Gold Foundation Names Champions of Humanistic Care

Published August 4, 2021

story by dirk hoffman

The award honors physicians, nurses and health care team members who represent great contributions of compassion during the COVID-19 crisis.

Led Team That Established Regional Testing Program

John E. Tomaszewski, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Peter A. Nickerson, PhD, Professor and Chair of pathology and anatomical sciences, was cited for his work acting as chief of service for Kaleida Health Laboratories in leading a team that established the region’s most extensive nucleic acid testing program.

Since March 2020, Tomaszewski’s team has expanded testing capacity and instituted multiple testing platforms for COVID-19 testing, including a lab that developed testing leveraging instrument assets on loan to Kaleida Health Labs from the UB Biorepository.

“For laboratory medicine physicians this has been a year like no other. I have been honored to be part of this effort and to help the public understand the criticality of our clinical laboratory testing infrastructure,” Tomaszewski said.

Keeping Medical School Safe and Accessible

Michael J. Odojewski, facilities planning and management officer, was honored for his work in keeping the medical school safe, open, operational and accessible so that it was available to students, faculty and staff during the pandemic.

Never once during the pandemic did the facility close. One of his biggest undertakings was to develop a COVID-19 testing site at the medical school.

“Over this past year I faced challenges that I never would have thought I would have encountered in my life,” Odojewski said. “Being honored for this service is very humbling because so many colleagues had a role in keeping the medical school facilities operational and safe. I have great pride in this accomplishment.”

Promoting Humanism in Health Care

They were honored during the Arnold P. Gold Foundation annual gala, conducted as a virtual event on June 10.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation champions humanism in health care, which it defines as compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent care.