Consortium Ethics Program



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 24 institutions, including adult and pediatric hospitals, long-term care facilities, home-care providers, health plans. For over 25 years, the CEP has provided high-quality ethics education and kept up-to-date on the continually evolving field of health care ethics.


What We Provide

The CEP provides a cost-effective, personalized educational program that allows professionals and their organization to develop and maintain an awareness and expertise in clinical health care ethics.


About The Program

Education is offered within a three-year cycle and is comparable in content, breadth, and depth to the training offered by graduate degree programs in health care ethics, but with the advantage of greater flexibility and unique personalization. Our program is successful in:

  • Educating members to become ethics resource persons within their organization.  
  • Assisting members in designing and implementing an ethics education plan to meet the specific needs of their organization.  

Education is presented through a variety of formats to best match the needs of our members:  

  • Weekend Conference: Held in the fall of each year, this intensive, yet informal, three-day conference includes faculty from local universities and national scholars.
  • Seminar Series: Throughout the year, members attend four full-day seminar sessions.  
  • Webinars: Distance learning sessions are offered several times a year.  
  • Online Teaching Modules: Provides members with the tools to teach the basic concepts of health care ethics to staff within their organization.  
  • Onsite Programming: Up to six hours of targeted education designed to meet the needs of the organization and help expand ethics awareness throughout. This can include educating staff, ethics committees, or customized skill-building activities for ethics consultants.



Our Faculty

Robert Arnold, MD

Professor Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Alex John London, PhD

Director, The Center for Ethics and Policy

Carnegie Mellon University

Judith Black, MD, MHA

Medical Director of Senior Products

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Martha Mannix, JD

Clinical Associate Professor of Law

University of Pittsburgh

Valarie Blake, JD, MA

Associate Professor of Law

West Virginia University

Cynthia McCarthy, DHCE, MA

Independent Consultant,

Consortium Ethics Program

Bruce Bryce, BA, MDiv, DMin

Retired Pastor

Private Practice

Ferdinando Mirarchi, DO, FAAEM, FACEP

Medical Director, Emergency Medicine

UPMC Hamot

Ellen DeBenedetti, MEd


Ellen DeBenedetti Mediations

Kate A. Molchan, JD, MA

PhD Student in Healthcare Ethics

Duquesne University

Gregory Dober, MA

Healthcare Ethics Advocate

Private Practice

David Orenstein, MD

Professor of Cystic Fibrosis

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Justin Engleka MSN, CRNP, MBA, ACHPN

Hospice and Palliative Care Manager

AHN Allegheny General Hospital

Lois Pizzi, MSN, RN-BC

Inpatient Acute/Chronic Pain Management Coordinator

UPMC Shadyside

Steven Farrelly-Jackson, PhD

Associate Professor

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Allegheny College

John Rief, PhD

Visiting Assistant Professor          

Duquesne University

Maryanne Fello, RN, BSN, MEd


AHN Forbes Hospice

Valerie Satkoske, MSW, PhD

Director of Ethics

Wheeling Hospital

Gary Fischer, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Stella Smetanka, JD

Clinical Professor of Law

University of Pittsburgh

Lucy Fischer, PhD

Professor of English and Film Studies

University of Pittsburgh

Denise Stahl, RN, MSN, ACHPN

Executive Director

UPMC Palliative and Supportive Services

A Michael Gianantonio, Esq


Arcinaco Bracken LLC

Alan Steinberg, Esq


Horty Springer & Mattern

Peter D. Giglione, Esq


The Massa Law Group

Sarah Stockey, DHCE(c)

Clinical Ethics Fellow/Supervisor

Duquesne University

Daniel E. Hall, MD, MDIV, MHSc

Assistant Professor of Surgery, UPMC Presbyterian

Core Investigator, VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

Chatón T. Turner, Esq

Associate Counsel, UPMC

Adjunct Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Rhonda Gay Hartman, JD


Duquesne University School of Law

Jyotsna Vasudev, PhD


Heritage Valley Health System

Randy Hebert, MD, MPH

Medical Director

AHN Forbes Hospice

Douglas White, MD, MAS

UPMC Endowed Chair of Ethics in Critical Care Medicine

Director, Program on Ethics & Decision Making in Critical Illness

University of Pittsburgh

Aviva Katz, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Director, Consortium Ethics Program

Mark Wicclair, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Professor of Philosophy, West Virginia University

David Korman, JD

Adjunct Professor

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Pittsburgh

John Welch, MDiv, PhD(c)

Vice President for Student Service and Dean of Students

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Sister Thea Krause, MSN, PhD

Ethicist/Nurse Practitioner

James E Van Zandt Medical Center

Rebecca S. Zukowski, PhD, RN

Associate Academic Dean

Mount Aloysius College

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

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

Last updated: July 7, 2015