Gold Foundation to Honor USF Employees and Local Pharmacist

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) and KODO Care Pharmacy have partnered over the past several months to administer some of the first Covid-19 vaccines in the Joliet area, including residents of long term care facilities and developmentally disabled patients who were unable to get the vaccine elsewhere. Their efforts will be recognized by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation this summer as part of the organization’s Annual Gala event on June 10, 2021.

USF Leach College of Nursing representatives Kimberly Gibson, BSN, RN, and Annette Mattea, DNP, RN, APN/CCNS, CNE, and KODO Care Pharmacy president and pharmacist Chad Kodiak will be presented with Champion of Humanistic Care recognition as part of an event that will also recognize Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Wayne Riley, and Dr. Eric Topol with National Humanism in Medicine Medals. The three local honorees will each receive a certificate from the Gold Foundation and will be celebrated at the Gold Foundation’s Annual Gala through recognition on the Gold Foundation website and in the digital gala program.

The trio was nominated for the honor by Ebere Ume, Ph.D., MSN, RN, PHN, Dean of the USF Leach College of Nursing.

“Congratulations to Kim, Annette and Chad on their recognition by the Arnold Gold Foundation as a Champion of Humanistic Care, for their extensive work on ensuring Covid-19 vaccination for our community, promoting a great partnership between USF LCON and Kodo Care Pharmacy, and providing wonderful practice opportunities for our students,” Ume said.

Gibson points to those she served as inspiration to exceed even her own expectations on persevering through the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us all a lot about love, loss, and that distance still cannot stop the power of human connection. There were many very hard days, and yet there were also days of happiness and joy. The patients are what kept me going. They were my inspiration to push the limits and do what some would say was unachievable. Simply holding a hand in silence or watching the tears of joy and relief is why I do what I do,” Gibson said.

For Mattea, the experience has reinforced the important role that nurses have, especially in times of challenge.

“Nurses are known as trustworthy and caring. The Covid-19 pandemic has tested everyone’s physical and mental capabilities, including nurses. We were challenged to understand and show empathy while experiencing grief and loss ourselves. Covid-19 had no boundaries. But during this time, we also shared silence and inactivity while reflecting on the importance of understanding, listening and empathy for others. We helped allay fears of the unknown when we didn’t have all of the answers. We are all humans. We are all important. We are all equal. Covid hit the human heart and soul but perseverance, kindness, and compassion towards others got us through. Being part of the solution through volunteerism has been rewarding knowing that I am helping all I serve and care for as we long for brighter days ahead,” Mattea said.

For Kodiak, his efforts stemmed from the answer to a simple question: what can I do to help?

“Compassion is what has gotten me through the difficult days during the Covid-19 pandemic…and there have been many difficult days. Knowing that a person not only needs but also is often dependent on our care is the motivation that gets me and our team at KODO Care through the late nights, difficult days, and seemingly impossible scenarios. I believe in the goodness of human beings and I have seen that goodness countless times during this ordeal. There have been literally too many times to count when people are saying ‘What can I do to help?’ And every time there has been something, and every time they have done it,” Kodiak said.

About the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation infuses the human connection into healthcare. We engage schools, health systems, companies, and individual clinicians in the joy and meaning of humanistic healthcare, so that they have the strength and knowledge to ensure patients and families are partners in collaborative, compassionate, and scientifically excellent care.

Dr. Arnold Perlman Gold and his wife, Sandra, co-founded The Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1988 with an aim toward sustaining the human connection in medicine and ensuring all patients received compassionate care. The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s programs, such as the White Coat Ceremony and the Gold Humanism Honor Society, are now found in nearly every medical school in the country.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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