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    Conference Endorsement


2nd Annual Bioethics, Spirituality and Humanism in Medicine Conference

  • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences second annual Bioethics, Spirituality and Humanism in Medicine Conference took place on June 20-21, 2013, at the Strickland Education Pavilion on the KCU campus. 
    Bioethics Conference


    Bioethics Conference - Quote 1This conference provided a forum for addressing the salient ethical and humanistic issues healthcare workers confront daily. Those in attendance learned strategies for negotiating the complex ethical terrain of health care and participated in interactive sessions designed to help them maintain a positive spirit of service in an age of increasing demoralization.

    Bioethics Conference - Quote 2Target Audience

    This program is designed for physicians, resident physicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, chaplains, residency program directors, licensed therapists and members of ethics committees.


    At the completion of the conference, participants will be able to (within the context of their practice):

    • Utilize bioethics and medical humanities in patient care
    • Develop strategies to maintain caring attitudes and behaviors in the face of the challenges posed by moral distress and demoralization
    • Focus on patient-centered care through the use of patient narratives to enrich the meaning of work experiences in health care providers
    • Analyze the role of palliative care and hospice in the relief of suffering near the end of life
    • Analyze personal confrontations with illness as health care providers
    • Develop strategies for meeting the health care needs of diverse populations and boosting proficiency in cultural competence
    • Express current concerns about the confluence of medicine and spirituality
    • Meeting the health care needs of diverse populations 

    Contact Information

    For more information, contact Deb Mitchell at 816-654-7233 or bioethics@kcumb.edu

  • Registration Information

    • Registration has ended for this conference
    Early-bird registration
    DO/MD Physicians $300 $340
    Nurses $120 $140
    Chaplains $120 $140
    Social Workers $120 $140
    Healthcare Providers $120 $140
    KCU Students no charge no charge
    KCU Faculty no charge no charge
    KCU Preceptors $150 $170
    KCU Retired Alumni $150 $170
    ASBH Members $200 $240
    PhDs $200 $240

    Hotel Accommodations

    Hotel Phillips | Visit website
    106 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo., 64105
    Room Block: KCU Bioethics - Rate ends: May 19, 2013
    For the nights of Wednesday, June 19 and Thursday, June 20, 2013
    Superior king room - $109 per night plus tax, one or two persons
    Special Parking Rate: $12 per night (valet parking)
    Hotel might give consideration for the rate after the cut-off date.



    Thursday, June 20

    Morning Track I: How Humanities Amplify Our Humanism

    Time: 7 a.m.
    Location: Strickland Education Pavilion (SEP) - Atrium
    Event: Registration and Breakfast

    Time: 7:45 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium
    Event: Welcoming Remarks | David Wendell Moller, PhD

    Time: 8 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium
    Event: Humanities are the Hormones | Richard Gunderman, MD, Ph.D

    Time: 9 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium
    Event: The Chief Concern of Medicine: Integrating Narrative Knowledge into the Practices of Medicine | Jerry Vannatta, MD

    Time: 10 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Atrium
    Event: Break and Refreshments

    Morning Track II: Deep Within Me: The Personal Struggles of Professional Care Givers

    Time: 10:15 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium  
    Event: Watching the Lights Go Out: Journeying with Alzheimer’s | David Hilfiker, MD

    Time: 11:15 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium  
    Event: Navigating Self and Illness Panel- A Panel Presentation and Interactive Discussion
    Facilitated by: Robert Lyman Potter, MD, PhD, FACP
    Panelists: Lawrence Ehren, M.Div., MBA, BBC
    Margaret, “Peg” Nelson, MSN, NP, ACHPN
    Randall Wright, R.Ph., BS 

    Time: 12:15 p.m.
    Location: SEP 220
    Event: Lunch

    Afternoon Track: Caring for the Whole Person: Humanism and Spirituality in an Age of Specialization

    Time: 1:15 p.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium  
    Event: Spirituality and Medicine: Listening to the Voice of the Patient | Robert Lyman Potter, MD, PhD FACP

    Time: 2:15 p.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium   
    Event: Does God Want Us to Suffer? Recognizing Theological Models in Health Care | Dane Sommer, D.Min, M.Div., BCC

    Time: 3:15 p.m.
    Location: SEP, Atrium
    Event: Break and Refreshments

    Time: 3:30 p.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium    
    Event: Spirit-Filled Dying: Mindful Presence, Relationship Centeredness, and Care of the Whole Person | David Wendell Moller, PhD

    Time: 4:30 p.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium     
    Event: Healing Sickness Through Healing the Patient  | Eric Cassell, MD, MACP

    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Location: SEP, Atrium
    Event: Poster Session and Reception

    Friday, June 21
    Recapturing a Practice: Holistic Care, Empathic Partnerships, and Spiritual Support Near the End of Life

