Health Care Importance Essay Contest

In a new interprofessional collaboration, winning essays by medical and nursing students will be published in both Academic Medicine and The Journal of Professional Nursing

FEBRUARY 14, 2018  —  The Arnold P. Gold Foundation is delighted to announce that the Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest will expand in 2018 to include nursing students, a collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The annual essay contest highlighting humanistic experiences has sought submissions from medical students for nearly 20 years.

“The winning essays have long provided a beautiful glimpse into the minds of students who are taking their first steps into an empathic career in healthcare. To strengthen the human connection in healthcare requires the work of the whole healthcare team, and we are truly excited to spread greater interprofessional understanding by welcoming nursing students into the Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest,” said Richard I. Levin, MD, president and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on humanism in healthcare.

“With health care becoming more team-based, AACN applauds the Gold Foundation for inviting nursing students to add their voices to the national conversation on the need to elevate the patient care experience,” said AACN Board Chair Dr. Juliann Sebastian. “Through the Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest, AACN is delighted to join with AAMC and the Gold Foundation to showcase exemplars that underscore the connection between interprofessional engagement and compassionate care.”

The Gold Foundation’s annual contest asks medical students, and now nursing students, to engage in a reflective writing exercise that illustrates an experience where they or a team member worked to ensure that humanism was at the core of care.  First-, second-, and third-place essays for both nursing and medical students will be chosen by a panel including healthcare professionals, writers/journalists, and educators.

Winners receive an award of up to $1,000. First-, second-, and third-place nursing and medical student essays will be published in The Journal of Professional Nursing, the journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The winners will be spread out among the 2018 October, November, and December issues with a winning medical essay and a winning nursing essay together in each issue. This innovative cross-publication is designed to foster interprofessional understanding.

“Humanism is at the core of what it means to be a physician, even as big data and technology grow in the clinical care setting,” said Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO. “We are pleased to continue this valued partnership with the Gold Foundation to provide an opportunity for medical students, and now nursing students, to express the importance of humanism in their journeys to becoming caring health professionals.”

The Gold Foundation is committed to infusing and sustaining our healthcare system with a culture of compassion, caring, and respect for patients and the whole healthcare team. The Gold Foundation has created rituals, such as its iconic White Coat Ceremony, awards, and programs to support the dedication to compassionate patient care that draws so many to the healthcare profession.

Hope Babette Tang-Goodwin, MD, was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, whose devotion and generosity to the care of the children and infants with HIV infection in New York City was an inspiration to her colleagues and her students. Her approach to medicine combined a boundless enthusiasm for her work, intellectual rigor and deep compassion for her patients.

The prompt for the 2018 contest will be:

 “It’s not what you look at that matters, but what you see.”— Henry David Thoreau

Tell us about a healthcare experience with a patient or fellow clinician that led you to a new, unexpected understanding or perspective.

Students may submit their 1,000-word essays starting on February 15, 2018, here.

The contest will be open through March 31, 2018.

Media contact:

Brianne Alcala
Director of Communications
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation
Direct: 201-308-6920
Main: 201-567-7999
balcala@gold-foundation.org

Since the inception of the Department of Pennsylvania state Essay Contest in 1935, The American Legion has awarded well over $500,000 in scholarships, while local American Legion Posts, counties, Districts and Sections have also offered suitable awards and prizes for their respective best essay winners.

Through the annual Department of Pennsylvania American Legion Essay scholarship contest, students are provided an opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities in English by using originality, accuracy and research as evidence, while learning that the responsibilities and duties of good citizenship can be both rewarding and fun.

As American Legionnaires, we fully believe that education is the cornerstone upon which the future of America is built. Education becomes the first requisite of good citizenship and the relationship of The American Legion to Pennsylvania citizens is of prime importance as a means of keeping us a free civilization.

Our approach to supporting solid educational principles is direct and positive. We agree with the current PA Department of Education initiative of “writing across the curriculum” and reward the efforts of involved students through our annual essay scholarship program.

Any student enrolled in grades 9 thorough 12 in a public, private or parochial School or who is home schooled in Pennsylvania is eligible to participate.

Prizes To Be Awarded

The Department of Pennsylvania State Essay First Place Winner will be awarded a $3500 scholarship, a plaque and a trip to this years PA American Legion Convention in July to read the winning essay to the assembled delegates.

The Second Place Winner will receive a $3000 scholarship and a plaque.

The Third Place Winner will receive a $2500 scholarship and a plaque.

Grades 9 – 12 Topic–“What Does Being a Patriot Mean to Me?”

2018 Essay Brochure for Grades 9-12


The Department of Pennsylvania is encouraging Posts to participate in the Essay Program for students in grades 6 -8.  This will prepare students for the high school aged Department Essay Program.

Grades 6 – 8 Topic–“What can be done to build respect for our State & Local Law Enforcement?”

2018 Essay Brochure for Grades 6-8


To participate or to find out additional information contact Department Headquarters at 717-730-9100

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