School of Medicine marks Gold Humanism in Medicine Week


Students in the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine who are members of the school’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society launched a weeklong project in cooperation with Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) that encourages patients to express their feelings about illness through art.

The event was part of Gold Humanism Week, a national observation created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to spotlight compassionate and respectful health care. Last week Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation declaring it Gold Humanism Week in West Virginia.

Gold Cards, small 4×6 blank cards, were distributed by medical students and nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital to patients, as well as their friends and family members, with instructions to draw, paint, write or decorate the card with a personal experience they have had during their time in the hospital.

The art project was the brainchild of John Davitt, a fourth-year medical student who is a member of GHHS.

Davitt says the cards were to be collected at the end of the week and displayed on digital boards around the hospital as a reminder of what patients and their loved ones feel during times of sickness and healing. The submissions are anonymous.

Hoyt J. Burdick, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CHH, said, “Cabell Huntington Hospital is pleased to support the Gold Humanism initiative because it is consistent with the hospital’s core values of Caring and Respect, as well as our hospital mission of advancing health care through education. At CHH we always strive to provide the very best care with the highest degree of compassion….CHH is proud to participate with the School of Medicine in celebrating Gold Humanism in Medicine Week.”

In addition to the Gold Card project, the School of Medicine partnered with West Virginia University School of Medicine recently to present the 2nd Annual Gold Humanism Educational Summit, a seminar geared toward increasing the knowledge and awareness of humanism in medicine as it applies to the profession of health care and health care education.