Solidarity Day 2011

The first GHHS National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care was an inspiring success! Projects took place at 41 medical schools and healthcare facilities in 29 states and Canada.


  • Original Press Release [link]
  • Arizona Fox News [link]
  • University of Arizona [link]
  • Arizona CBS Affiliate [link]
  • Red [link]
  • Ohio State University [link]
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City [link]
  • University of Illinois [link]
  • City University of New York [link]
  • Fire [link]
  • San Francisco Gate [link]
  • West Virginia University [link]

GHHS Chapter Activities:

Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
Spent extra time getting to know patients and their families.

Dartmouth Medical School
Raised awareness of drinking on college campuses by sponsoring a play about the men who founded AA.

Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Held a blood drive at a local blood bank and posted an inspirational message on Facebook.

ETSU James H. Quillen College of Medicine
Medical students, residents, and physicians wore burgundy ribbons on their white coats as a symbol of solidarity with Dr. Friese and compassionate care.

George Washington University School of Medicine
Gave out gold wristbands (like the LiveStrong bracelets) that say “humanism…GHHS.”

Jefferson Medical College
GHHS chapter president Aimee Lee and member Gary Weissman gave heartfelt speeches about the importance of humanism in medicine at a luncheon. Small groups shared memorable patient interactions.

Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
Placed baskets of heart stickers at the hospitals and asked staff to recognize acts of humanism in their co-workers through the day by giving them a sticker.

Ohio State University College of Medicine
Observed a moment of silence to honor individuals touched by the recent Arizona tragedy. Distributed Hugs are Healing buttons at an event and throughout the medical center.

Stanford University School of Medicine
Speaker on humanism addressed students, faculty, and staff.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine
Showed the film Rolling followed by a discussion of compassionate patient care.

SUNY Upstate Medical University
Held a memorial service for their patients who passed away. Wore gold silk ribbons on their coats in memory, read poems, played songs on a harp, wrote a few words about each individual patient on a small paper leaf and pinned it on a bulletin board. Lit a candle in memory of each patient.

Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, California
Everyone wore red on Feb. 14 and took a moment to think about important humanistic acts. Discussed ways to bring more humanism into medicine.

Tulane University School of Medicine
Created gift baskets filled with snacks, teas, hot chocolates (each item donated or baked by a GHHS member) for the ICU/CCU/NICU waiting rooms throughout the hospitals.

UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School
A Leonard Tow recipient took a significant role at the annual American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Conference.

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Arranged lunch hour speakers (Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine recipients); set up booths at hospital and buildings to sell popcorn and valentines for Youth Emergency Shelter Society (YESS); valentines sent to children’s ward and others.

University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
Hundreds of participants made a human chain in the Health Sciences courtyard followed by a special Art Aloud reading of poems and events relating to humanism.

University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Sent a banner with a picture of the medical school members to literally stand in solidarity with Tucson’s human chain.

University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Students and residents gave out pens designed to promote compassion in medicine.

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
To promote humanism in medicine and show what GHHS stands for, 4th year medical students shared their unique experiences and stories of humanism in medicine with students in their preclinical training years.

University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Held panel discussion for entire medical school, residency and hospital community on religious traditions in death and dying.

University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Sent the entire 3d year class an excerpt on spending time getting to know patients and encouraged them to spend extra time with their patients that day. Assistant Prof. of Pediatrics made breakfast for pediatric residents in appreciation of their hard work and professionalism. Gave notes to the cleaning staff thanking them for all the work they do. House staff currently on their Geriatric rotation delivered Hershey kisses to nursing home residents.

University of Florida College of Medicine
Medical student presented The Human Theater: Visual Empowerment of the First-Person Narrative to promote caring and compassionate medical practice.

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria
Students, faculty, and staff submitted examples of humanism in action that they witnessed during the period from Feb. 7 – 21, 2011. A special e-mailbox was set up to accept written contributions.

University of Kansas School of Medicine
Compiled a list of books, articles and movies on the subject of humanism in medicine. Shared list with the medical library staff in addition to all current medical students and faculty.

University of Minnesota Medical School
Distributed thank you cards to all the nurse managers to share with the nurses on their unit in appreciation of their ongoing commitment to compassionate patient care

University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine
Valentine greetings sent to all the medical staff, faculty, and students reminding them of the importance of a kind heart and attitude.

University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Worked at a local homeless shelter and engaged colleagues in a discussion about compassionate care for those in the community most in need.

University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill (chapter pending)
Discussed humanism in medicine and gave out soft fabric hearts and chocolate hearts to participants of the Healer’s Art class.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
Established an annual award for outstanding member of the healthcare team who consistently demonstrates high touch skills of communication, empathy, and compassion. A nurse in the Erlanger CSICU was honored this year.

University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston
Gave flier to each patient with contact information for pastoral care in the hospital and the local crises and family services center to let each patient know there is always someone to talk to.

University of Toledo College of Medicine
Delivered carnations to all hospital patients and enjoyed spending extra time with them.

University of Vermont College of Medicine
Distributed gold ribbons to wear on Feb. 14 in solidarity.

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Held a viewing of Gretchen Berland’s film Rolling followed by a discussion among faculty, students and residents.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Gave thank you notes to desk clerks, cleaning staff and others in the hospitals/clinics where students are rotating.

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Encouraged all to read Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. “In an emergency, what therapy is administered by ear?” Answer: “Words of comfort.”

West Virginia University School of Medicine
Humanism week included the HeART of Gold art contest, a food drive and launch of the Golden Student Star Program, plus viewing of the film Rolling and lectures. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed a proclamation officially declaring February 14-18 “Gold Humanism Week.”

Other Participants:

A I Dupont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE
GHHS member and Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine recipient organized a seminar on communication skills for the house staff.

Jewish Home at Rockleigh, NJ
Delivered candy kisses to residents of the nursing home.

Roosevelt Hospital, NYC
GHHS member and Humanism and Excellence in Teaching awardee made special effort to show appreciation to those hospital staff who go out of their way to make patient care better.

Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, CCNY
Delivered thank you cards to local police precincts 26 and 30, local Harlem Fire Dept., and City College Departments of Security and Sanitation. Students wanted to let them know how deeply they appreciate their work. “Humanism in Medicine begins with strong relationships with everyone on the team.”

University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital
Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine recipient led a book club reading of Cutting for Stone and facilitated a session at the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine conference to reflect on loss.