Who We Are

Our Mission
To put compassion at the heart of healthcare through programs, education and advocacy.

Our Vision:
A world where all who seek and provide healthcare experience compassion.

In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, crowded with competing priorities, the human connection is too easily overlooked leaving caregivers burned out and patients and families fearful and suffering.

Through innovative programs, education and advocacy, the Schwartz Center is working to support caregivers, healthcare leaders and others and bring compassion to every healthcare experience.

We provide research-based strategies, tools and the support that caregivers need to create and sustain cultures of compassion. Together with our members, partners and other supporters, we are bringing our vision to light by helping caregivers, healthcare leaders and others across all sectors of healthcare experience and share compassion through their work and in their organizations and communities.

We are making compassion a priority for every healthcare organization across the country and around the world.

our story

These acts of kindness – the simple human touch from my caregivers - have made the unbearable bearable" Ken Schwartz

In November of 1994, Ken Schwartz was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. His case was riddled with terrible ironies. He was only 40 and a non-smoker. He ate well and exercised regularly. He could have been any one of us.

During his 10-month ordeal, Ken came to realize that what matters most during an illness is the human connection between patients and their caregivers. He wrote movingly about his experience in an article for the Boston Globe Magazine titled A Patient’s Story. In it, he reminds caregivers to stay in the moment with patients and how “the smallest acts of kindness” make “the unbearable bearable.” His commentary has become a touchstone for the Center and readers all over the country and the world.

At the end of his life, Ken outlined the organization he wanted to create. It would be a center that would nurture the compassion in healthcare, encouraging the sorts of caregiver-patient relationships that made all the difference to him. He founded the Schwartz Center in 1995 – just days before his death – to ensure that all patients receive compassionate and humane care.

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare’s mission is simple but compelling: to promote compassionate care so that patients and their caregivers relate to one another in a way that provides hope to the patient, support to caregivers and sustenance to the healing process.

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