Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine Students to Demonstrate Compassion and Caring on Valentine’s Day

Hempstead, New York--Students from the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine will be embracing the spirit of Valentine’s Day this year by delivering gift baskets to nurses’ stations and ICU waiting rooms throughout the North Shore-LIJ Health System in observance of the  Gold Humanism Honor Society’s Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care. Solidarity Day provides an opportunity for medical students and other health-care workers to demonstrate their commitment to compassionate, patient-centered care.

“Humanism is an essential value that guides all aspects of our school and our curriculum,” said Dean Lawrence Smith, MD. “The work of The Gold Humanism Honor Society fits perfectly into what we are trying to instill in our students, so that they become compassionate, caring physicians.”

“We know that we cannot eliminate the pain and stress that families are feeling in these situations,” said Lindsey Healy, one of the medical students participating in the project.”However, we want our community to know that we are thinking of them and that we are training to be compassionate doctors. We also want to thank hospital staff for working tirelessly to provide the best patient care possible.”

Solidarity Day was ignited by the humanistic actions of Randall Friese, M.D., the University of Arizona trauma surgeon who was the first to treat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Dr. Friese struck a chord when he said that the most important thing he did for her in the ER was to take her hand and tell her that she was in the hospital and would be cared for.

Students on the Medical School’s Community Service Committee collaborated on the idea of making the baskets. They have spent weeks preparing the 28 baskets filled with a collection of healthy snacks, dried fruit, granola bars, pretzels, bottled water, and juice boxes.

“Families waiting in the ICU are going through the worst days of their lives,” said Lindsey. “They are stuck waiting in an unfamiliar place while their loved one battles a serious illness or injury. They may be so stressed that they have trouble eating and sleeping. We hope our efforts can ease some of that stress.”

The students will be delivering the baskets on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14 to North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Glen Cove, Huntington, South Nassau, Plainview, Southside, and Franklin hospitals.

“I believe that the message of the Gold foundation is to remember the person behind the disease, Lindsay added. “Solidarity Day is a reminder that a little time and compassion can go a long way, maybe even farther than the pill or procedure.”

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s mission is to perpetuate the tradition of the caring doctor by emphasizing the importance of the relationship between the practitioner and the patient. Our objective is to help physicians-in-training become doctors who combine the high tech skills of cutting edge medicine with the high touch skills of effective communication and empathy. This year, more than 40 medical schools and centers in the US and Canada will be demonstrating their support of Solidarity day through a variety of activities.

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