The Waynesburg University Nursing Program was recently a recipient of grant funding from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to initiate its inaugural White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony was held Saturday, Oct. 23, in Roberts Chapel on the University’s main campus.
“Since 1993, the White Coat Ceremony has been an early and essential touchpoint of humanism on the path of a physician,” said Dr. Richard I. Levin, president and CEO of the Gold Foundation. “Today…the White Coat Ceremony is all the more relevant in emphasizing the importance of the human connection in healthcare. We are grateful for the leadership of Waynesburg University in elevating the message, both during the ceremony and throughout the years of education, that empathy and respect are critical parts of optimal care.”
The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage to emphasize the importance of compassionate patient care at the very start of the educational program.
Waynesburg’s event included remarks by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee and Dr. Kathy A. Stolfer, director and chair of the Department of Nursing.
A virtual keynote address was presented by Dr. Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges and Nursing (AACN).
Dr. Trautman was introduced by Dr. Lorraine Frazier, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, dean of the Columbia University School of Nursing and a Gold Foundation trustee, and Dr. Kellie Bryant, DNP, WHNP, CHSE, assistant dean of Clinical Affairs and Simulation Center at the Columbia University School of Nursing.
Also in attendance were faculty members of the Department of Nursing, who pinned students as they came forward in their newly donned white coats.
The White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1993 at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons by Dr. Arnold P. Gold, MD, a professor and pediatric neurologist.
According to the Gold Foundation, Dr. Gold was a passionate advocate for humanistic healthcare. He and his wife, Dr. Sandra Gold, started The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which has expanded the White Coat Ceremony internationally.
Today, nearly every medical school in the United States, hundreds of nursing schools and many other health profession schools around the world participate in this tradition.
The application process is managed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
About the Arnold P. Gold Foundation
The Gold Foundation champions the human connection in healthcare. The foundation engages schools and their students, health systems, companies, and individual clinicians in the joy and meaning of humanistic healthcare, so that patients and their families can be partners in collaborative, compassionate and scientifically excellent care.
Consistently ranked a best value school, Waynesburg University’s Strategy for the 21st Century affirms its commitment to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and ethical leadership skills for all students. Rooted in its mission of faith, learning and service, the private, Christian university is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with an additional site for graduate and professional programs in Southpointe.