Gascho wins Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

June 14, 2018

Dr. Joseph Gascho, a cardiologist with Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute and professor of medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, and Celeste Bailey, a 2018 College of Medicine graduate, were honored with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award on May 23. The peer-nominated award recognizes medical school faculty members and graduating students who demonstrate clinical excellence and outstanding compassion in the delivery of care.

Bailey will complete her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Gascho also serves as the director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program where he incorporates humanism into learning by sharing cardiology images that have inspired poetry. Many of his photographs of patients and support staff hang throughout the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He has written several books on cardiac enzymes, interventional cardiology and catheterization and won a first-place award for poetry from the "Annals of Internal Medicine."

Read more about Gascho’s photography and poetry on Penn State Medicine.

“Since meeting Dr. Gascho when I interviewed for medical school, I have been amazed and inspired by his love of medicine and the arts and his integration of the two,” said one graduating medical student. “His ability to see things in new and holistic ways is a blessing to his students, patients, co-workers, readers and viewers.”  

The other nominees for the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award included:

  • Dr. Ahmad Hameed, interim medical director at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, teaches his medical students and residents the importance of treating patients as if they were their own family members. His nominators said he works with his patients in making decisions about their medical issues, allowing the patient to be in control of their treatment decisions.
  • Dr. Andrea Zaenglein, professor of dermatology, helped a Syrian refugee family whose daughter has a terminal skin disease, secure affordable housing so the family would receive the best medical care and community support. Her nominators said that Zaenglein not only gave her patient the highest level of care, but attended to the family’s needs, ensuring the siblings were enrolled in school and setting up an online signup sheet for babysitting schedules.
  • Dr. Sarah Ramirez, a family medicine physician, consistently demonstrates cultural sensitivity in working with patients of different backgrounds. Her nominators said that she can often be found in the waiting room privately discussing issues with Hispanic patients who do not speak English.
  • Dr. Kristen Grine, a family medicine physician and medical director of the Windmere practice site in State College, has consistently scored in the 99th percentile in patient satisfaction for many years and is a role model for young female physicians. Her nominators said that Grine advocates for nurses, physicians, staff and patients.
  • Dr. Bettina Aprile, a family medicine physician, focuses her care on the disadvantaged, marginalized and oppressed. She finds the good in every patient she encounters, said her nominators, ranging from those in acute need to those with pain medication addictions.  
  • Dr. Matt Silvis, medical director of Primary Care Sports Medicine, has developed a reputation as a national leader in his field and created a sports medicine fellowship. He serves as a role model in medical education, said his nominators, and many of his former students continue to seek mentorship from him.
  • Dr. Milind Kothari, a neurologist, helps his students find the resources they need to further develop their careers. His nominators describe him as a dedicated clinician and educator committed to the professional and personal growth of his medical students and residents.
  • Dr. Leah Cream, a medical oncologist at Penn State Cancer Institute, consistently demonstrates compassion and empathy in the delivery of care, even returning calls on the weekend or while on vacation. Her nominators said that she is accessible to students and can be found with students and trainees in the Penn State Cancer Institute lounge making a teaching point or discussing students’ concerns.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation launched the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards in 1991 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. More than 100 medical schools in the U.S. and Canada participate in this program.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 14, 2018