Dr. Balasanova receives Leonard Tow Humanism Award

Alëna Balasanova, MD, associate professor in the department of psychiatry, received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award on January 27, 2024.

The Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation recognizes graduating medical students and faculty members who are exemplars of humanism in the care of patients. Dr. Balasanova said this award means a lot to her.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “The award is all about humanistic medicine, and that’s what I try to teach. We have these conversations all the time on my service about our shared humanity and seeing patients as people and not just as patients. Being recognized in this way is validating and very meaningful because it reinforces what I do and encourages me to keep doing it.”

Dr. Balasanova was chosen by members of Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter at UNMC. Allison Ashford, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at UNMC and GHHS Faculty Co-Advisor, said Dr. Balasanova was recognized because she is an “exemplar of humanism in the care of patients.”

The award includes a certificate and check for up to $500. Dr. Balasanova has also been inducted as a lifelong member of the GHHS.

Psychiatry residents Jacob Givens, MD, and Matthew Kelly, MD, were also inducted into GHHS at the January 27 ceremony.

The University of Nebraska School of Medicine Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was founded in 2015 with support from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The UNMC chapter is part of the greater national GHHS organization that recognizes and supports humanistic exemplars in medicine. Being a member of GHHS is a significant honor and GHHS status is recognized as comparable to selection into other medical honor societies such as Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA).

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