Gold Humanism Summit Emphasizes Compassionate Care | PCOM Georgia
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‘Who Are You as a Person?’: 
Gold Humanism Event Highlights Importance of Compassionate Care


March 18, 2024

Members of PCOM Georgia’s Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter

PCOM Georgia Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter members pose for a group photo during the 2024 Gold Humanism Summit in Atlanta.


Members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) are expected to be “exemplars of humanism.” As physicians, these individuals are “characterized by the respectful and compassionate relationship” they develop between themselves, members of the healthcare team, and their patients.

Those attributes are defining characteristics for PCOM Georgia students Sahara Peters (DO ‘24) and Jasmine Ito (DO ‘24). Peters and Ito are president and vice president, respectively, of the PCOM Georgia chapter of GHHS.

“Students in GHHS seek out impact,” said Ito. “They're not just about grades or the numbers. It's really about, ‘Hey, who are you as a person? How do you use that to best serve others? What makes you passionate about things? How can we support your passion?.’ The hope is that by being a passionate caregiver we can, in the end, provide wonderful care for our patients.”

PCOM Georgia students Sahara Peters (DO ‘24) and Jasmine Ito (DO ‘24) at Summit eventPeters, Ito and other members of PCOM Georgia’s GHHS chapter recently organized an event as part of the 2024 Gold Humanism Summit, which took place February 29–March 2 in Atlanta, GA. The summit focused on exploring best practices and strategies to “fuel change and inspire action.” The theme of this year’s event was “The Person in Front of You.”

The group’s program was designed to challenge participants to take principles typically found in the technology space—developing new approaches to common problems, implementing alternative thought processes, or utilizing data to understand patterns and trends—and applying them to medicine.

“The national organization reached out to us and said, ‘We want to do something interactive and celebrate young minds,’” said Ito. “So we got together and came up with a ‘Hackathon.’”

As part of the student’s event, the "hackers," selected from among the conference attendees, were presented with a prompt or challenge and given one day to develop a solution. The solutions were then presented to a panel of judges for review. A cash prize was awarded to the winning teams.

Peters and Ito used a partnership with Grace Village Medical Clinic in Clarkston, GA, a center primarily focused on treating an ethnically diverse population of refugees from around the world, as the basis for their prompt.

“[Clarkston] has the third largest refugee population in Georgia, with over 60 different languages spoken,” said Ito. “The town is about three stoplights. You could blink, and you’d miss it, but it's really wonderful community.”

Grace Village was established with help from PCOM Georgia professor Scott T. Keller, DO, FAAFP, and serves as a resource for one of the most diverse populations in Georgia. Clarkston bills itself as the “Ellis Island of the South,” with nearly half the residents identifying as foreign-born, representing 50 countries across six continents.

“We talked with Grace Village and asked, ‘What are the big issues you’re seeing?’” Ito said. “They told us, ‘Diabetes is out of control, and our clients don't have diabetes in their home countries. When they come here, they adjust to the diet, the lifestyle, and they sometimes end up with diabetes and don't understand it or how to manage it.’”

“Based on their feedback, the challenge question we developed was: ‘How can we support limited English proficient patients to lower their A1C on a tri-monthly basis?’” said Ito. “It was a pretty cool way to get people to work together in a multidisciplinary approach.”

Peters hopes that by encouraging others to think about issues critically and with a humanistic approach, they can grow their impact in the communities they’re a part of.

To grow her own impact, Peters doesn’t have to go very far.

“It’s so important for us to be established in our communities and show up for them,” Peters said. “It’s doing the hard work that we're doing, but also trying to establish our program and our school as active participants in the community because what are we without them? That’s a mission that Jasmine and I have been committed to in different ways throughout our four years.”

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  • About PCOM Georgia

    Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.

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    Jamesia Harrison, MS
    Assistant Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: jamesiaha@pcom.edu
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