Legacy of leader lives on in Thomson scholars- BWH Bulletin - For and about the People of Brigham and Women's Hospital
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January 14, 2000
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In This Issue:
Legacy of leader lives on in Thomson scholars
The fight against teen smoking
Medical Staff Organization Officers Announced
Boston Marathon Preparations
Hold These Dates!
The legacy of Dennis Thomson’s commitment to compassionate care will continue on in 16 members of the BWH community who were recently named the first set of Compassionate Care Scholars in his honor. Thomson, BWH’s former vice president of Public Affairs, passed away in 1998 at the age of 49 after a battle with cancer. In tribute, the Dennis Thomson Compassionate Care Scholars program was established to recognize clinicians who embody Thomson’s lifelong commitment to humanistic and compassionate care. “Today’s patient seeks more than clinical excellence from their caregiver,” explained Mairead Hickey, vice president of Women’s Health and Specialty Services. “Responses from our Picker surveys consistently confirm that patients and their families want an emotional connection with their caregivers as well. The Thomson Scholars program is a natural fit to help us accomplish this goal.” As the first recipients of the annual honor, the 16 scholars will be charged with leading the effort to incorporate the lessons of compassionate care into clinical training. The scholars will begin meeting next month to discuss various options for increasing awareness and knowledge about the program. Some of the options could initially include lectureships, brown-bag luncheons, role modeling, and mentorship efforts. Several factors were considered in selecting the scholars including the clinician’s ability to listen and communicate effectively, respond to patient’s wishes, and recognize the importance of cultural issues. More than 100 nominations were received. Each scholar will receive a $300 stipend, a gift made possible through the Dennis J. Thomson Fund, under the auspices of the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center, which also provided $7,500 in matching funds to the program. “I’m deeply honored to be designated a Thomson scholar,” commented JudyAnn Bigby, MD. “I knew Dennis and was always impressed with his commitment to the BWH mission to provide the highest quality care to all with respect and dignity. I hope the work of the Thomson Scholars will provide an opportunity for all of us to focus on compassionate care as an aspect of medicine.” In addition to the scholars program, the first Thomson Leadership Award will be presented to an outstanding leader at BWH on January 20. The annual award will recognize a member of the BWH community who demonstrates the key qualities of leadership that Thomson was noted for – character, competency, composure, commitment, courage, and care for people.