the traditional donation support structure to forge deeper partnership. This innovative model has potential for a far greater impact for the companies, the Gold Foundation, employees, and patients.”
The deeper partnership Mr. Sheerr refers to is evident in the ongoing collaboration between the Gold Foundation and each of the member companies who inspire and instill humanism within their organizations and throughout the healthcare ecosystem. In the five years since its inception, the council, under Gold’s orchestration, has proven itself formidable in facilitating the expansion of humanism in healthcare. A few highlights below:
Quest Diagnostics incorporated the Gold Foundation communications program Tell Me More® into its Everyday Excellence program, which strives to provide a superior experience every day in every interaction. The Tell Me More® program was originally designed by Gold Humanism Honor Society students to strengthen the critical human bond between people who are patients and the individuals who care for them. Tell Me More® offers prompts that enable patients/clients and the care team to get to know each other beyond diagnoses and job descriptions.
Both Siemens Healthineers and BD have sponsored Gold Human InSight Webinars. “A Blueprint for Social Factors that Impact Health: Lessons from Community Health Centers,” supported by BD, featured insights from four Community Health Center executives on how to build trust with patients and provide the highest quality healthcare.
“Breaking Down Barriers Brick by Brick: Addressing Vaccine Deliberations” was supported by Siemens Healthineers. As the “Ignitor,” Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton took the conversation with Gold Trustee Dr. Kimberly Manning and vaccine trial expert Dr. Valeria Cantos to the next level. Together, they explored the human side of vaccine deliberations and the role of historical and current inequities. Webinars sponsored by IBM Watson Health and Henry Schein on health equity are planned for 2022. CVS Health is working to integrate a signature Gold program, with details to be announced soon.
The GCC has also recognized individuals who have made notable contributions to humanism. During the 2021 Gala, each GCC member company selected several employees or other notable leaders as Champions of Humanistic Care.
In addition, BD has partnered with the Gold Foundation to create the BD Gold Humanism in Community Health Innovator Award. BD has long supported Community Health Centers, which serve an essential role in building healthy communities, and the joint recognition was established to pay tribute these critical centers in a more visible way. In 2021, the award was presented to Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief, recognizing Mr. Tighe’s and his team’s immense contributions to community health and underserved communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
Representatives from each of the six member companies consult with the Gold Foundation regularly on individual initiatives as well as gather together for quarterly strategy calls to collaborate on GCC initiatives and thought leadership opportunities.
In addition, a successful private, closed-door inaugural CEO Roundtable event was held on April 11 with Gold Foundation President/CEO Dr. Richard Levin serving as Ignitor and host. The panelists included CEOs and key leadership of Gold Corporate Council members: Steve Rusckowski, President, Chairman & CEO of Quest Diagnostics; Jennifer Zinn, EVP and Head of Diagnostics, North America of Siemens Healthineers; Tom Polen, Chairman, CEO & President, BD (Becton Dickinson & Company); Dr. Kyu Rhee, SVP, CMO Aetna, CVS Health; and Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board/CEO of Henry Schein, Inc. This gathering provided a rare opportunity for GCC leaders to connect and talk through their company’s priorities and plans.
An annual meeting of the GCC company representatives – in person, pre-COVID – also offers a longer retreat to dive deeper into the work possible together. The current GCC chair is Allison Neale, Vice President of Public Policy at Henry Schein.
“The opportunity to work with other companies that are as passionate as we are about purpose-driven corporate leadership is incredibly meaningful,” Ms. Neale said. “With our shared belief in the importance of fostering the special, trust-based clinician–patient relationship, and our commitment to caring for healthcare professionals so they can care for their patients, the Gold Corporate Council has provided a new platform for Henry Schein to amplify humanism in healthcare. I am grateful to the Gold team and my GCC colleagues for the work we have already accomplished together, and the exciting opportunities for impact we have on the horizon.”