Past Events

EGR Past events

Friday, May 28, 2021 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Zackary Berger, MD, PhD Johns Hopkins Division of General Internal Medicine; Berman Institute of Bioethics, & Bloomberg School of Public Health 
In the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many types of patient stories – later to be repeated thousand fold – were heard for the first time. Some were easier to understand: people tragically taken ill and eventually dying in the ICU or alone at home. Some were easier to bear, though still accompanied by suffering – e.g. those with mild illness from which they recovered. Still other people, however, experienced illness in a model that has always resisted solution. Those with long COVID ask one question of themselves, their caregivers, their clinicians, and society at large. “Why aren’t I getting better, and what can be done?” As with so many COVID-related phenomena, chronic illness (likely incurable for some) is not new, and it sheds light not on discontinuities in US healthcare but on the very chasms it is founded on. Thus to understand how Long COVID might be approached requires a thoroughgoing revision, re-envisioning, of US healthcare. 
This was an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA) hosted by the Center for Bioethics and co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. 
Speaker: Zackary Berger, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Division of General Internal Medicine and Core Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, with joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. With an active practice in primary care internal medicine at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Berger focuses his clinical, educational, and research work, as well as his widely read publications for the lay public, on the ways in which shared decision making in the doctor-patient encounter might be in conflict with medical evidence and the political, social, and psychological realities of the patient. Dr. Berger teaches residents in their internal medicine clinic and medical students on the wards at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and is part of a Berman faculty team which teaches bioethics to residents in a number of Johns Hopkins specialty programs. He is also staff physician at the Esperanza Clinic Health Center, a free clinic serving undocumented Spanish-speaking immigrants. Dr. Berger is the author of two books for the lay public on doctor-patient communication and on patient preference in the context of medical evidence.
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Talk Objectives: 

  • Identify the ways that stigma serves as a barrier to accessing care for individuals with substance use and mental health conditions.
  • List the ways that the topic of stigma has emerged in evaluated community-engaged partnerships and research.
  • Describe how stigma varies depending on the source and the individual experiencing it.
  • Compare interventions with potential to reduce substance use and mental health stigma.
Speakers: Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in Duluth. Laura received a B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Theology and Master of Arts in Theology from the University of St. Thomas. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota in 2012, then completed a Post-Graduate Year One Residency in Ambulatory Care through the University of Minnesota at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota. Laura completed her Master of Public Health degree in spring of 2015. Dr. Palombi has been involved in a variety of projects and collaborations throughout northeastern Minnesota, working on substance use prevention, intervention, recovery and harm reduction initiatives with rural and Tribal communities.

Katharine Dooley, MPH Candidate, is an Epidemiology MPH student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Katharine received a B.A. in biology from Bard College in 2013. Prior to graduate school, Katharine worked as a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Fellow at the National Institutes of Health and was a Health Education Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. Katharine is currently a student worker on Minnesota Department of Health’s "Team Diarrhea", where she assists with foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigations.

Friday, April 23, 2021 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
EGR Web Banner
COVID-19 continues to shine a light on the deep disparities present throughout the United States, in terms of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. This talk shows mortality data, as well as occupational case data, from Minnesota and examine what this means for the ethical allocation of scarce resources, including vaccines.
Speakers: JP Leider, PhD, is a  senior lecturer in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Bioethics. He is a member of the Minnesota COVID Ethics Collaborative and SME on the Minnesota Vaccine Allocation Advisory Group. He is the UMN lead on the Minnesota Resource Allocation Platform (MNRAP), a joint project between UMN and MDH that equitably connects Minnesotans with monoclonal antibody infusions.

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sociology; Faculty member, Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota | Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, Ph.D., specializes in racial inequality in mortality and historical infectious disease and co-leads (with J.P. Leider) an ongoing project on COVID-19 mortality in Minnesota. She is also a quantitative methodologist, developing models designed to clarify relationships between micro and macro perspectives on demographic relationships.

