Kirksville, Mo.– On Feb. 11, 2013, A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) joined almost 60 medical schools and institutions from across North America in taking a stand for humanism in medicine by observing the third Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care.

This year, 23 first- and second- year osteopathic medical students from ATSU-KCOM visited Schuyler County Elementary School to mentor 55 sixth-graders on bullying, self-esteem, and achievement. This project, Leadership, Education, Ambition, Respect, No Limits (LEARN), was created so that kids could have positive role models who encourage them to not give up on their dreams. Through small group discussions and activities, the students learned about building trust and understanding and were encouraged to make goals for the future. All of the sixth-graders signed an anti-bullying pledge.

The LEARN project was created by ATSU-KCOM students Karrie Brondell, OMS II; Sarah Folks, OMS II; Jessica Lapinski, OMS Il;  and Meaghan Raney, OMS II, representing the National Osteopathic Women Physicians Association, Pediatrics Club, United Nations Children’s Fund, and Osteopathic Pride and Service Committee.

GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was initiated after the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. to honor the humanistic actions of Randall Friese, MD, the trauma surgeon who first treated shooting victim Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Dr. Friese said the most important thing he did for Congresswoman Giffords in the emergency room was to take her hand and tell her that she would be cared for.

 To honor that spirit of caring, the GHHS of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation created GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, where medical schools and healthcare institutions across North America create and undertake projects demonstrating the importance of empathy and compassion in patient care.

 GHHS is an international initiative of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation comprised of more than 15,000 medical students, faculty, and administrators recognized for practicing compassionate, patient-centered care. GHHS maintains a networked community which shares ideas, resources, and support to sustain and advocate for humanism in medicine.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundationworks to improve healing and healthcare outcomes by restoring the balance between the cutting-edge science of medicine and compassionate, patient-centered care.