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Schwartz Center and AACN Receive Macy Grant to Launch Compassion Scholars Program

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Press Release
For Immediate Release


Schwartz Center and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Receive Scholarship Grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

~Funding will support the Compassion Scholars Program
for nursing and medical students~
 
~Scholarship Program will focus on making compassionate care a priority in education, training, and delivery of care~

BOSTON, April 27, 2017 – The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a national leader in the movement to strengthen and sustain the human connection at the heart of healthcare, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, today announced that they have received a $33,000 grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation to develop a Compassion Scholars Program.
 
The first Compassion Scholars Program will be held in conjunction with the inaugural Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference (CiA) in Boston from June 25-27. The program is designed to give select nursing and medical students exposure to strategies, skills, and programs that are being successfully implemented in settings they are likely to encounter in the field. With the CiA conference focused on experienced healthcare professionals sharing best practices that will address workforce burnout and ways to further strengthen patient-family engagement and the quality of compassionate care in health systems, this conference is an ideal forum for this program.
 
"We are thrilled that the Macy Foundation is committed to health professional education and supporting this new Compassion Scholars Program for nursing and medical students," said Beth Lown, MD, medical director of the Schwartz Center. "We are also pleased to be partnering with the AACN who is aligned with our mission to ensure compassionate care is a vital part of the education, training, and delivery of care of our future healthcare professionals."
 
The primary goal of the Scholars program is to introduce medical and nursing students to the positive impact of compassion on patients and their families, caregivers, teams, and organizations in enhancing health, resilience, and well-being. This program also aims to create a network of compassion ambassadors, faculty, and leaders, including future leaders, who will work to create cultures of compassion in health professional education and in clinical practice.
 
Despite the growing demand for highly skilled healthcare professionals, more medical and nursing schools have recognized higher levels of burnout within their student populations and among those who have recently graduated. The causes of burnout span a myriad of issues ranging from a rapidly changing healthcare system to a workforce that feels less equipped to engage patients and families who face serious illness. This issue is alarming and could threaten the future of healthcare workforce.
 
"As a leading organization for advancing improvements in health, health care, and higher education, we are delighted to be a part of this Compassion Scholar Program that will promote patient-centered, collaborative care in the education of our students, and help them cope effectively with the challenges they may face," said Dr. Juliann Sebastian, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. "We firmly believe that the opportunity to create organizations that better foster the human connection at the heart of health care will improve the patient care experience and promote a more sustainable workforce."
 
The Schwartz Center and AACN will work with academic leaders from ten New England medical and nursing schools to guide the selection of a total of twenty students to participate in the initial pilot of the Compassion Scholars Program.
 
"We are proud to support compassion as a core value of our healthcare system and the future healthcare workforce," said George E. Thibault, MD, president, of the Macy Foundation. "The opportunity to make the Compassion Scholars Program a vital part of the inaugural Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference provides the students with the added benefit of being able to interact with, and learn from exemplary healthcare professionals whose collaborative compassionate care models have achieved a positive and rewarding experience for the care team and patients and their families."
 
The Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference is being organized by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and in partnership with leading healthcare organizations such as the American Hospital Association. The unique program will feature highly experiential learning and collaboration opportunities and convene a diverse group of healthcare professionals and leaders from across the country and beyond to share best practices that address how compassion can enhance workforce wellbeing, patient-family engagement, and the quality of care in health organizations. The conference will take place at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, Mass, from June 25-27. To register go to: www.compassioninactionconference.org.

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About the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare
Established in 1995, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a leader in the movement to make compassion a vital element in every patient-caregiver interaction, was founded on the belief that greater compassion and more meaningful collaboration are fundamental to the kind of care clinicians want to deliver and patients want to receive.

The Schwartz Center is an independent, non-profit organization, with more than 425 healthcare members in the U.S., Canada and Australia, supporting 200,000 healthcare professionals each year. In partnership with the Point of Care Foundation, more than 150 organizations conduct the innovative Schwartz Rounds™ program in the U.K., which unites caregivers from a range of disciplines to share experiences, learn from each other and focus on the human dimension of medicine. Schwartz Center members rely on programs, education and resources to support clinician well-being, enhance the quality of care, enable better outcomes and create a more positive and rewarding experience for all members of the care team, patients and their families.

The Center's inaugural Annual Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference (compassioninactionconference.org) will bring together clinicians, patients and families, health system leadership and others to advance a common goal of delivering more compassionate, collaborative care. Registration for the conference is now open.

To help patients and family members acknowledge caregivers who epitomize the qualities of compassionate care the Schwartz Center established the Honor Your Caregiver program.
Through its National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award, the Center celebrates healthcare professionals who display extraordinary devotion and compassion in caring for patients and families.

Visit us at theschwartzcenter.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
 
About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing 810 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. For information, visit www.aacn.nche.edu.
 
About the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has worked to improve health care in the United States. Founded by Kate Macy Ladd in memory of her father, prominent businessman Josiah Macy Jr., the Foundation supports projects that broaden and improve health professional education. It is now the only national foundation solely dedicated to this mission. Visit the Macy Foundation at macyfoundation.org.
 


Media CONTACT

Andrew Shin
ashin@theschwartzcenter.org
617-643-6132
 
Lynn Blenkhorn
Lynn.blenkhorn@fkhealth.com
508-851-0930