Human Subjects Research Ethics: Lessons from the COVID-19 Frontlines
Monday, March 29, 2021 - 2:30pm to 3:45pm
The Center for Bioethics and the Human Research Protection Program together offered this Zoom-based event where panelists reflected on how their teams have navigated the conduct, oversight, or support of human research during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how their experiences may promote practical improvements in human subjects protections or signal changes in the post-pandemic environment. Followed by their presentations, there is a Q and A. 
Friday, March 19, 2021 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Ethics Grand Rounds: Community Engaged Research for Innovation and for Equity? Implications of Taking Community Voice Seriously
Community Engaged Research (CER) has become a priority for funders to increase representation in clinical trials and address health disparities. CER contributes to health innovations by bringing the perspectives of end-users - those most impacted by health inequities – into the research process. However, CER does not necessarily lead to improved health equity or trust in the research process. In this talk, Dr. Allen describes tension points between research and community perspectives when we take community voice seriously regarding our routine ways of conceptualizing, conducting, and disseminating research. She uses examples from her own work and that of community partners to consider how we can move from CER for innovation to CER for equity.

This is an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA) hosted by the Center for Bioethics and is co-sponsored by the Program in Health Disparities Researchthe Office of Public Engagement, the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, and the School of Medicine.

Speaker: Michele Allen, MD, MS, Director, Endowed Chair of Health Equity Research, Co-director of CTSI’s Community Engagement to Advance Research and Community Health (CEARCH), Associate Professor. Dr. Allen is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research, and Endowed Chair of Health Equity Research at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Her research focuses on community-based participatory approaches to developing and implementing health promotion, and tobacco and other substance use prevention interventions for adolescents of color and those from immigrant communities. Dr. Allen is a leader in the science of participatory research and in increasing capacity on both academic and community sides for research collaboration. She has led multiple studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and other large foundations using participatory approaches. As PI on a NCI-funded T32 on Cancer Health Disparities, and a R25 designed to support the academic persistence of high school and undergraduate students underrepresented in science, Dr. Allen works toward fulfilling her commitment to enhancing the diversity of the research and clinical workforce. Dr. Allen completed medical school at the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s Degree in sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Allen spends her clinical time serving families at the Community University Health Care Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Friday, February 19, 2021 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Increasingly, conducting research with pregnant women has been recognized as ethically imperative – if enduringly complex. Numerous barriers to including pregnant women in biomedical research have resulted in profound & consequential evidence gaps regarding safe & effective use of medications in pregnancy. Without timely pregnancy-specific data, pregnant women may be dosed inappropriately, given drugs with unacceptable risks to the woman or fetus, denied access to beneficial & potentially lifesaving drugs, & left with deep uncertainty about medical decisions. In an effort to make progress on these challenges, Dr. Lyerly led the PHASES (Pregnancy & HIV/AIDS Seeking Equitable Study) Project, an NIH-funded effort to clear a pathway forward for generating pregnancy-specific evidence in the international context of HIV/co-infections.

Dr. Lyerly presents ethics guidance developed by the project, describing:

  1. The process of guidance development
  2. An ethical framework grounding research with pregnant women
  3. 12 concrete recommendations aimed at securing better evidence on safely & effectively treating women living with or at risk for HIV/co-infections
  4. Lessons learned for ethically advancing research with pregnant women in the range of disease contexts
Speaker: Annie Lyerly, MD, MA is Professor of Social Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is also Research Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research addresses socially and morally complex issues in women’s health and reproductive medicine, with a focus on how women and men assign meaning to reproductive events. A central goal of her work is to inform and reframe debates based on the views of the women and men most profoundly affected by them, and to appropriately weight these individuals’ interests in shaping reproductive health care.


Friday, October 9, 2020 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
There is a general misconception that Native Americans receive free health care. This talk dispels that notion and gives a short history and current status of the Indian Health Care system. Dr. Owen discusses the results of chronic underfunding of the Indian Health Service with a focus on the state and national impacts of COVID 19 on Native American populations.


  • Understand the Trust Doctrine and United States government obligation to provide health care to Native Americans
  • Understand the history and structure of the Indian Health Service
  • Recognize the long-term effects of chronic underfunding on the Indian Health Service
  • Recognize the impact of COVID 19 on Native American populations nationally and locally

Speaker: Dr. Mary Owen, Director of the Center of American Indian & Minority Health; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine & Behavioral Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth. Dr. Owen is a member of the Tlingit nation. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and North Memorial Family Practice Residency Program before returning home to work for her tribal community in Juneau, Alaska. After eleven years of full-scope family medicine, she returned to the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth in 2014 , as the Director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health (CAIMH). Her work includes: developing and managing programs to increase the numbers of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students entering medical careers, outreaching to local and national Native leaders to ensure that CAIMH and the University of Minnesota Medical School remain in tune with AIAN health care and education needs, developing an AIAN track for all students interested in providing healthcare to AIAN communities and developing research efforts to address AIAN health disparities. She continues to provide clinical care at the Center of American Indian Resources in Duluth and is the current President of the Association of American Indian Physicians.

