Hearts In Healthcare

International honour for Co-Founder of Hearts in Healthcare

Dr Robin Youngson, the Co-Founder of Hearts in Healthcare, has been appointed to the Global Compassion Council of the international Charter for Compassion founded by Karen Armstrong. He joins 40 other international leaders recruited from around the world in the realms of government, business, education, philanthropy, religion & spirituality, health care, the environment, peace, and social justice.

Robin has been working with two other physicians on the Council, Dr James Doty the Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), and Dr Elizabeth Rider who is the Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School and leads the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare. Together they help connect the world of healthcare to the Charter for Compassion.

In all my life, I think this is the greatest honour I have ever received,” says Dr Youngson. “I’ve been appointed to national and international committees in my professional work on healthcare quality and patient safety but this is much more significant because I am being recognised for what is my personal passion: strengthening compassion in healthcare.”

It’s easy to forget how far healthcare drifted away from this human value. When I started campaigning in 2006, I did a Google search for ‘compassion + healthcare’. There were only 3,000 ‘hits’ and most of those were irrelevant. In the whole world, I couldn’t find any document about healthcare strategy or quality improvement that included the word ‘compassion’. Now the same search yields 23 million ‘hits’ – an extraordinary  change.”

The Charter for Compassion is a rapidly growing international movement. In 2013, there were 98 Compassionate Communities and 127 Charter Partners – organisations that have pledge to support the Charter for Compassion. At the end of 2014, there are now over 250 Compassionate Communities and more than 1,000 Partners. For more news about how the Charter for Compassion is influencing the world, see their newsletter, “We’re spreading the word“.

Dr Youngson and his wife Meredith, the Co-Founders of Hearts in Healthcare, have worked for two years with the city of Louisville in Kentucky, the ‘model‘ compassion city in the USA, bringing healthcare and academic leaders together in a series of initiatives. The latest project is the proposed center for happiness in education and healthcare.



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“When all members of an organization are motivated to understand and value the most favourable features of its culture, it can make rapid improvements.”