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Conference on ethics and values in health care and medicine opens today
Posted: 04/13/2010
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A four-day conference advocating ethics and values in health care and in the practice of medicine in the Rio Grande Valley began Tuesday, April 13 at The University of Texas-Pan American.

Pictured left to right are panelists Dr. Irving Levinson, UTPA assistant professor of history; Dr. Cynthia Jones, UTPA assistant professor of philosophy and co-director of the Pan American Center for Ethics in the Professions; and Dr. Lisa Newton, professor of philosophy at Fairfield University, during a panel discussion on Tuesday, April 13 at the Second Annual Pan American Collaboration for Ethics (PACE) Conference.

The second annual Pan American Collaboration for Ethics (PACE) Conference, titled "Promoting Ethics and Values in Health Care," kicked off its first day with panel discussions and speakers addressing such topics as "Ethical Issues in Health Care for the Aging"; "Educating Health Care Professionals on Domestic Violence and Rape"; "Health Science and Human Services Boundary Issues"; and "Nursing Ethics."

The conference, hosted by PACE under the College of Arts and Humanities, in conjunction with the College of Health Sciences and Human Services and the College of Science and Engineering, addresses numerous ethical issues in the medical field and biomedical research as well as how UTPA educates its own students to be ethical practitioners and researchers.

Sponsored by UTPA, Mission Regional Medical Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR), the PACE Conference, which begins at 8 a.m. every day, is free and open to all students, faculty, staff, medical professionals, and the community. The conference runs through Friday, April 16.

Francisco Hernandez, a junior business major from Weslaco, said attending the free event was an excellent opportunity to learn how ethics are applied in the different fields and how they make a difference in individual's lives. Even though Hernandez is not working toward a medical degree he said ethics applies to all majors and fields of study.

"I can apply what I learned today into my career, where I am currently a store manager. The code of ethics more or less can apply to my current job, so I can relate to it," Hernandez said.

Highlighting the second day will be keynote speaker Dr. Ira Kodner, Solon and Bettie Gershman Professor of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., who will speak at 11 a.m. at the UTPA Ballroom on "Doctors and Ethics: You Bet!"

At 2 p.m. Dr. Linda Pullan of Pullan Consulting, Biotech Business Development, will discuss "Ethical Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research." During a welcome dinner at 7 p.m. Dr. Lawrence Gelman, CEO of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, will address the topic of "The Ethics of Healthcare Economics."

On Thursday, April 15 at 10 a.m. Dr. Stuart Yoak, executive officer, Washington University Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, will serve as keynote speaker and tackle the topic of "Ethical Excellence and Social Responsibility in Medical Practice."

Michael Lewis, clinical research manager at Washington University School of Medicine will address "Ethical Excellence in the Conduct of Clinical Trials" at 9 a.m. on the final day of the PACE Conference.

In addition, conference speakers will also have an opportunity to work closely with UTPA students in the classrooms and labs during the four-day event.

For more information on the Biomedical Conference, visit www.utpa.edu/pace or call 956/388-8081.