This was an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA) hosted by the Center for Bioethics and created in partnership by the following University of Minnesota units: the Medical School, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, and the Program in Health Disparities Research.

Friday, September 18, 2020 - 12:15pm
Fall 2020 Ethics Grand Rounds: Headshot of Jerome Singh, BA, LLB, LLM, MHSc, PhD


The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious public health threat the world has faced in the last century. As rich and powerful countries dedicate significant resources to producing efficacious vaccines and treatments for their citizens, billions of people in low and middle income countries risk getting left behind. As COVID-19 is a global pandemic, our response to the pandemic should account for social and economic disparities at national, regional and global levels. Nationalism and exceptionalism will only amplify global health inequities and should be resisted. For this talk, Jerome Singh, BA, LLB, LLM, MHSc, PhD, a professor of clinical public health, discusses the global health equity issues connected to COVID-19.

Speaker: Jerome Singh, BA, LLB, LLM, MHSc, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada | Professor Singh is also the Director of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) Advisory Services on Global Health Research and Development and serves as an ad hoc Consultant to several UN entities, including the WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO-TDR), and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). He is the Co-Chairperson of the NIH-sponsored HIV Prevention Trial Network’s (HPTN) Ethics Working Group, and a member of the NIH-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trial Network’s (HVTN) Efficacy Trial Working Group. He currently serves on several oversight bodies, including the International Ethics Review Board of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the World Health Organisation’s Ad Hoc Research Ethics Review Committee for COVID-19. 

This was an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA) hosted by the Center for Bioethics and created in partnership by the following University of Minnesota units: the School of Nursing, the School of Public Health, and the Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility.

Logos: Center for Bioethics; School of Nursing; School of Public Health; Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility; Office of Academic Clinical Affairs

Headshot of Dr. Jon Tilburt
Friday, March 20, 2020 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm

COVID 19 may overwhelm our healthcare system. But healthcare professionals aren’t just stretched during a pandemic. The way healthcare is structured means everyday they are torn, advocating for individual patients while juggling competing demands of a group of patients.They are responsible for healthcare systems and populations, not just individual patients. The way we talk about professional responsibility doesn’t always account for the anguishing challenges many healthcare professionals routinely face. In this Ethics Grand Rounds we addressed this urgent public health crisis and discussed whether the ways we think and talk about professional responsibility reflect these complex challenges not just during a public health crisis but in everyday patient care. 

A traditional ethic of medicine asserts that physicians have special obligations to individual patients with whom they have a clinical relationship. Professionalism requires that physicians uphold the best interests of patients while simultaneously insuring just use of health care resources. Yet contemporary trends in US healthcare financing like bundled payments seem to threaten traditional conceptions of special obligations of individual physicians to individual patients; their population-based focus sets a tone emphasizing responsibilities of physicians working within organizations to groups of patients served by those organizations. Likewise, while, population health has the potential to improve patient care and health outcomes for individual patients, specific population health activities may not be in every patient's best interest in every circumstance. This can create ethical tensions for individual physicians and other health care professionals practicing within health systems with population health strategies.

Dr. Tilburt shared his remarks from the perspective of a practicing physician and engage the audience on the potential implications of the issues he raises for other healthcare professionals and interprofessional teams. This was an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA) hosted by the Center for Bioethics.

Speaker: Dr. Tilburt is a professor of medicine and biomedical ethics at Mayo Clinic where he has been on staff since 2007. He trained in philosophy, internal medicine, and health services research. He studies and writes about ethics and professionalism while conducting grant-funded research on communication and decision making in healthcare delivery. He’s inspired by a desire to recover and reinvent human connection in industrialized healthcare, striving to insure care is meaningful and fitting. 

Friday, February 7, 2020 - 12:15pm
Headshot of Prof. Sarah Gollust, PhD Watch 

Most American women are not aware that routine mammograms can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer. Dr. Gollust presents findings from a 2019 survey assessing women's attitudes about breast cancer screening and their response to various messages about the potential for overdiagnosis. She discusses the ethical, political, and communication challenges related to balancing competing evidence-based recommendations amid a complex, politically-charged information environment.

This is an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA) hosted by the Center for Bioethics and created in partnership by the following University of Minnesota units: the Masonic Cancer Center, the Division of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health, the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and the Women's Health Research Program

Speaker: Sarah Gollust, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics