Marshall and WVU schools of medicine team up to host Gold Educational Summit

In an effort to educate health professions students about the importance of compassionate care in medicine, the Marshall University and West Virginia University schools of medicine  hosted the inaugural Gold Humanism Educational Summit last Friday at the Cultural Center in Charleston.

The event kicked off a week-long observance of Gold Humanism Week recognized by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in a proclamation issued at the State Capitol prior to the summit.

The  educational summit allows medical, nursing, physical therapy and pharmacy students to learn the essentials of delivering compassionate and patient-centered care from practicing health professionals. For a complete listing of topics and speakers, visit the event site at

“Studies show that patients heal quickly when health care providers take time to know them,” said Darshana Shah, Ph.D., associate dean, Marshall Office of Faculty Affairs  and Professional Development, professor and academic section chief for the department of pathology and founding faculty advisor to the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) chapter at Marshall. “Keeping the balance between scientific knowledge and humanistic attitude is the key to providing quality care. This summit is intended to inspire participants and remind them of the value of humanism, while encouraging them to continue its promotion.”

“Our chapter was established in 2008 to recognize members of our learning community who are exemplars of humanistic qualities in rendering care for patients,” said Norman D. Ferrari III, M.D., vice dean for education and academic affairs, professor and chair of the WVU Department of Medical Education, and founding faculty member of the GHHS chapter at WVU. “We are most pleased to partner with our colleagues from Marshall University this year in having a statewide celebration and educational conference showcasing the ideals of the Gold Foundation and its support of humanism in medicine.”

Medical students at WVU and Marshall are selected for inclusion in GHHS based on practicing patient-centered medical care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and empathy. Medical residents, faculty, and administrators may also be recognized.

Rebecca “Becca” Hayes, a 4th-year medical student at Marshall and president of the Marshall chapter of the GHHS, said the event, funded by a Gold Foundation grant awarded to Marshall University, is a very beneficial interaction.

GHHS is an international initiative of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which works to improve healing and health care outcomes by restoring the balance between the cutting-edge science of medicine and compassionate, patient-centered care.