Consortium Ethics Program


About the CEP

The Consortium Ethics Program (CEP) is the regional health care ethics network in Western Pennsylvania. This premier network educates nurses, physicians, social workers, and others from participating health care institutions in the language, methods, and literature of health care ethics. These staff members, known as CEP representatives, become on-site resource personnel who receive direct support from the CEP to meet the ethics needs of their institutions. Member institutions form a network, which is instrumental in sharing ethics resources and experiences in a cost-effective manner. Because of the collaborative and cooperative nature of the CEP, membership crosses all lines of affiliation in the ever-changing health care environment.


History of the CEP

The CEP began as a pilot program for 12 acute-care hospitals in 1990 with a generous grant from the Vira I. Heinz Endowment. Since 1996, the program has been self-sufficient and is currently supported by member institutions and co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine. Current membership consists of 26 institutions, including adult and pediatric hospitals, long-term care facilities, home-care providers, and one of the area’s largest health plans. For over 24 years, the CEP has provided high quality ethics education and kept up-to-date on the continually evolving field of health care ethics.


Goals of the CEP

The CEP provides a cost-effective approach to assist health care professionals, their institutions, and the local health care community in developing and sustaining awareness and expertise in clinical health care ethics. This awareness and expertise ensures that present and emerging ethics needs are met.


The CEP carries out this goal by:

  • Educating a minimum of two representatives from each participating institution to become ethics resource persons.
  • Assisting representatives in designing and implementing an “ethics plan” to meet the needs of their institutions.
  • Continuing to develop new methods to guide institutions as they address their long-term needs in health care ethics.

Experience has shown that as these goals are met, institutions are able to:

  • Assist neighboring facilities to cooperatively address ethical issues that arise in the transfer of patients along a continuum of care.
  • Address relevant Joint Commission standards, federal requirements, such as the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the Patient Self-Determination Act, and other standards in the field of health care ethics.
  • Form, develop, or revitalize ethics committees, consultation services, or other appropriate mechanisms for conflict resolution.
  • Create or update specific institutional ethics policies, such as forgoing life-sustaining treatment, informed consent, and advanced directives.

CEP Faculty



CEP In the News

"UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute join Consortium Ethics Program for System-wide Bioethics Education"

Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News

October 2012

"Facing Conflict with mediation Skills in Health Care"

Western Pennsylvania Hosptial News

August 2011

"Highmark Inc. and Consortium Ethics Program Partner to Integrate Ethics Education for Highmark Case and Care Managers"

Western Pennsylvania Hospital News

July 2011

"Is You Ethics Committee Ready for the 'Next Generation?'"

Western Pennsylvania Hospital News
May 2010

"Consortium Ethics Program: Educating Leaders in Health Care"

Western Pennsylvania Hospital News, September 2009

“Consortium Ethics Program: A Jumpstart to Clinical Ethics Education”

Western Pennsylvania Hospital News, August 2009

"Consortium Ethics Program Directed at Serious Business”

Western Pennsylvania Hospital News, April 2009


Robert Arnold, MD

Professor of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Aviva Katz, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC


Judith Black, MD, MHA

Medical Director of Senior Products

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

David Korman, JD

Program Manager, Special Projects

Pennsylvania/MidAtlantic AIDS Education Training Center

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health


Bruce Bryce, BA, MDiv, DMin

Retired Pastor

Private Practice

Sister Thea Krause, MSN, PhD

Ethicist/Nurse Practitioner

James E. Van Zandt Medical Center


Elizabeth Chaitin, MSW, MA, DHCE

Director of Quality and Ethics

UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute

Kathryn Jackson Lanz, DPN

Director of Education and Professional Development

UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute


Mary Therese Connors, RN, BA, MA, DHCE

Adjunct Faculty

Duquesne University

Alex John London, PhD

Director, The Center for Ethics and Policy

Carnegie Mellon University


Ellen DeBenedetti, MEd


Ellen DeBenedetti Mediations

Martha Mannix, JD

Clinical Associate Professor of Law

University of Pittsburgh


Gregory Dober, MA

Healthcare Ethics Advocate

Private Practice

Cynthia McCarthy, DHCE

Independent Consultant

Consortium Ethics Program


Justin Engleka, MSN, CRNP, MBA, ACHPN

Hospice and Palliative Care Manager

WPAHS Allegheny General Hospital

Ferdinando Mirarchi, DO

Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine

UPMC Hamot


Stephen Farrelly-Jackson, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies

Allegheny College

David Orenstein, MD

Antonio J. and Janet Palumbo Professor of Cystic Fibrosis

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC


Maryanne Fello, RN, BSN, MEd


WPAHS Forbes Hospice

Sydelle Pearl, MLS

Author, Storyteller, Songwriter

Private Practice


Gary Fischer, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Rosa Lynn Pinkus, PhD

Professor of Medicine/Neurosurgery

Associate Director, Center for Bioethics and Health Law

Director, Consortium Ethics Program

University of Pittsburgh


Lucy Fischer, PhD

Professor of English and Film Studies

University of Pittsburgh

Valerie Satkoske, MSW, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine

University of Pittsburgh


A. Michael Gianantonio, Esq.


Archinaco Bracken LLC

Stella Smetanka, JD

Clinical Professor of Law

University of Pittsburgh


Peter D. Giglione, Esq


The Massa Law Group

Denise Stahl, RN, MSN, BC-PCM

Executive Director

UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute


Daniel E. Hall, MD, MDiv, MHSc

Assistant Professor of Surgery

UPMC Presbyterian

Alan Steinberg, JD


Horty, Springer & Mattern, PC


Rhonda Gay Hartman, JD


Duquesne University Law School

Chaton Turner, Esq

Associate Counsel



Randy Hebert, MD, MPH

Medical Director

WPAHS Forbes Hospice

Jyotsna Vasudev, PhD


Heritage Valley Health System


Claire Horner, Esq


Horner Law Firm, PC

Douglas White, MD, MAS

Associate Professor, Critical Care Medicine and Medicine
Director, Program on Ethics and Decision Making in Critical Illness

University of Pittsburgh



Mark Wicclair, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Click here to learn about the benefits of membership and how to become a part of the CEP!

© 2009 Consortium Ethics Program. No portion may be reproduced without permission.

Last updated: May 16, 2014