The University of Arizona Health Sciences community is invited to attend a brief ceremony outside the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson at noon Friday where medical students, faculty physicians and staff will join hands to form a human chain symbolizing kindness in patient care.
The event is the culmination of Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care organized by the Gold Humanism Honor Society at the medical school with support from Banner – University Medical Center.
Solidarity Week, and especially Solidarity Day, are observed at medical schools nationwide to promote provider-patient relationships based on caring, empathy and mutual respect. Its impetus was the special kindness demonstrated by Banner – UMC caregivers to victims of the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, especially that of trauma surgeon Randall Friese, MD, who was the first physician to treat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot.
Dr. Friese, a professor in the UA Department of Surgery, later told The New York Times that his most important actions that terrible day were “holding her hand, speaking to her and reassuring her that she was in the hospital and would be cared for.”
Since then the Gold Humanism Honor Society has made Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care an annual, national event to promote empathy, compassion, altruism, integrity and service among medical students.
Several UA medical students will be honored for these traits with “Golden Heart Awards” at this year’s ceremony.
Additionally, Dr. Friese, Dean Charles B. Cairns, MD, hospital CEO Tom Dickson and Andreas Theodorou, MD, faculty advisor to the Gold Humanism Honor Society at the college, will make brief remarks. Docapella, the college’s a capella group, will perform.