school of nursingStudents and faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing are joining Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses and School of Medicine faculty and students and are pledging to live the healthy lifestyle they recommend to their patients.

“Do as I do,” is the mantra for more than 230 nurses, students, and faculty who signed the collaborative Patient Promise effort and who are now engaging in regular physical activity, eating a balanced diet, and working alongside patients to adopt positive lifestyle changes. Their oath recognizes that a clinician’s health behavior affects patients’ health behaviors.

The initiative, first introduced by JHUSOM student Shiv Gaglani to the Johns Hopkins Doctors and Nurses Alliance (DNA), has been adopted by JHUSON students Erika Koff, Lauren McGivern, Hilary Carroll, and Lisa Garrett. The students have aligned the ideas with those of the School of Nursing’s own SON Fit Program—a program developed by the Center of Excellence for Cardiovascular Health to promote healthy work and learning environments.

At a recent Patient Promise kick-off event, nursing and medical students gathered to sign the promise, listen to Hopkins leaders speak about preventative medicine and healthy behaviors, and hear student testimonials about incorporating healthy lifestyles into stressful schedules. SON Fit representatives Lisa Garrett and Yvone Commodore-Mesah ran blood pressure screenings, and attendees munched on healthy snacks.

“We’re glad to see the enthusiasm behind the initiative,” says Gaglani. The group has gone to the American Medical Association conference to spread awareness, and over 300 health professionals have already signed the Promise. Future plans include a presentation at the American Nursing Association and visits with other related organizations, and the Johns Hopkins faculty and staff.

As the Patient Promise website says, “We believe that with enough awareness and commitment on the part of healthcare professionals, we can help both clinicians and patients become healthier. Starting with medical and nursing students, we hope The Patient Promise can spread to a significant fraction of healthcare professionals and in the process change the culture of healthcare for the better.”

To sign the Patient Promise, visit www.thepatientpromise.org.