A tradition of compassion

Even though “Penny from heaven” died six months ago, the memory of her indomitable spirit lives on. With tears in her eyes, Morganna Freeman-Keller, M.D., called Penny, a former patient, her personal Jiminy Cricket, an animated Disney movie character in Pinocchio who acts as a conscience and a good friend of the main character. 

Inspired by Penny’s will to live for others despite her battle with numerous diseases, guest speaker Freeman-Keller, one of the new resident members of the Chapman Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, learned that her duty as a physician is to embrace the human spirit and learn to establish genuine relationships with her patients. 

“I encourage all of you to find your own personal Jiminy Cricket,” she said to a roomful of faculty, residents, students and guests during the ninth annual Chapman Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society banquet Feb. 27.

The society, which recognizes those who demonstrate compassion and humanism in medicine, inducted 25 fourth-year medical students, five residents and two faculty members during the ceremony at the Paramount Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. 

Approximately 15 percent of the fourth-year class is inducted each year. Student inductees are chosen by a selection committee and based on peer evaluation. Faculty and resident members are nominated by students.

Students, faculty, staff and guests shared laughter and hugs with one another as student inductees highlighted their classmates’ accomplishments and memories. New student members also introduced the new resident and faculty members.

Dean Yamaguchi, M.D., was the recipient of the Hugh A. Walters, M.D., Humanitarian Award. Walters, a graduate of the UF College of Medicine who died in a car accident in 2008, was posthumously inducted to the Chapman Society in 2009.

Tad Kim, M.D., who was the last year’s recipient, spoke on Yamaguchi’s behalf.

“DJ (Dean) said the UF College of Medicine is special because we have an awesome atmosphere of teaching thanks to the faculty members who bring out the best in our students,” Kim said.

Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine, congratulated and encouraged the newest members of the society.

“We have a long standing history of developing humanism in our medical students,” he said. “It’s an explicitly stated educational guiding principle. Please remember the ability you have as a physician to be compassionate.”

Congratulations to the 2011 – 2012 Chapman Society inductees:


Phillip Barkley, M.D.
Richard Lottenberg, M.D.  


Morganna Freeman-Keller, M.D.
Stephanie Kirkconnell, M.D.
Constance Lee, M.D.
John Massini, M.D.
Matthew Odom, M.D.  

Medical students

Joshua Arenth
Adam Bennett
Robert Casey
Michelle Chaney
Paige Comstock
Samuel Davis
Laura Jacobsen
Kedar Kirtane
Patrick Lynn
Kari Mader
Stephanie McCullough
Bri Anne McKeon
Adam Mecca
Saad Mir
Adolfo Molina
Diana Narvaez
Sathavaram Reddy
Ricardy Rimpel
Xujia Smith
Joshua Solano
Elise Springer
Lauren Van Eldik
Monique Vaughan
Lora Yasova
Sarah Yong

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards recipients

Phillip Barkley, M.D. 
Ricardy Rimpel