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February 14, 2013 - USA Gold Humanism Honor Society Members Participate in 'Focus on Compassion' Week
On Solidarity Day - Feb. 14, 2013 - USA medical students wore red to symbolize unity and to act as a reminder of the importance of compassion and love in health care. Pictured above are senior medical students of the USA chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

In honor of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society's (GHHS) 3rd annual Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, the University of South Alabama chapter of GHHS participated in several activities throughout the week to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine.

“This week reminded us of what is truly important – our patients,” said USA GHHS member Kaci Sims. “In the busy world of health care, one can become easily distracted. But at the end of the day, it's about that special patient connection – a squeeze of the hand, a smile from the heart, and offering help and hope to those who are hurting and need us the most.”

This year, GHHS members brought coffee and doughnuts to the nursing stations at the USA Medical Center and distributed “Thank You” cards to the nursing staff at USA Children's & Women's Hospital.

USA GHHS member Laura Jelf said Solidarity Day is a day to put others before yourself. “We must remember that something as simple as a smile or saying, 'Good morning!' goes a long way and can improve someone’s day," she said.

Valentine’s Day goodie bags were also donated by the chapter to the ICU waiting rooms for the patient’s families.

“We let the families of patients who are critically ill in the hospital this week know that we are thinking of them during this difficult time,” said USA GHHS member Sonia Savani. “Whatever small acts of kindness we can do to show our appreciation and support will not nearly be enough, but we hope that at the very least we can brighten a few days and make the people who deserve all the credit in the world feel even a little bit more appreciated.”

Other activities planned for the week include delivering flowers and handwritten notes to the nursing stations.

“We speak for all of our classmates when we say that it has been an absolute honor and privilege to be a medical student at USA, where patients are cared for with compassion on a daily basis by doctors, nurses, students and staff,” Savani said, “and where we are all called upon, as a very wise physician once said, ‘To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always.’” (- Dr. Edward Trudeau)

The GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was initiated after the 2011 shootings in Tucson, Ariz., to honor the humanistic actions of Dr. Randall Friese, the trauma surgeon who first treated Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The senior medical students of the USA chapter of GHHS are Laura Jelf, William Kilgo, Emile Kleyn, William Moore, John Moultrie, Sonia Savani, Kaci Sims and Joseph Wehby.

Click here to learn more about the USA chapter of GHHS. To view more photos from this year's events, click here.

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