UMMS marks Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care

Gold Humanism Honor Society initiative highlights caring relationships among provider and patient

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

February 11, 2019
  Corinne Ainsworth Gibbons (left) and Lucy Li are members of the UMMS Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter, which received a grant for the society’s Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care.

Corinne Ainsworth Gibbons (left) and Lucy Li are members of the UMMS Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter, which received a grant for the society’s Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care. 

The UMass Medical School chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society has been awarded a grant to support its activities for Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care. This week, participants will be seen throughout the medical school and hospital campus conducting advocacy and awareness activities with educational materials funded by the $400 award.

“If you can form a personal connection with a patient over something that has nothing to do with medicine, you can foster trust,” said Corinne Ainsworth Gibbons, SOM ’19, who wrote the grant application on behalf of the chapter with encouragement from faculty advisor Michael Ennis, MD, professor of family medicine & community health. “Our institution values humanism as evidenced by its support of our honor society chapter. It’s a privilege to give back as a member.”

The Gold Humanism Honor Society established National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Care to highlight the nation-wide movement promoting provider–patient relationships based on caring, personalization and mutual respect. Last year, the society launched the Veterans Gold Health Initiative, which aims to encourage community and academic clinicians in all specialties to more effectively identify, diagnose and treat America’s veterans.

Solidarity Week 2019 embraces both missions.

At UMMS, specific activities include:

  • Continuing the Tell Me More initiative in which second-year students on hospital rounds and fourth-year students on hospital rotations at the University campus of UMass Memorial Medical Center will ask patients a few short questions about themselves and create posters with their answers. These posters will hang above the patients’ beds, visible to everyone who enters their rooms, as a means of revealing their personal uniqueness to their care teams.
  • The School of Medicine’s Veteran’s Health Population Clerkship, which Ainsworth Gibbons participated in, teaches that the one key question to ask a patient is, “Have you or a loved one has ever served in the military?” During Solidarity Week, students will ask patients that question for their Tell Me More posters. Those who answer yes will have Veterans Gold Health Initiative stickers applied to their posters.
  • Educational resource and referral pamphlets created during the 2018 clerkship, which have been printed with grant funding, will be distributed.
  • Public outreach will be achieved with informational tables in the cafeteria at the UMass Memorial University campus. “I see you” cards will be given to individuals as shout-outs for getting caught in acts of humanism; blank cards will be available, and copies of completed cards will be posted on the bulletin boards outside the University campus cafeteria.

Materials will also be available at South Street and Biotech II.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society is a program of the Arnold P. Foundation, whose mission is to sustain the commitment of health care professionals to provide compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent patient care. The honor society recognizes students, residents and faculty who practice “patient-centered care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy.”

“It is an honor to serve with other students at the school on projects related to humanism,” said family medicine residency aspirant and honor society member Lucy Li, SOM ’19. “Our goal is not only to practice humanism ourselves, but to encourage others to do so as well.”

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Med students celebrate compassionate care with Tell Me More project
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Medical, nursing students learn about veterans unique health care needs