A new center at Niagara University will investigate ethical issues related to health care and medicine facing local and global communities.
Unveiled today, the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare is an opportunity for Niagara University students to deepen their understanding of the moral challenges that exist in health care and medicine.
"Charging our students and faculty with an imperative to examine ethical issues as they pertain to global health care and medicine is Catholic and Vincentian at its core, as those who are most vulnerable are often neglected these human necessities," said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. "We consider it our responsibility to mandate that the principles of equality and social justice take precedence over dollars and cents or the societal edict of the day. This is yet another way that we illustrate our gratitude to and uphold the esteemed legacy of Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko."
Dr. James Delaney, the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Chair in Professional Ethics, will serve as director.
The center seeks to promote interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects among faculty members at NU. It will also organize events in the form of guest speakers, panel discussions and conferences that educate and foster discussion of ethical issues in medicine and health care for students and the community. The center will also house a new extracurricular program for undergraduate students.
Faculty members of the center include:
- Delaney, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, Ostapenko Endowed Chair of Professional Ethics
- William Cliff, Ph.D., professor of biology, Hughes Endowed Director of Prehealth Programs
- Frances Crosby, Ed.D., professor and chair of nursing
- Robert Greene, Ph.D., professor and chair of biology
- Nanette Harmon, M.S.Ed., faculty fellow-modern languages, coordinator of ASL and Deaf Studies
- Kevin Hinkley, J.D., university general counsel, senior lecturer of political science
- Shannon Hodges, Ph.D., professor of counseling
- Deborah Leonard, Ph.D., faculty fellow-biology, director of the public health program
- Susan Mason, Ph.D., professor of psychology, director of the gerontology program
- Mary McCourt, Ph.D., professor of chemistry
- Sr. Judith Merkle, Ph.D., professor of religious studies
- Craig Rivera, Ph.D., associate professor of criminology and criminal justice
- Rolanda Ward, Ph.D., associate professor of social work, endowed faculty director of the Ostapenko Center for Race, Equality and Mission
The center is made possible as part of a $4.1 million gift from the estate of Ostapenko, a native of Germany who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1930s before becoming a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. Her philanthropy supported many types of educational, religious, health and community service organizations.
At Niagara, where she received an honorary doctorate in 1986, Ostapenko's generosity has helped establish the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Chair in Professional Ethics, which is occupied by Delaney; the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equality and Mission; an associate director of equity and inclusion position; and funding for student scholarships.