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In This Issue:
2005 Compassionate Care Scholars and Projects
The legacy of the late Dennis Thomson, former vice president of Public Affairs, was celebrated in true BWH fashion last week. BWH staff and former colleagues, friends and family of Thomson gathered in the Bornstein Amphitheater on March 31 for the Annual Thomson Lecture and Award Presentation.
Those in attendance were treated to the presentation of the Thomson Leadership and Compassionate Care Scholarship Awards as well as a moving keynote address from Rev. Gloria White Hammond, MD, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, a pediatrician at the South End of Community Health Center and a missionary in Sudan.
“Carrying on the compassionate spirit of Dennis Thomson, BWH strives to provide, promote and reward compassionate care even in the most sensitive of circumstances,” said BWH President Gary Gottlieb, who set the tone for the event by welcoming the crowd and then announcing Nawal Nour, MD, MPH, as the 2005 recipient of the Thomson Leadership Award.
Nour is the founder and director of BWH's African Women's Health Practice-the country's only center of its kind that focuses on both physical and emotional needs of female circumcision victims. She is the first physician to receive the Leadership Award. “Like Dennis and past recipients of this high honor, Nawal has distinct leadership qualities that set an example for colleagues to learn from and newcomers to follow,” said Gottlieb.
Although Nour could not be present due to scheduling conflicts, she was “thrilled and humbled” to receive the Thomson Leadership Award, and was able to share her pre-recorded acceptance remarks with the Bornstein audience. “I only hope to live up to these formidable values,” said Nour, who also thanked many individuals at BWH who have helped her make in a difference in her patients' lives.
Following Nour's remarks, Robert Goldszer, MD, MBA, chair of the planning and nominating committee for the Thomson event and awards, offered a tribute to Thomson, reminding those who knew him and enlightening those who didn't of his important contributions to BWH. “Thomson was strong, efficient, productive, and above all optimistic,” said Goldszer.
“As a way to carry out the legacy of Dennis, we invite inspirational speakers to join us at this annual event,” said Goldszer before introducing Rev. Gloria White Hammond, MD, who presented “On the Road to Darfur: Compassion on a Global Scale.”
White Hammond had many audience members holding back tears as she shared insight gained from interactions with women forced to flee their homes to seek refuge at makeshift camps in Darfur, the western region of Sudan, the largest country in Africa, “at war with itself.”
White Hammond shared powerful examples of women who were victims of horrific brutality and violence in their homeland. She urged all audience members to act on the knowledge she shared and to join her crusade to help end the violence in Darfur.
Through her work as a missionary, pastor, pediatrician and active member of the Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospital's Board of Trustees, White Hammond exemplifies compassion.
“Compassionate care was important to Dennis Thomson and is carried out everyday by many dedicated individuals at BWH,” said Goldszer, as he spoke following White Hammond. He then introduced Chief Medical Officer Anthony Whittemore, MD, and Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Kruger, DNSc, RN, to distribute the Compassionate Care Scholarships.
2005 Dennis Thomson Compassionate Care Scholars include Cynthia LeMay, RN, BS; Sandra Harmon, RN, BSN; Caryn Douma, RN, BSN; Marie Beaulieu, RN, BSN; Kristin Taylor, RN; and Kelli Smith, RN. Each received a stipend to carry out her proposed project in their respective discipline to help instill compassion among colleagues.
This year's event was another special opportunity for those who knew Thomson to recognize and reward key individuals at BWH to help carry on his legacy.