LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The resident physicians at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, along with the school’s faculty, staff and medical students, are making the holidays a little brighter for underprivileged children in the Louisville community. In just one week, they collected 570 toys for Toys for Tots.
UofL’s House Staff Council, the representative body for resident and fellow physicians, issued a request on December 10 for new, unwrapped toys for its annual holiday service project. The group was inspired by Mayor Greg Fischer’s call to set a world record for the most toys collected in a 12-hour period during Holiday in the City.
As of December 16, the residents, fellows and program faculty had collected 500 toys.
“The initiative took hold more than we had even imagined,” said Matthew Bertke, M.D., president of the House Staff Council. “The response shows the kind of charitable spirit and sense of community we have in the house staff. Although young physicians are busy with patient care, we also are invested in our community.”
John Roberts, M.D., UofL’s vice dean for graduate medical education and continuing medical education, supported the request by offering a luncheon for the departments with the highest percentage of residents participating. Four programs earned the luncheon, having greater than 150 percent participation: Psychiatry (430 percent), Neurology/Child Neurology (246 percent), Pediatrics (193 percent – the largest number of gifts at 166) and Emergency Medicine (161 percent).
The school’s faculty, staff and medical students then joined in the project, adding an additional 70 toys for a total of 570 from the UofL School of Medicine.
“Among the qualities of a good physician are empathy and compassion. It is inspiring to see how generously our young physicians, faculty, staff and students responded in order to brighten the holidays for our community’s children,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.