Gold Foundation shifts its strategy in its 30th year

As The Arnold P. Gold Foundation enters its 30th year, dramatic changes in the healthcare landscape have necessitated the development of new strategies to maximize its impact. The Foundation will be recommitting to its early programs, which have spread across the country and made a great impact in elevating humanism, and expanding its focus on humanism across the whole healthcare team.

The Gold Foundation will refocus on the programs that elevated the human connection during its first three decades: the now iconic White Coat Ceremonies, the Gold Humanism Honor Society, its signature awards that encourage humanistic role models, as well as programs like Tell Me More® that bring humanistic strategies into healthcare systems and companies.

In addition, the Gold Foundation will continue to expand its touchpoints to all members of the healthcare team. The year of 2018 will include an emphasis on nursing. For example, the Gold Foundation’s Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest, is open this year for the first time to both nursing students and medical students. The winning essays will be published side by side in both Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical College (AAMC), and The Journal of Professional Nursing, the journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Learn more about the Gold Foundation’s latest nursing initiatives.

 With this strategic re-focusing, the Board of Trustees has also made the difficult decision to conclude the work of the Gold Foundation Research Institute. The Research Institute has been enormously successful under the inspired leadership of Jean and Harvey Picker Founding Director, Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD, MPH, and Head of Information Services Brandy King, MLIS.

During its tenure, the Research Institute’s most successful and visible program has been Mapping the Landscape, Journeying Together (MTL). MTL is a community of practice dedicated to accelerating discovery in humanism in healthcare, disseminating findings and using those findings to make change.

In the past five years, MTL has funded 70 Literature Review and 17 Advocacy & Discovery grants. MTL projects have resulted in 25 peer-reviewed papers (among them two AAMC Research in Medical Education presentations and one RIME best paper award), a special humanism issue of the journal Medical Education, the collaborative development of a national charter on physician well-being, countless presentations in diverse forums, and attention from the popular press. Most importantly, grantees are making on-the-ground change through the use of innovative curricula, video dissemination, culture change initiatives and advocacy strategies.

“Dr. Gaufberg, Ms. King and their team created a vibrant community of practice that defined the state-of-the-art in the knowledge space bounding humanism in medicine, and we have been so proud to support this work. We hope each of the researchers and faculty members who believe strongly, as we do, in the human connection in healthcare, will continue their important work and their collaboration with the Gold Foundation through its many other programs and broader community,” said Dr. Richard Levin, MD, President and CEO of the Gold Foundation.

MTL teams will gather for their fourth and final Symposium and celebration in May 2018, and the Research Institute will conclude its work at the end of September.

“The MTL initiative has drawn highly motivated humanism researchers out of traditional silos and into a creative and energetic multi-generational and interprofessional community. I am confident that relationships forged at MTL will evolve, and our discoveries will continue to inform meaningful change in healthcare. Working with the Gold Foundation to develop this robust community of practice has been one of the greatest privileges of my career,” said Dr. Gaufberg.

Both patients and practitioners will reap the harvest of the work of the Research Institute community for years to come.

Although the Research Institute is sunsetting, the Gold Foundation is committed to staying connected to the RI community. The Foundation will continue to disseminate the work of researchers, educators and advocates through its monthly Jeffrey Silver Humanism in Healthcare Research Roundup newsletter, which highlights the latest research in humanism in healthcare. Multiple Gold programs, including the Picker Gold Challenge Grants for Residency Training and the Gold Student Summer Fellowships, will continue to support research efforts.

In 2019, the Gold Foundation is planning a conference to bring together, for the first time, the many wide and vibrant parts of its community: Gold Humanism Honor Society members, Gold Partners Council medical school leaders, corporate partners, awardees and grantees, including those in the Research Institute community. Until then, the Gold community can be found nurturing humanism online, at regional forums and events, and in their daily commitment to compassionate care in medical schools, hospitals, and healthcare companies around the globe.