Inspired by Dr. Anthony Thomas, Jr.’s valuing of every person with whom he came into contact no matter their background, appearance, or social status, we invite insights gained through moments of “Compassion and Valuing Every Person” in the context of healthcare delivery. In particular we want to learn from you about the wisdom and power of human interactions that allow flourishing, amplify voices who have been less heard, and give rise to unexpected kindnesses in human interactions. Stories of ways in which people have positively overcome systemic assumptions and injustices are particularly encouraged.

2023 Event Information

Selected submissions will be presented at the annual event on October 5th at 5:30 pm. Cleveland’s renowned poet Wallstreet Wes will be the keynote speaker. Please RSVP here.

View the Compassion and Valuing Every Person flyer.


2021 Event Information

2021 Event Information

2021 Event Information:

The year the Empathy and Valuing Every Person event will feature awardees who will highlight powerful actions of compassion and kindness.

Event Date: October 4, 2021

Location:  Virtual

View event flyer


Narrative Category:

How Being a Cleveland Clinic Patient Shaped My Approach to Caregiving
Miya Ulatowski Phlebotomy Technician

Mary Carneval
General Surgeon

In Return
Kathryn Shinko
Radiological Technology Student

Visual Art Category:

Power of Touch
Reginald Williams
Patient Transporter

Beneath the Waves
Maeve Pascoe
Medical Student

2020 Event

2020 Event

Empathy and Valuing Every Person Lecture Series: Three Phases of COVID-19 experiences
3rd Annual event in honor of Dr. Anthony Thomas, Jr.
Hosted by Center for Bioethics

The theme focused on the challenges presented in light of the turbulence caused by COVID-19 and the instances of humanity, empathy, and respect for others that continue to abound.

September 14, 2020 



“Quarantine Quotes” - Deb Bercik, PT
Senior Physical Therapist | Therapy Services Westlake

“Finding Hope in a COVID-19 ICU” - Zachary Jerusalem, MD
Fellow, Critical Care Medicine | Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

“Gratitude in a COVID 19 Testing Center” - Tracey Newman, MA
Dermatology Medical Assistant | Elyria Family Health Surgery Center

Visual Art:

“The Fear” - Maeve Pascoe, BS
Medical Student | Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine 

Special Reflection:

“Socially Distant” - Abarna Ramanthan, MD
Resident, Internal Medicine | Cleveland Clinic Main Campus 

October 19, 2020



“A Powerful Pause Amid the Chaotic Pandemic of COVID-19: A Testimony of Hope and Servant Leadership” - Alexis Smith, BSN, RN
Nurse, Float Pool | Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Staffing Resource

“Bearing Witness to Our Shared Humanity in the Midst of COVID-19” - Jawad Bayat, M.Div
Chaplin Supervisor Trainee, Spiritual Care | Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

“Father’s Daughter” - Rubabin Tooba, MD
Resident, Internal Medicine | Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

 Visual Art:

“Symphonies of Hope” - Uzma Siddiqi, MD
Hospitalist, Hospital Medicine | Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

 Special Reflection:

“Cheers” - Anne Song, MD
Alumnus | Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

November 16, 2020


“On a Tuesday- somewhere in 2020”-Mahwish Ahmad, MD, MPH

Ethicist, Center for Bioethics | Cleveland Clinic, Main Campus

“Homeless Quarantine”-Geoffrey Lake, MBA, MSW, LISW-S CCM

Manager, Case Management | Cleveland Clinic, Main Campus

Visual Art:

“In the time of COVID”-Elia Pestana-Knight, MD

Physician, Epilepsy Center | Cleveland Clinic, Main Campus

* Narrative will be shared in Spanish & English

“Breathe”-Emily Katzin

Project Manager, Sustainability | Cleveland Clinic, Main Campus

Special Reflection:

“Non-Clinical”-Natalia Perkins

Data Analyst, Data Governance Office | Cleveland Clinic, Lyndhurst

Special Community Recognition:

“Face to face”-Matilda Washington

Student | Syracuse University

2019 Event

2019 Event


Many wonderful ideas were submitted for this event, each one uniquely highlighting this year’s theme “Empathy and Valuing Every Person.” It was a very difficult decision to make, but three speakers were selected that will leave attendees feeling inspired to engage and respect every person they meet in all aspects of their life.

“Mom and her 3 Best Friends”
Kathy Ray
Associate IT Business Services & Solutions Partner, Cleveland Clinic ITD

"Code Pink"
Perry Dinardo
Fourth-year medical student, Cleveland Clinic Learner College of Medicine

"Water, music, language: elements of compassion”
Connie Xu
RN, Cardio Vascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

2018 Inaugural Event

2018 Inaugural Event

2018 Inaugural Event Highlights

We had an amazing inaugural event on October 8, 2018. Four people shared very personal narratives. Johanna Goldfarb, MD provided a personal anecdote about Dr. Thomas that set the stage beautifully for the audience to hear the messages of the day. Our three award recipients each gave their reflection and wisdom regarding empathy and valuing of people. It was a celebration of us at our best as humans who help each other.

2018 Speakers

Red Clay, Red Coats and Respect: a Caregiver’s Story

  • Gayle Deadwyler, Healthcare Partner Council Volunteer

Drifting in the Sea of an Emergency Room

  • Eric Keller, RN, Cleveland Clinic Akron General

I Became the Family Member in my Own ICU Unit

  • Sandra Galvin, Nurse Manager of Heart Failure ICU/CICU at Cleveland Clinic's main campus


Anthony J. Thomas Jr., MD Memorial Lecture Series Donors

Thank you to our donors for make this series possible:

  • John J. and Josephine Thomas Charitable Foundation
  • The Anthony J. Thomas, Jr. Family
  • F.J. O'Neill Endowment 
  • Amy Greene and Thomas Reuter
  • 5 Separate Anonymous Donations
  • Barbara Chubak, MD
  • Brian S. Shields
  • Bud Isaacson
  • Carino Family
  • Carmen Paradis
  • David G. Anthony, MD and Family
  • Doreen and John Thomas
  • Dr. James B. Young M.D.
  • Ford Family
  • Gretchen Losey 
  • Kathryn Thomas, CSJ
  • Kathryn Weise
  • Kuback Family
  • Janie and Allen Bashour
  • Johanna Goldfarb
  • John Thomas
  • Joyce Joecken
  • Lenny Calabrese
  • Lisa (Thomas) Cohen
  • Mythily Ramanathan 
  • Paula and Sam Thomas
  • Patti Bulter
  • Patty Mayer
  • Margot M Eves
  • Maureen Heuler and Patricia Adams, CSJ
  • Members of Congregation of St. Joseph
  • Susannah Rose
  • Thomas Saad
  • Laura Hoeksema