Events scheduled for Feb. 14-18

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Although the culture of healthcare is one centered on learning, researching and applying science, the true practice is an art form. In hopes of stimulating discussion about humanism in healthcare, the West Virginia University Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society will host the nation’s first ever Gold Humanism Week Feb. 14-18.

“As the only Gold Humanism Honor Society in the state of West Virginia, we have taken our charge to promote humanistic qualities in healthcare professionals quite seriously,” Norman D. Ferrari III, M.D., senior associate dean for student services at the WVU School of Medicine said. “By setting aside a week with multiple activities we also hope to promote a greater inter-professional dialogue with our colleagues in the other Health Sciences programs. There should be an activity of interest for everyone during the week.”

Dr. Ferrari is also a founding member of the WVU Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will officially sign a proclamation declaring Feb. 14-18 as Gold Humanism Week on Feb. 11. The week will feature a lecture series, the HeART of Gold art contest, Cans for Caritas food drive and the launch of the Golden Student Star Program.

“Humanism should be present in all aspects of healthcare but is something that we are not always formally taught in training. Gold Humanism Week is designed to give students and all members of the HSC family an opportunity to learn more about humanism and celebrate the great things we already do at WVU,” Lisa Costello, president of the WVU chapter and member of the School of Medicine Class of 2011, said.

The lecture series will kick off at noon on Feb. 14 when Jame Abraham, M.D., section chief of Hematology and Oncology at WVU, presents “Medicine: A Silent Art in the iPhone Age!” in the Health Sciences Center’s Fukushima Auditorium (Room 1901).

Mark Wicclair, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at WVU and bioethicist at the University of Pittsburgh, will present “House, M.D. and Paternalism” from 5 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 in Room 1905 in the WVU Health Sciences Center.

A screening of the short documentary “Rolling” by Gretchen Berland, M.D., filmmaker and assistant professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the Fukushima Auditorium. Pizza will be served.

Josh Dower, M.D., assistant professor and palliative care physician at WVU, will present “Nurturing Humanism Through the Healing Arts of Palliative Care,” from noon to 12:50 p.m. on Feb. 17 in Room 1905 in the Health Sciences Center.

The final lecture and highlight of the series will be held at noon on Feb. 18 in the Fukushima Auditorium. Arthur Ross III, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Medicine, will host a panel discussion called “Humanism in Healthcare.” Panel members include Shelia Price, D.D.S., associate dean for admissions, recruitment and access at the WVU School of Dentistry; Clark Ridgway, R.Ph., assistant dean of student services at the WVU School of Pharmacy; Elisabeth “Betty” Shelton, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs at the WVU School of Nursing; and Dr. Ferrari.

The inaugural HeART of Gold art contest will be held to provide a means to express art in healthcare. Submissions in the form of drawings, photography, painting, essay, poetry, sculpture or other form of art that expresses humanism in healthcare will be accepted from any members of the WVU Health Sciences community. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 11. Submissions can be sent to First prize is a $100 Barnes and Noble gift card; the runner up will receive a $50 gift card.

The Golden Student Star Program is designed to recognize Health Sciences students who go out of their way to help others. The program allows members of the HSC and WVU Healthcare communities to nominate students who display humanism in their daily actions. Each month, a selection committee will choose a Golden Student Star. That person will be recognized with a golden star lapel pin and an announcement on the School of Medicine’s website.

The winner and runner up of the art contest and the first recipient of the Golden Student Star will be announced at the Feb. 18 lecture in the Fukushima Auditorium.

A Cans for Caritas service drive will be going on for the entire week. Cans and toiletry items can be dropped off at the School of Medicine Office of Student Services and at the entrance of each lecture. Caritas House, located in Morgantown, is an AIDS service organization.

“We hope that the HSC family and the rest of WVU community will join us for this celebration of humanism in healthcare,” Allison Lastinger, vice president of the WVU chapter and member of the School of Medicine Class of 2011, said. “This is a unique opportunity for us to join together and recognize a part of healthcare that is sometimes forgotten – the care of the patient as a human being.”

The mission of the Gold Humanism Honor Society is “to promote humanism and professionalism throughout the continuum of physician education from the first day in medical school until retirement from medical practice.” The WVU Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was established in 2008.

WVU’s Gold Humanism Week is made possible by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and support from the WVU School of Medicine.

For more information on Gold Humanism Week see

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 01-27-11