Several members from the Augusta University community, including this year’s recipient of the John F. Beard Award for Compassionate Care, were celebrated as Champions of Humanistic Care during The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s virtual gala June 10.
College of Nursing graduate and Beard Award recipient Brittany Bledsoe was among those honored. During her time at AU, she launched the charitable organization Resources for the At-Risk in response to the shortage of PPE during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program expanded to include nine local nursing students who created care packages with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, washable or disposable masks, gift cards to local restaurants and cleaning products. With the help of her team, Bledsoe’s program delivered 130 care packages to our community’s most vulnerable groups and nurses.
She also volunteered at Ronald McDonald House Charities as a nursing student mentor for newly admitted nursing students, as well as working on nursing research.
Also recognized were Augusta University Health‘s Pascha E. Schafer, MD, FACC, chief quality and patient safety officer; Andrea Putzier, BSN, RN, CCRN, perianesthesia nurse manager; and Joshua Wyche, Pharm.D., MBA, assistant vice president of strategic planning & pharmacy services.
Schafer helped balanced Augusta University Medical Center’s resources and care safely and equitably, keeping the mission of patient-centered care as the primary focus. Putzier led the perioperative care efforts to allocate care to those in the most need, while creating additional safe ICU space for our most ill, non-COVID patients. Wyche led the COVID-19 vaccine deployment in Georgia and South Carolina.
From the AU/University of Georgia Medical Partnership co-chapter of MCG, campus dean Shelley Nuss, MD, FACP, oversaw and directed a pivot in campus curriculum that enabled the Community and Population Health course to become a means of training medical students through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention modules on vaccination. She also helped with the development of vaccine simulation efforts that led to students becoming certified by the Department of Public Health to provide vaccines in the community.
First-year medical student Shant Ohanian was identified by the Community and Population Health staff as a medical student who has been a tireless and consistent volunteer during the pandemic. During the school year and his breaks, he went above and beyond to help with the vaccination efforts in the surrounding community.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation champions humanism in health care, which they define as compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent care. This “Gold” standard of care embraces all and targets barriers to such care. The foundation works to empower experts, learners, and leaders to together create systems and cultures that support humanistic care for all.