    Time: 7 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Atrium  
    Event: Registration and Breakfast

    Time: 8 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium     
    Event: So Now You Want Us to Get Comfortable With Dying!? | Richard Payne, MD

    Time: 9 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium      
    Event: Game Change: Recovering the Sacredness of Dying in the Hospital | Margaret, “Peg” Nelson, MSN, NP, ACHPN

    Time: 10 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Atrium   
    Event: Break and Refreshments

    Time: 10:15 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium       
    Event: The Enduring Impact of Pediatric Death: A Role for Ethics and Empathy | Brian Carter, MD

    Time: 11:15 a.m.
    Location: SEP, Ricci Auditorium        
    Event: Spirituality and Humanism in Caring for the Whole Person: An Interactive Wrap-up Session | Lawrence Ehren, M.Div., MBA, BBC

    12:15 p.m.
    Adjourn (No lunch)

    Richard B. Gunderman, MD, PhD

    GundermanDr. Gunderman is a professor of radiology, pediatrics, medical education, philosophy, liberal arts, and philanthropy at Indiana University, where he also serves as vice chair of radiology. He is also a Fellow of the Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence and serves on the Board of Governors of the Institute for Advanced Study, the Kinsey Institute and the Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society. He received his bachelors' degree summa cum laude from Wabash College, Md., and his PhD in Committee on Social Thought from the University of Chicago, and a masters in public health (MPH) degree from Indiana University. He is an eight-time recipient of the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award, and has also received the Wayne Booth Award, the Robert Shellhamer Award for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the School of Medicine Faculty Teaching Award, the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Herman Frederic Lieber Memorial All-University Award for Teaching Excellence. He was named the 2008 Outstanding Educator by the Radiological Society of North America. He is the author of over 280 scholarly articles and has published eight books, including "Achieving Excellence in Medical Education" (Springer, 2008), "We Make a Life by What We Give" (Indiana University, 2008), and "Leadership in Healthcare" (Springer, 2009). He is president-elect of the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine. He and his wife, Laura, have four children.

    Jerry B. Vannatta, MD

    Vannatta Dr. Vannatta is a David Ross Boyd professor of medicine and the John Flack Burton professor of humanities in medicine and an adjunct member of the Honors College faculty at the University of Oklahoma. He has been a member of the department of medicine since July 1979. From 1995–2002, Dr. Vannatta served the multiple roles of executive dean, College of Medicine, associate provost for medical affairs and vice-president for health affairs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He is a graduate of Oklahoma City University and the Oklahoma College of Medicine and has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from both institutions. Dr. Vannatta completed his residency in internal medicine at the Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1979, serving his last year as chief medical resident. Dr. Vannatta has practiced internal medicine in the Oklahoma City community for approximately 30 years. He teaches in the undergraduate curriculum of the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. He also teaches literature and medicine in the medical school, along with evidence-based medicine for medical students and the residency programs. In addition to his teaching positions at the Oklahoma College of Medicine, he served from 1979 to 1995 as director of medical education at Presbyterian Hospital. The recipient of numerous awards for teaching and administration in medical education, Dr. Vannatta is published in medical journals, including a DVD, "Medicine and Humanistic Understanding: The Significance of Literature in Medical Practice" that is published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

    David Hilfiker, MD

    HilfikerDr. Hilfiker was trained as a family practitioner and spent seven years in a rural Minnesota clinic as a “country doctor” and ten years in at Community of Hope Health Services, an inner-city clinic in Washington DC. He and his family lived for five years at Christ House, a 34-bed medical recovery shelter for homeless men, where he was one of the founders. In 1990, he left Christ House to found Joseph’s House, an eleven-bed home and community for formerly homeless men with AIDS, in Washington, where he and his family lived until 1993.

