Nancy Koff, PhD, senior associate dean for evaluation at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, has established an endowed award for the college’s medical students who demonstrate humanism in the practice of medicine.
The desired outcome of medical education is to prepare caring, compassionate graduates who also are bright and highly skilled health-care professionals, notes Dr. Koff. After dedicating more than 25 years to fostering UA College of Medicine graduates who seek this balance, she decided “to put her money where her mouth is.”
Each spring, “The Nancy Alexander Koff Award to Recognize Humanism in Medicine” will be given to graduating medical students who are inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), a program of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a public foundation that fosters humanism in medicine. The GHHS elevates the values of humanism and professionalism in the field of medicine and recognizes medical students for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service” and the interpersonal skills and attitudes that are essential for excellent patient care.
“As students graduate and depart for their residencies, it is vital that they are recognized for their achievements,” says Steven Goldschmid, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine. “I can imagine no finer tribute to honor Dr. Koff and her leadership than to recognize and reward the vital human qualities that enhance the health and healing of our patients.”
“Nancy’s leadership on behalf of humanism in medicine has remained a trusted and sought after source of support and guidance for the Gold Foundation in the development of its programs and policies,” says Sandra Gold, EdD, president and chief executive officer of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. “The Koff prizes will serve to further advance our mission of acknowledging the importance of humanistic medical practitioners in keeping ‘care’ in health care.”
Dr. Koff’s regional and national leadership in medical education was acknowledged in July 2010 when she was named one of two national field secretaries for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the agency that accredits allopathic medical schools in the United States. Since 1985, when she joined the UA College of Medicine as director for curriculum assessment programs, Dr. Koff has worked to support improvements in medical education in Arizona and the nation. She stepped down as the college’s senior associate dean for medical student education to accept the field secretary position, but she continues in a part-time role at the college to help ensure that all current and future LCME standards are being met for the College’s 2014 accreditation.
Dr. Koff also is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UA College of Medicine, with joint appointments in the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the UA College of Education.
To make a gift to the Koff Award, please make your check payable to “UAF: Koff Endowment” and mail it to: UA College of Medicine, Development Office, P.O. Box 245018, Tucson, AZ 85724.