U.S. Senate Passes National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution last night declaring Friday, February 14, 2014 as National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care on the Congressional calendar.

Initiated by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) and co-sponsored in the Senate by New Jersey Senators Cory Booker (D), Robert Menendez (D), and Illinois Senator Mark Cook (R), the resolution raises awareness of the importance of respectful and compassionate relationships between all healthcare practitioners and their patients as a means to improving healthcare outcomes, increasing patient safety, and lowering healthcare costs.

In speaking about S Res. 350, Senator Menendez commented, “I’m honored to have sponsored this resolution which recognizes the importance of creating compassionate and respectful bonds between doctors and their patients and that these bonds are vital in providing quality care and facilitating healing.‎”

This year, the Solidarity Day will be celebrated by more than 74 medical schools and healthcare institutions across the country, involving thousands of healthcare professionals.  Celebration plans include:

  • Icahn School of Medicine:  Their GHHS Chapter has created “The Humanism One-Liner Project” during which medical students will interview hospitalized patients to learn about them as individuals (i.e. grandfather of 10, loves classical music) and then post the information on their doors to be incorporated by practitioners when talking to the patients.
  • Marshall University and West Virginia University:  GHHS chapters of both school worked together to plan a week-long summit where medical, nursing, physical therapy, and pharmacy students will learn the essentials of delivering compassionate,  patient-centered care from practicing health professionals.
  • University of Illinois at Chicago: Their GHHS chapter has students and employees making cards to deliver to pediatric patients on Valentine’s Day and Get Well cards to inpatients throughout the year.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Senators Cory Booker, Robert Menendez, and Mark Kirk for continuing the legacy of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg in sponsoring Congressional Resolution 350, National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care. The day is an affirmation that as healthcare practitioners we provide both the art and science of medicine and treat the patient rather than the disease,” said Richard I. Levin, MD, President and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

See the press release