    Richard Payne, MD

    PayneDr. Payne is the John B. Francis chair in bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo., and the Esther Colliflower professor of medicine and divinity at Duke Divinity School, Duke University. He holds a joint appointment in the Divinity and Medical Schools at Duke University. At the Duke Medical Center, he is a faculty associate of the Trent Center in Bioethics, and a member of the Duke Cancer Center. Dr. Payne is also faculty lead for the Collaborative on Healthcare for Aging Populations and Advanced Illnesses (CHAPI), a program in the Duke Fuqua School of Business. At the Duke Divinity School, Dr. Payne was director of the Duke Institute for Care at the End of Life (2004-2012), and is currently a member of the Ministry Division and Program in Medicine, Theology and Culture. He teaches courses in pastoral care during the end of life. Dr. Payne received his bachelor of arts in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University in 1973, and his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1977. He completed his post-graduate training in medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston in 1979; in neurology at the Cornell Campus of the New York Presbyterian Hospital in 1982; and fellowship training in pharmacology, neuro-oncology and pain medicine at Weill Cornell Medical School and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in 1984. He was a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Medical Faculty Development Program (now called The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, 1981-1984). He is board certified in neurology with added qualifications in pain management and palliative medicine. Dr. Payne is an internationally known expert in neurology, oncology, pain management and palliative care, and bioethics, and has more than 275 publications in these fields. He has also edited four books and has given a number of endowed lectures, including the Jules Rominger Lecture (Mercy Health System, Philadelphia); Florence M. Lockhart Nimick Lectur, Univ. Pittsburgh Medical Center; Humphrey Oei Distinguished Lecture at the Lien Palliative Care Center-National Cancer Institute in Singapore; Josephina Magno Lecture at Capital Hospice; and Rosemary Flanagan Lecture at the the Center for Practical Bioethics. Among his many awards are the Distinguished Service Award from the American Pain Society, the John J. Bonica Leadership Award from the Eastern Pain Association, the Humanitarian Service Award from the Urban Resources Institute, the Pioneer Award from Operation Rainbow/PUSH, the Excellence in Pain Award from Janssen Pharmaceutical, and the Vision to Action Award from the Center for Practical Bioethics in 2013.

    Dane R. Sommer, D.Min.

    SommerThe Rev. Dr. Sommer has been the director of chaplaincy services at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., since 1987. Dr. Sommer was the first full-time chaplain at Children’s Mercy. The department of chaplaincy services now includes seven full-time and four part-time chaplains. He received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and religion at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, and his master of divinity degree from the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minn. He received his doctor of ministry from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., completing a qualitative research project entitled “How is a Board Certified Chaplain in the Association for Professional Chaplains?", and has full standing in the United Church of Christ. Dr. Sommer was the founder and first president of the Pediatric Chaplains Network, an organization designed for support of the unique needs of chaplains who work in pediatrics. He also serves as the assistant director of bioethics policy and practice at Children’s Mercy. He is a member of the national UNOS Ethics Committee. He is a frequent lecturer on the theological and spiritual issues of working with hospitalized children. His most recent focus has been on the issue of suffering and evil.

    David W. Moller, PhD

    MollerDr. Moller earned a doctorate in sociomedical sciences in 1983 from Columbia University’s Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health in New York, N.Y. He has also completed a master of philosophy in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University, a master of arts in sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York, N.Y., and a bachelor of arts in sociology at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. Dr. Moller’s teaching interests include end-of-life care, medical humanism, disparities and social justice, and literature, humanities and medicine. “There is growing consensus within academic medicine that training and patient care must be informed with skills in ethical and moral decision-making and concern for the whole person,” says Dr. Moller. “This is where bioethics – broadly defined - comes into play. It enhances skills in the art of medicine and increases competencies in compassion, diverse populations, self-care, empathy, and humanism,” he adds. Dr. Moller has been recognized with the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Indiana University, named among Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and honored with the Outstanding Resident Faculty Award at Indiana University. Dr. Moller has been described as a “distinguished advocate for the dying.” His work on the socio-cultural factors that shape the contemporary experience of mortality has been described as “breaking new ground” and “destined to become a landmark in the death and dying literature.” His most recent work has explored the intersection of dying with urban poverty and has been acclaimed as “remarkable,” “shedding light on a forgotten world” and, “taking us to the often forgotten, impoverished facing death.” Outside of his work, Dr. Moller is an avid New York Yankees fan and enjoys books, films, classical music and theatre.

    Brian S. Carter, MD

    CarterDr. Carter, a neonatologist, received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed his residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colo., and his fellowship at the University of Colorado. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corp until 1996, being honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is an editor and contributing author for one of the leading textbooks in pediatric palliative care, "Palliative Care for Infants, Children, and Adolescents: A Practical Handbook", and has been involved in the MOMS trial of fetal surgery at Vanderbilt. Dr. Carter has extensive experience, as well as additional education in both ethics, from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and end-of-life care from EPEC and IPPC.


    CME Credit Information

    Participants are required to sign-in at the beginning of each day and to complete a pre-test, a post-test and an evaluation in order to receive continuing education credit. In addition, participants who are social workers are required to sign-in each morning and after lunch each day. Participants may only claim credit for sessions which they participate. A certificate of completion will be provided to participants based on documentation of actual attendance, completion of a pre-test, a post-test, an evaluation and payment in full.

    Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine
    Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians. KCU has requested that the American Osteopathic Association approve this program for 12 hours of AOA Category 1-A CME credits. Approval is currently pending.

    Doctors of Medicine

    Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences designates this live activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Physician Assistants

    AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 12 hours of Category I credits for completing this program.

    UMKC Logo - College of Arts and SciencesSocial Workers
    This program is sponsored by the UMKC School of Social Work for 12 clock hours of continuing education. Social workers are required to sign-in each morning and after lunch Thursday.