TouchStones of Compassionate Care®

TouchStones of Compassionate Care® is a physician education program promoted and supported by The Willow Tree Foundation. touchstone_2-registered

TouchStones of Compassionate Care® is a program that came about following our founder, Ann Schrooten’s participation in a “Dear Future Physician” letter writing campaign initiated by a first year medical student as part of a “Reflections in Doctoring” course.  As the parent of a child with chronic and complex medical needs, and as someone who spends a significant amount of time dealing with physicians, Ann took the opportunity to share her thoughts with soon-to-be practicing physicians. The primary message Ann sought to convey to our future physicians is to always strive to “Allow kindness and compassion to guide you and, above all else, be a physician who cares”.

After writing the letter, Ann felt compelled to find a way to extend the message in her letter so that it would reach and impact as many young physicians as possible.  Ann came up with the idea of having pocket stones engraved with the words KindnessCompassion and Care, and providing young physicians with one of these stones to carry in the pocket of their white jacket as a tangible symbol and reminder to always strive to provide compassionate care to their patients and their patients’ families.

The TouchStones program has been implemented at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.  In addition, the program’s message has been shared with medical students at Vanderbilt Medical School and physicians in training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

For more information about TouchStones of Compassionate Care®, visit