The Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics: A Retrospective
Established in 1979 to provide ethics education and consultations within the Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine, the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics (CHCE) has grown into an academic department with a multidisciplinary faculty with vibrant research and service programs and educational offerings that include a Certificate program and a PhD degree with three dual degree options. Throughout this time, CHCE faculty have influenced numerous bioethics debates in US society, serving as consultants to the Nancy Beth Cruzan case, NASA, the Institute of Medicine, the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Center for Health Care Ethics (CHCE) is established as a Center within the Department of Internal Medicine at Saint Louis University (SLU). Founded by Kevin O'Rourke, OP, JCD, its original mission was to provide education and consultations particularly within the School of Medicine and throughout Catholic health care.
CHCE's educational mission at SLU expands to include new health sciences programs and it develops a strong reputation for its continuing education "Summer Institutes", serving over 100 people each year.
CHCE receives endowment gifts to establish the Annual Reverend Edward J. Drummond, S.J., Lecture in Health Care Ethics in honor of the first Vice President of the School of Medicine at SLU. Speakers have included Ezekiel Emanuel, Edmond Pellegrino, Daniel Sulmasy and other prominent scholars.
Under the editorship of Kevin O'Rourke, the periodical Health Care Ethics USA is established. Since 2007, HCEUSA has been published in partnership with the Catholic Health Association.
CHCE begins enrolling students in the PhD in Health Care Ethics program and begins functioning as an academic Department within the Graduate School at SLU. Gerard Magill is appointed Department Chair. CHCE's mission develops in critical ways by establishing the PhD program: First, its faculty quickly becomes multidisciplinary. Whereas most faculty originally held degrees in theology or religious studies, CHCE faculty now hold terminal degrees in philosophy, medicine, law, psychology, medical humanities, and theological health care ethics. Second, with the ability to tenure faculty to CHCE comes a greater emphasis on research publications and grants.
Fr. Kevin O'Rourke retires as Center Director and is appointed Professor Emeritus, with Gerard Magill assuming the role of Center Director and James DuBois the newly created role of PhD Program Director. | CHCE develops an optional Certificate in Empirical Research Methods within the PhD in Health Care Ethics program. This program allows students to complete 15 hours of coursework in empirical research methods enabling them to gather original dissertation data from surveys, interviews, or focus groups. This program was the first of its kind, anticipating the movement toward empirical research in bioethics.
CHCE obtains its first grant from the National Institutes of Health. CHCE has since obtained over $2,000,000 in research funding from government agencies and foundations. | Sandra Johnson, JD, LLM, is appointed the first holder of the Tenet Chair for Health Law and Ethics within CHCE and the Center for Health Law Studies at SLU. | CHCE partners with the School of Medicine to establish an MD/PhD dual degree program.
CHCE begins offering a Certificate in Clinical Health Care Ethics, within an initial class of 12 students, mostly health care workers who serve on hospital ethics committees. | The PhD program collaborates with the School of Law at SLU to establish a new JD/PhD Health Care Ethics dual degree program. | Also this year, James DuBois is appointed as Department Chair / Center Director and the first holder of the Hubert Mäder Endowed Chair in Health Care Ethics and Ana Iltis becomes PhD program director.
The Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics is established with a $3 million endowment gift from Dr. Steven Bander. Housed in CHCE, the Bander Center's mission is to promote ethical business practices in medical care and research through the development of training and investigation opportunities for medical students, residents and physicians in practice.
CHCE's PhD Program begins offering an MA Theology / PhD Health Care Ethics dual degree program in cooperation with the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. | After 30 years, the CHCE is renamed the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics to honor the contributions of Dr. Albert Gnaegi to Saint Louis University.
Jeffrey P. Bishop is named Director and Tenet Chair of Health Care Ethics | CHCE relocates to the Salus Center on the medical campus | Social Science Research Group (SSRG) is established under the direction of Jim DuBois | CHCE begins teaching undergraduate humanities courses.