Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Shenkin Family Fund For Humanistic Medicine


Shenkin Family Fund For Humanistic Medicine

In Memory of Ann Shenkin

Medicine has always been about both curing and caring. In our lifetimes, research and development have produced enormous advances in curing that have transformed our lives. But medical care still requires that people be cared for. Every single person needs to have someone who knows them, who cares about them, who cares for them. No computer will replace the doctor or nurse who looks into your eyes and who knows who you are, or the aide who turns you, feeds you, cleans you up, strokes you. Caring cannot be lost.

Everyone in the medical professions, at every level, needs to be taught about caring, needs to know that this age-old function of medicine is still vital, even as they learn the ever-more complex science behind curing and prevention. There is so much science to learn, but caring cannot be pushed out of the curriculum and the practice of medical care.

As a diabetic and as an Alzheimer's Disease patient, Ann experienced in depth both the curing and the caring functions of medicine. She was fortunate. Especially since she lived in a medical family, she found excellent people to give her both caring and curing, from her first diabetes doctor and nurse practitioner, to her primary care doctors, to her neurologist for Alzheimer's, and to the marvelous aides who provided round the clock care at home when she could no longer care for herself. She counted herself among the lucky minority who had the resources and social connections to access this care. Yet, she knew that the care she got was the care that not everyone gets, even if they have the means.

The Shenkin Family Fund For Humanistic Medicine has been set up to promote education and research in the caring function in medicine. The Fund will be placed at the University of California at San Francisco, and will be directed through the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, where Ann's daughter Sara is Professor of Pediatrics. It will seek to be a catalyst to promote humanistic medicine, the caring function, by organizing and funding lectures, sponsoring research, funding efforts within UCSF or elsewhere that meet the goals of promoting humanistic medicine.

Donations in memory of Ann Shenkin can be addressed to the UCSF Foundation and sent to:

Attn: Allison Mitchell

UCSF Foundation

PO Box 45339

San Francisco, CA 94145-0339

In the memo line, please write “Shenkin Family Fund for Humanistic Medicine”. Donations can also be made online at makeagift.ucsf.edu. Please designate the gift in memory of Ann Shenkin to the Shenkin Family Fund for Humanistic Medicine.

Any questions can be answered by Allison Mitchell, cell: 202-494-3101, email: allison.mitchell@ucsf.edu

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