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In This Issue:
The 2004 Dennis Thomson Compassionate Care Scholars and Projects
The robust crowd at the fifth Annual Dennis Thomson Leadership and Compassionate Care Lecture and Awards Presentation spilled out into the corridor outside Carrie Hall on Tuesday evening. All in attendance were present to celebrate the legacy of the late Dennis Thomson, former vice president of Public Affairs, and to congratulate the 2004 Leadership Awardee and Compassionate Care Scholars named in his honor.
“We very much appreciate the staff, family members and friends that have gathered together tonight to remember Dennis Thomson and what he taught us about putting patients first. Let us think of Dennis and his example and remember the real reason that led each of us to work in health care. Let us learn, from those we recognize tonight, how each of us can keep compassionate patient care at the forefront of our daily tasks at BWH,” said BWH President Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, MBA, as he welcomed the crowd, including Thomson’s widow, Betsy Broadman, and his son, Jeffrey.
Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, the chief of BWH’s Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, delivered the event’s keynote lecture, “Walking with Patients: Stories from Boston, Haiti and Beyond.” The anecdotes he shared about his experiences with a diverse group of patients articulated the unique attributes of a compassionate caregiver. Farmer—a 1999 Thomson Compassionate Care Scholar—focused his remarks on the ability of a caregiver to deliver compassionate care despite difficult circumstances.
“It’s easy to provide compassionate care to those patients that are upbeat and grateful. Those individuals we celebrate tonight have the unique ability to deliver compassionate care when it doesn’t come easily—when a leap across boundaries of class, race or experience is called for. We are all capable of not being compassionate just as easily as we are capable of being compassionate. Tonight, we honor clinicians, who realize that there is no such thing as the undeserving sick and those who deliver compassionate care with or without gratitude,” said Farmer, whose words gave way to the presentation
of this year’s Thomson Leadership Award and the seven Compassionate Care Scholarships.
Gottlieb took the microphone a second time to present Dorothy Goulart, MS, RN,director of Performance Improvement in BWH’s Center for Clinical Excellence, with the 2004 Dennis Thomson Leadership Award. Gottlieb shared comments from one of Goulart’s colleagues, who nominated her for this high honor—“Dot is often sought out by managers and directors for advice on how to structure a new improvement project, measure current performance, or mobilize the right team to accomplish change. In response, Dot always manages to share advice and education in a non-threatening, reassuring and clear manner.”
Goulart received a plaque commemorating the prestigious award as well as a stipend to attend a leadership development course of her choice. “This is so truly special to me. Having colleagues believe that I share the leadership qualities of Dennis is such an honor,” responded Goulart.
BWH’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer Anthony Whittemore, MD and Nancy Kruger, DNSc, RN, were then joined by Jeffrey Thomson to present the Compassionate Care Scholarships. The recipients will be implementing their proposed projects as a way to instill compassionate care among their colleagues in their respective areas of the hospital.
The evening’s festivities continued with a reception held in the PBB Rotunda following the lecture and award presentations.