WVU announces details on residence hall return and COVID-19 testing for spring semester. The Return to Campus website continues to have updates about WVU's fall plans. Visit coronavirus.wvu.edu and CDC.gov for health resources related to the global pandemic.

Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS)


To promote humanism and professionalism throughout the continuum of physician education from the first day in medical school until retirement from medical practice.


In the fall of 2008, six faculty members of the West Virginia University School of Medicine petitioned the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for the establishment of a local chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The charter was approved on December 15, 2008 when they were notified by Jacqueline Mintz of the Gold Foundation.

The founding members were committed to institutionalizing the chapter, being role model the ideals of humanism in medicine, and conducting the selection of the initial student, resident and faculty members. These six faculty have collectively more than 140 years of service to the school and the people of West Virginia.

The founding faculty members include:

  • Rosemarie Cannarella, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Student Services at Eastern Division, Professor of Family Medicine
  • G. Anne Cather, MD, Associate Dean for Student Services and Professional Development, Professor of Family Medicine
  • Norman D. Ferrari III, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
  • James P. Griffith, MD, Assistant Dean for Student Services at Charleston Division, Associate Professor of Psychiatry
  • Jeffery Neely, MD, former President and CEO of University Health Associates, Professor of Internal Medicine
  • Michelle Nuss, MD, Vice President for Medical Staff Affairs at WVUH, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine

The School of Medicine was established in 1903 as a two year school and transitioned to a four year program in 1960 with the first MD degrees awarded in 1962. We have a long standing and strong commitment of service to the citizens of West Virginia as part of our land grant mission. We were recognized in 2006 by the AAMC with the Outstanding Community Service Award. Students are required to complete at least 100 hours of community service as a requirement for graduation. We have a well developed pipeline program called HSTA (Health Sciences Technology Academy) which helps to foster greater diversity in our student population including traditional underrepresented minorities, first generation college students, and those from low socioeconomic status.


The first student members will be selected from the Class of 2010 in the summer of 2009 near the completion of the third year of the curriculum. There will be one chapter for the School of Medicine with membership from all three clinical campuses located in Morgantown, Charleston and Martinsburg. Each year the chapter will select a maximum of six resident and two faculty members.

List of Current Members
List of Past Presidents

2022 Chapter President

Georgia Vasilakis

Members elected are recognized for their outstanding demonstration of the ideals of humanism and names will be published on the chapter website to be maintained by the faculty advisors or Office of Student Services. During the induction ceremony the following oath will be recited:

I pledge to continue to demonstrate the ideals of humanism through my care of patients and their families, through my teaching, and through my scholarly activities and discovery. I will model and mentor of the ideals of humanism and compassion while inspiring the next generation of health care providers for the betterment of all members of society.

A certificate from the chapter will be issued to each new member. Members may wear white honor cords as part of traditional academic regalia during formal ceremonies.

Chapter Activities

The chapter will continue to foster humanism in our community through active community service projects coordinated by our chapter, an educational series on humanism for students, residents, faculty and community members.

GHHS Statewide Summit in January 2014 at the WV Cultural Center in Charleston

We plan to work with our HSC Faculty Development office to engage faculty in all our health science disciplines (Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy) in role modeling and educating health professionals in the area of humanism.

  • Events
  • Summer Research Fellowship Grant

Through our Rural Health Education Partnership (RHEP) we plan to carry our message statewide into communities across West Virginia. WV is the only state where all counties are included in Appalachia and our training in cultural diversity includes a unique module on the socioeconomic and social mores of this population.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society at West Virginia University School of Medicine was made possible with a grant from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation.