Staff

John G. Carney, MEd

President and CEO
jcarney@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1353

In December 2011, John G. Carney, MEd, became the second President and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics, succeeding the founding director who had held the position since the organization’s inception in 1984. His previous commitment to the Center’s work was well established having served as Vice President of the organization from mid-2004 to late 2010, focusing his work primarily on improving shared decision making for patients and families and care for those in the final chapters of life.

John’s dedication to those on the edges of life spans three decades. He devoted his early career in the 1980s-2000s to the development of hospice and palliative care in Kansas and throughout the Midwest, serving in executive positions at the provider and state association levels. His policy and advocacy work in the areas of aging, advanced illness and advance care planning includes executive leadership positions at the state and national association levels as well. His passionate voice advocating for families facing difficult healthcare decisions has been heard in rural communities, town halls and national forums from coast to coast.

In 2008, John co-authored a report to Congress on Advance Care Planning and worked with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health on improving end-of-life care for all Americans. During the early 2000s, he served in leadership roles at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and directed education programs for America’s Health Insurance. He has also been recognized for his leadership in executive management of small healthcare organizations. In 2017, he coordinated a years-long project examining perspectives on advance care planning, palliative care and end of life among Catholics in the U.S with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

He holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Newman University (Wichita, KS) and a Master’s from Wichita State University

Linda Doolin Ward

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
lward@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1362

Linda’s career includes teaching, operations, marketing, communications, training and development, strategic planning and investor relations in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

In 2001, she joined Health Midwest, then the largest healthcare system in the Kansas City region. She served as executive vice president-corporate relations and was part of the team that led Health Midwest through its sale to HCA. The sale led to creation of the Greater Kansas City Health Care Foundation and the REACH Foundation.

Linda joined the Center staff in 2004 after serving on the board. She has responsibility for finance/audit, planning, governance, resource development including endowment and planned giving as well as operations and program funding, membership, human resources. She also works with area benefits leaders to provide corporate programs offering employee education in advance care planning as well as coaching and advocacy when dealing with advanced illness.

She served on the board of MetroCare/NorthlandCare from inception in 2006 until 2016, a program incubated at the Center that provides specialty care for people without access to care. She served as board chair in 2013 and 2014. She is also a member of KU Med Center’s Institute for Neurological Disorders Advisory Council, the advisory board of the National Research Network of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Central Exchange. She has participated as retreat facilitator with the Frontiers Leadership Team, a regional consortium managing a $20 million CTSA – Clinical and Translational Science Award.

She served on the board for the United Way of Greater Kansas City and chaired their Health Impact Council. She was the first woman to chair the Westminster College board of trustees, which honored her with an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2004. After 23 years on that board, she was named a life trustee in 2009. She was a director of Lawson Bank from 1999-2017.

Linda is an active participant in the Women’s Public Service Network and co-founded the Northland Giving Circle. She is past chair of the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri, which focuses on development of the Riverfront and the former Richards-Gebaur air base. She served on the founding board of the Northland Community Foundation and continued on that board for 21 years, four years as chair. The fund has grown to assets of nearly $50 million.

She is also past chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund, The Harvest Ball Society and the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City. She is past vice-chair of the Partnership for Children and Crittenden.

Linda has been named a Churchill Fellow of Westminster College and Central Exchange Woman of the Year. She is the recipient of the Gillis Spirit of Kansas City Award, the Ann Robb Townsend Award for Business Leadership, and Kansas City Tomorrow’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2007 was honored with the Look North Award from the Clay County Economic Development Council. In 2009, she received the Pinnacle Award from the Northland Community Foundation, and in 2017 she and her husband Terry received the Volunteers of the Year award from Nonprofit Connect.

Richard Payne, MD

John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics
rpayne@PracticalBioethics.org

At the Center, Dr. Payne directs projects focusing on how access to care and health decision-making among underserved Americans impacts care delivery and patient outcomes, especially among African Americans and other minorities. His particular interests address health disparities and how issues of trust, personal values and care preferences are integrated into goal setting, access to palliative care and the role that faith communities can play in advance care planning and treatment selection. He also serves as the Director for the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) at the Center and co-edits PAINS policy and educational briefs. PAINS’ mission is to improve care for the more than 100 million Americans who live with chronic pain. Dr Payne also leads the Center’s work in the area of conflicts of interest in public-private partnerships.

Dr. Payne travels extensively lecturing on bioethics and palliative care for the Center. As of July 1, 2017, he transitioned from his faculty appointments at Duke University in the schools of medicine and divinity to emeritus status as the Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity at Duke Divinity School, Duke University. He retains appointments as Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society and a member of the Duke Cancer Institute.

Dr. Payne received his B.A in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University (1973) and his M.D. from Harvard Medical the Cornell Campus of the New York Presbyterian Hospital (1982); and fellowship training in pharmacology, neuro-oncology and pain medicine at Weill Cornell Medical School and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (1984).

He was a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Medical Faculty Development Program (now called The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, 1981-1984). He is board certified in neurology with added qualifications in pain management and palliative medicine.

Prior to his appointment at Duke and the Center, he served as Chief, Pain and Symptom Management Section, Dept. Neurology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (1992-1998), Houston, TX, and from 1998-2004 led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he held the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology, and was Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University.

He has served as chairs of the boards of directors of the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA), the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (board chair), and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). He has also served on numerous federal panels at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Institute of Medicine, and has given expert testimony to Congressional Committees and the President’s Cancer Panel in the areas of health disparities, pain management and palliative care. From 2003-2004, he served as President of the American Pain Society.

Currently, Dr. Payne serves on the Board of Directors of the Hastings Bioethics Center, where he also chairs a selection committee for the Hastings Center-Cunniff-Dixon Foundation Physician Excellence Awards in End-of-Life Care. He is a member of the Interagency Pain Relief Committee of the NIH. He is also a consultant for Vitas Innovative Hospice Care.

Dr. Payne is an internationally known expert in neurology, oncology, pain management and palliative care, and bioethics, and has more than 275 publications in these fields. He has also edited four books and has presented endowed lectures, including the Jules Rominger Lecture (Mercy Health System, Philadelphia); Florence M. Lockhart Nimick Lecture, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Humphrey Oei Distinguished Lecture at the Lien Palliative Care Center-National Cancer Institute in Singapore; Josephina Magno Lecture at Capital Hospice; and Rosemary Flanagan Lecture at the Center for Practical Bioethics. Among his many other awards are the Distinguished Service Award from the American Pain Society, the John J. Bonica Leadership Award from the Eastern Pain Association, the Humanitarian Service Award from the Urban Resources Institute, the Pioneer Award from Operation Rainbow/PUSH, the Excellence in Pain Award from Janssen Pharmaceutical, and the Vision to Action Award from the Center for Practical Bioethics (2013).

Tarris Rosell, DMin, PhD

Rosemary Flanigan Chair
trosell@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1361

As Rosemary Flanigan Chair at the Center and contractually on behalf of the Center, Dr. Rosell does bioethics education and consultation at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (Chair, Department of Bioethics) and the University of Kansas Medical Center (Clinical Professor, School of Medicine). He is also, for many years, a Professor of Pastoral Theology (Ethics and Ministry Praxis) at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.

Dr. Rosell completed a fellowship in clinical ethics at Vanderbilt University and earned the PhD there in Ethics and Society from the graduate department of religion. His first doctorate is in Pastoral Theology from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School.

From 2006-10, he served as co-director of Sabbaths of Hope, a grant-funded project with Mental Health America of the Heartland, which empowers faith leaders to address the stigma of depression and inequitable access to treatment. He concurrently directed another disparities initiative ultimately incorporated as MetroCARE, a referral network of volunteer healthcare providers for low-income uninsured persons.

Dr. Rosell provides ethics consultation for the University of Kansas Health System, where he co-chairs the Hospital Ethics Committee and directs the Ethics Consultation Service. He also directs the Clendening Summer Fellowship program for the School of Medicine.

He lectures widely, especially in the Greater Kansas City area and throughout the Midwest. He has also taught and lectured internationally, most recently in the Philippines (2009-2010), Kenya (2011), and Myanmar (2014-2017). He traveled twice to Myanmar in 2016 on an ARCUS grant addressing ethics issues of sexuality and gender in church and society. He was in rural Laos in 2017, and continues to work with medical mission colleagues there on possibilities for improving pain management, palliative and hospice care options in that developing nation.

Dr. Rosell’s Ethics articles are found in numerous periodicals, both print and electronic. He contributed a chapter to the 2008 Cambridge University publication, Complex Ethics Consultation: Cases that Haunt Us, and another to a 2011 publication by Johns Hopkins University Press, Controversial Bodies, on the ethics of plastinated bodies exhibition. Another book chapter on a clinical ethics case is forthcoming.

Dr. Rosell lives in the Kansas City area with his life partner, the Reverend Dr. Ruth Rosell. They have four adult children and two sons-in-law. When not engaged in ethics work, Terry makes pottery at a clay studio, both for art’s sake and for three orphaned kids in Kenya to whom all pottery proceeds are directed. He also enjoys working on a long-term rehab project on a rural Kansas lake property—to which he hopes someday to retire with Ruth, and there to live the life of a grandfather-artist.

Myra Christopher

Kathleen M. Foley Chair for Pain and Palliative Care
Director of PAINS (Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy)
mchristopher@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1350

Myra was President and CEO of the Center from its inception in 1985 through December 2011. From 1998-2003, she served as the national program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for State-Based Initiatives to Improve End-of -Life Care, an $11.5 million grant award program housed at the Center. These roles have allowed her to continue her lifelong mission to improve care for seriously ill people and their families.

Because of her involvement with the first “right-to-die” case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Depart of Health), Senator John Danforth (R.MO) sought her assistance in drafting and introducing the Patient Self-Determination Act, which became law in 1990. Myra consulted with the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on patients’ rights and organizational ethics standards and developed Beyond Compliance, resource materials and a seminar for the Joint Commission that was presented across the country.

She served as a public outreach advisor to Bill Moyers on for his PBS documentary, On Our Own Terms, worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to present the first national conference on palliative care in nursing homes, directed Community State Partnerships to Improve End-of-Life Care, collaborated with the National Association of Attorneys General to establish palliative care as a consumer protection issue, edited State Initiatives to Improve End-of-Life Care, and collaborated with the RAND Institute to develop a report to Congress on advance care planning.

Since the late 1990’s, Myra has expanded the scope of her work to include the under-treatment of chronic pain. She speaks and writes about both pain and palliative care. She was a reviewer on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2014 report, Dying in America. She is currently the principal investigator on the Pain Action Initiative: A National Strategy and serves as Director of PAINS, a program of the Center whose mission is to improve care for the more than 100 million Americans who struggle with chronic pain.

From 2010-11, she served as a member of the IOM’s Pain Study Committee. The committee submitted its report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transformation in Prevention, Care, Education and Research, to Congress in June 2011. In 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appointed her to the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee at the National Institutes of Health, where she has served on the Oversight Committee for HHS’ National Pain Strategy Report, published in March 2016. She has consulted with many organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, AARP and others to promote pain and palliative care as public health issues.

On behalf of the Center, she participated in founding the Coalition to Transform Advanced Illness (CTAC) in Washington, DC and served on its incorporating board. She is currently on the board of the Coalition for Physician Accountability. She has served on many advisory and boards of directors locally and nationally, including the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Duke University Institute for Care at the End of Life, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, the University of Kansas School of Nursing, and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.

Myra has received many awards for her work to improve care for those suffering from advanced illness and chronic pain. In October 2017, at its national conference in Kansas City, the American Society for Bioethics + Humanities presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Bioethics, in recognition of her role in changing bioethics from a purely academic endeavor to one focused on providing services and resources to real patients, families, providers and policymakers facing real-life healthcare issues and crises in real time.

Other awards she has received include The American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Patient Advocacy Award, the American Academy of Pain Management’s “Head Heart" Award, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care President’s Award, the W.F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service/William Jewell College, the American Academy of Critical Care Nursing’s Pioneering Spirit Award, the Marian Gray Secundy SANKOFA Award for work to improve palliative and end-of-life care for African Americans, the National Association of Attorneys General President’s Award, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC), the Honorary Alumnus of the Year Kansas University School of Nursing, and Nonprofit Professional of the Year from Nonprofit Connect.

In December 2011, she received an Honorary Doctorate from National University Health Sciences in Chicago, and in March 2015 was inducted into the inaugural class of the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Kathy Greenlee, JD

Vice President of Aging and Health Policy
kgreenlee@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1358

Kathy joined the Center in November 2016 to work on issues that impact older adults and people with disabilities, with an emphasis on advanced illness and end-of-life care. Kathy is responsible for promoting increased use of Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP) in Missouri and Kansas. She also engages with community-based aging and disability organizations around issues relating to advanced illness and end-of-life care. Kathy is interested in improving transitions of care by creating systems that build relationships between healthcare providers and community-based organizations. She is a passionate advocate on issues relating to elder abuse and will continue to provide local and national leadership in the areas of elder abuse prevention and response.

As Assistant Secretary for Aging in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2009 to 2016, Greenlee was responsible for leadership and management of the Administration on Aging and program implementation of the Older Americans Act. Greenlee led an effort to create the Administration for Community Living (ACL), an agency the administers a broad range of aging and disability programs. When she left her dual positions, ACL had a staff of more than 200 and an annual budget of $1.9 billion.

While in Washington, Greenlee provided national leadership on elder abuse by tackling issues on multiple fronts domestically and internationally. On behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, she chaired the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Committee. She also created the first-ever federal home for state adult protective services programs and created the first national data collection system. Kathy co-chaired the HHS LGBT Issues Coordinating Committee, an endeavor that resulted in comprehensive program and policy improvements on behalf of LGBT individuals.

Prior to leaving for Washington, Kathy spent 18 years in Kansas state government. She served as Secretary for Aging for Governor Kathleen Sebelius and she is a former Kansas State Long Term Care Ombudsman. A lawyer by training, Greenlee was also General Counsel of the Kansas Insurance Department and an Assistant Attorney General for Attorney General Bob Stephan.

Greenlee has an undergraduate degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of Kansas. She is a native Kansan and a proud Jayhawk. Among her many interests and activities, international travel makes her happiest of all.

Jan Evans, CPA

Accountant
jevans@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1355

Jan joined the Center in January 2011 and serves as Accountant. In that role, she is responsible for all facets of the Center’s financial operations, including annual budget preparation, general ledger maintenance, financial report preparation, accounts payable and receivable, treasury, and preparation for and coordination of the annual audit.

Jan has more than 30 years of varied business experience, primarily in the areas of non-profit accounting and budgeting. She has also been involved in education, teaching several high school business courses. Jan was an active member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary educational sorority, and a member of the Missouri Association of Certified Public Accountants. She holds a B.A. in Business Education from Avila University and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting and Finance from Rockhurst University. She has her Certified Public Accountant certificate and is licensed to practice in the State of Missouri.

Cindy Leyland

Director of Program Operations
cleyland@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1357

Cindy oversees creation, implementation and management of administrative, financial, and operational systems and processes in support of executive and program leadership needs. She also supports resource development through prospect identification and management, grant writing and management. A highly skilled project director, she is also responsible for day-to-day operations, budget oversight and grants management for the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) team, and she leads the Citizen Leadership Group of PAINS-KC.

Cindy joined the Center in 2005 as project director for the Kansas City Partnership to Advance Pediatric Palliative Care, the Center-sponsored initiative which helped to organize, strengthen and promote access to the area’s palliative care services for children, their families and health care providers. She also supported the KC4 Aging in Community initiative.

Previously, Cindy spent five years at Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Greater St. Joseph, an agency dedicated to the elimination of poverty in four northwest Missouri counties. At CAP, she oversaw direct emergency service delivery, as well as community organizing projects focused on advocacy and policy development at the local, state and federal levels. She is a graduate of Benedictine College’s Executive MBA program, with emphasis on leadership, entrepreneurship and transformational strategic planning, and has served on the boards of Synergy Services and the American Lung Association of Western Missouri. She volunteers regularly at Safe Haven, a domestic violence shelter.

Leslie Ann McNolty

Program Associate
lmcnolty@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1394

Leslie Ann McNolty joined the Center in November 2014 as a Program Associate. She works primarily on bioethics education. She helps to coordinate lectures and events for both healthcare professionals and the general public, presents on bioethical issues to professional groups, and contributes to continuing education programs and ethics committee development at member hospitals. Leslie is also the program coordinator for the Center’s project promoting advance care planning in African-American faith communities.

Leslie earned B.A. degrees in Philosophy and Political Science with a Secondary Degree in Women's Studies at Kansas State University before taking her M.A. in philosophy from Rice University in Houston, TX. Currently, she is completing a doctorate in bioethics from Albany Medical College. Her research focuses on maternal healthcare, race and gender in medicine, and health disparities. She also teaches in the philosophy department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and in the bioethics department at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Trudi Galdblum

Marketing, Communications & Grantwriting
tgalblum@practicalbioethics.org
(913) 961-0129

A native of Washington, D.C., Trudi began her career with the US Department of Health and Human Services, first as a research analyst in the Baltimore, Maryland, headquarters of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid supervising demonstration grants and contracts, and subsequently in the HHS Kansas City Regional Office as a project officer for a quality of care peer review organization.

As director of marketing and communications for the Center for Practical Bioethics since 2013, she develops strategy and implements tactics to build awareness and support for the Center’s work. She also provides grantwriting support.

Since starting Galblum Communications in 1991, Trudi has helped more than 80 organizations, from small shops to large institutions, to develop community support for their missions through public relations, grantwriting, development communications and historical documentation for print, web and mobile platforms, as well as video and social media. From 1991 until joining the Center, Trudi led marketing and communications for Nonprofit Connect, which provides education, resources and networking to help nonprofits more effectively achieve their missions.

Trudi holds a Master of Policy Sciences degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a Nonprofit Fund Raising Certificate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Bloch School of Business and Public Administration and also has extensive nonprofit board experience.

Maria Fox DNP, MSN, BSN, APRN-CNS, ACPHN, CCRN

Clinical Ethics Associate
mfox@practicalbioethics.org

Dr. Maria Fox is a Clinical Ethics Associate at the Center for Practical Bioethics, working part-time in bioethics while also an Advanced Practice Nurse in Palliative Care at the University of Kansas Hospital. She serves there on the Hospital Ethics Committee and Consultation Service, assisting her Center colleague, Dr. Terry Rosell, in the fulfillment of contractual responsibilities related to clinical ethics education, policy and consultation. Dr. Fox also serves with Center colleagues in adjunctive bioethics education of students at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Maria was born in Peru and immigrated to the USA with her family at a very young age. She grew up in Chicago and around the other side of the "Big Lake" in the southwest part of Michigan. Dr. Fox earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and just recently completed a doctoral degree in nursing practice at the University of Kansas.

Throughout Maria's early nursing career, which was primarily in intensive care units, she was on the front line to witness wonderful, innovative and life-saving interventions. At the same time, she recognized that the dying process can be prolonged with those very same interventions. Maria obtained a Certificate in Bioethics from Rush University in 2000, and subsequently has been involved on Ethics committees in several hospitals while in a nursing role.

Maria's passion is to support front-line nurses in provision of compassionate and ethical nursing care for patients and their families, especially those patients who are critically ill or at high risk for dying.

Matthew Pjecha

Operations Specialist
mpjecha@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 979-1366

Matthew Pjecha joined the Center for Practical Bioethics in January 2016 as an Operations Specialist. He provides research and technical support for programs and manages technology and media assets. He handles logistics for the Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP) in Missouri and Kansas, serving as the primary point of contact for the program.

Matthew received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Missouri - Kansas City where he focused on bioethics and philosophy of science. He then completed an M.S. in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology focused on health policy and a certificate in science and technology studies. Matthew is interested in the ethical and policy dimensions of emerging issues at the intersection of medicine, technology, and society.

Monica Delles

Operations Assistant
mdelles@practicalbioethics.org
(816) 221-1100

Monica joined the Center in July 2016 as the Operations Assistant. Her diverse professional background includes non-profit volunteer coordination, co-owning a store-front business, professional sales, college and corporate computer training and freelance writing. Monica has always enjoyed volunteering in her community.

As Operations Assistant, Monica schedules and coordinates meetings, oversees the day-to-day operations of office equipment and supplies, enters and updates database information, and ships Caring Conversations orders and otherwise supports staff and board members in any way she can.

Although she has called Kansas City home for 20 years, Monica grew up living in numerous states—mainly on the east coast—and overseas. She did stay on the Virginia Peninsula long enough to earn her BA in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing from Christopher Newport University with honors.