Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Loyola's Mark Kuczewski Named President of American Society for Bioethics and Humanities

Maywood, Ill. — Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy Director Mark Kuczewski, PhD, was recently named president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH).

“I am humbled by this leadership role and find it quite a privilege,” said Kuczewski. “It’s about stewarding the wonderful gifts and resources that the members bring to help them as individuals as well as us as a society to reach our full potential.”

As president, Kuczewski hopes to shepherd the society’s efforts toward creating professional standards for the practice and education in the field of bioethics and medical humanities. He also wants to ensure that the human values that are at the heart of their mission are not overlooked in the pursuit of professionalism.

“It’s so easy in a large health-care system for the human dimension to get lost. Bioethics keeps open that human side,” said Kuczewski. “We need to make sure that we too, as we grow as a field, do not forget that we are about forming and nurturing the kind of people who bring human values to health-care.”

Kuczewski sees the need and impact of bioethics becoming even more vital as health-care workers face questions concerning the health-care system, new technologies and changes in interacting and caring for patients.

“On the clinical side we ensure all voices are heard in the discussion of challenging issues. We bring together the wishes of the patient and family as well as the values of the health-care providers,” said Kuczewski, “Academically we help future professionals gain the skills and resources they need to appropriately respond to the ethical challenges they may face in the future.”

Kuczewski has led the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy for more than a decade. He is the author of several books including An Ethics Casebook for Hospitals: Practical Approaches to Everyday Cases and Practicing Bioethics. He has served on the ASBH Board of Directors for three years and participated in several task forces including the recent group that issued a landmark document, “Improving Competence in Ethics Consultations: A Learner’s Guide.”

In addition to his abundant academic and literary credentials he brings a passion for education and social justice.

“I have a deep respect for the many kinds of people and the work that is being done to assist the sick and most vulnerable,” said Kuczewski. “We have long been aware that our subject matter involved viewing and reflecting upon, sometimes stepping into, the intimate space of vulnerable people, whether terminal patients or subjects. As we live, we cannot help but sometimes be those vulnerable people and come to understand anew what vulnerability means.”

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.