KYCOM inducts 20 students into Gold Humanism Honor Society

The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) recently held its annual ceremony inducting 20 students from KYCOM’s Class of 2022 into the college’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS).

The GHHS recognizes students, residents and faculty who demonstrate compassionate patient care and serve as role models, mentors and leaders in medicine.

KYCOM’s GHHS inductees will have the opportunity to engage in networking and mentoring, participate in leadership and professional development, promote humanistic care within their communities and apply for chapter awards and grants.

Former KYCOM faculty member and GHHS chapter advisor for the first inductees in 2018, John Colston, D.O., served as the keynote speaker. Colston was delighted to have the opportunity to return to Pikeville to welcome and congratulate the new inductees.

“This honor is a recognition that you have already shown to your peers, faculty and those around you that you are an example of what we want,” said Colston. “Take this acknowledgment as a pat on the back, but more importantly as a shove to keep going and keep expressing what it is that people saw in you. We can remind people that physicians are not scientists or mechanics, but we are there for them in the most difficult times of their lives to walk with them hand in hand.”

Incoming Dean of KYCOM, current Associate Dean of Osteopathic Medical Education, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine Joe Kingery, D.O., CPE, FACOFP, is grateful to have the opportunity to see the students grow through their medical education at KYCOM.

“Those being inducted tonight represent the highest level of humanism displayed by the Class of 2022,” said Kingery. “They not only display excellence in the science of medicine but also display the values of empathy and compassion in the way they treat and communicate with their patients.”

Dean of KYCOM and Professor of Family Medicine Dana Shaffer, D.O., FACOFP dist., FAOGME, complimented the inductees on their leadership roles in medicine.

“It’s my honor to add my congratulations to each of these inductees,” said Shaffer. “They are already leaders and will continue to be leaders throughout their professional careers. Not just leaders, but also role models for other students, for physicians and for all healthcare professionals on what it means to be truly humanistic as they take care of patients.”

The newest members of KYCOM’s GHHS are Mais Alwan, Shelby Blanton, Emily Borgemenke, Brianne Bowers, Seth Carmichael, Jamie Castle, Carlee Clemons, Shauna Combs, Morgan Finn, Katie Hall, Sarah Javaid, Akhil Kavuri, Heather McGuire, Ryan Morales, Stuart Orange, Javed Osmani, Betsy Reiner, Kristine Schmeling, Daniel Stoneburg and Paige Swan.

For more information about GHHS, please visit