Providence Center for Health Care Ethics and its staff reveal God's love for all, with particular attentiveness for the poor and vulnerable, by promoting human dignity, the common good, and social justice in the diverse communities of Providence Health & Services through the center's services and programming.
The center aspires to help transform technical skill and expertise into professional practices in health care through ethics and the medical humanities. That is, the center strives to cultivate prudence, integrity and peace in care delivery, insurance provision, and other institutional activities and decision-making.
Relative to Providence's core strategy of Creating Healthier Communities, Together, the center embraces its role in inspiring and developing caregivers and core leaders in service to the Mission and Core Values of the organization. Following a 'theology of encounter,' the center seeks solidarity with all those who confront the full range of ethical issues in health care from the bedside to the boardroom as well as outside the bricks and mortar of health care. The center aspires to bear prophetic witness to call attention to those whose future is most at risk and to rally remedies to their vulnerabilities.
The center was established in 2000 on the campus of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, an acute care teaching hospital and houses an endowed chair in applied health care ethics. Providence Center for Health Care Ethics contributes to excellence in patient care by providing the highest-quality ethics education, consultation, research, and scholarship.
While seeking to distinguish itself as a theological center addressing ethics across the continuum of care, the center particularly focuses on ethical issues in the care of patients of diverse faith, spirituality, and cultural traditions.
Providence Center for Health Care Ethics was established in 2000 to serve the ethics consultation, education and scholarship needs of Providence Health & Services in Oregon. While seeking to distinguish itself as a theological center addressing ethics across the continuum of care, the center contributes to excellence in patient care by providing the highest-quality ethics education, consultation, research, and scholarship.
To learn more about who we are, meet our team; to learn more about how we got here, please read our stories.
Endowed Chair in Applied Health Care Ethics
Housed within Providence Center for Health Care Ethics is the Endowed Chair in Applied Health Care Ethics. The chair was established in 1998 to ensure the presence of ethical expertise in medical care and education within Providence Health & Services in Oregon. (Rev.) John F. Tuohey, Ph.D., became the first holder of the chair, and subsequently was named the regional director of Providence Center for Health Care Ethics when it was established in 2000.
Upon Father Tuohey's retirement from Providence in 2017, Nicholas J. Kockler, PhD, MS was named holder of the chair and regional director. Subsequently, Kevin Dirksen, MDiv, MSc has been named and currently holds both positions. In this role, Kevin participates in the education of physicians, family practice and internal medicine residents and clinical pastoral residents; engages in research and scholarship focused on health care ethics; and participates in health care ethics boards.