Ethics of Caring collaboration began in 1993 and has held an annual conference since 1994. The mission of Ethics of Caring is the promotion of ethical discussion and ethics education for nurses and other health care providers. With the collaboration and commitment of seventeen healthcare institutions in Los Angeles and Orange County, the symposium has been able to provide attendees with exposure to national leaders, clinicians, researchers, and educators in ethics. Bringing together professionals from multiple healthcare facilities encourages exploration of ethical issues beyond the culture of individual institutions, stimulating the cross fertilization of ideas. It fosters discussion, supporting those at the front-lines of care as they struggle with complex dilemmas.
Members of the Ethics of Caring collaboration are leaders in nursing and ethics at Los Angeles area healthcare facilities. These members plan the conferences, engage in ethical discourse, peer review, and represent nursing on ethics committees and meetings throughout the community. The founding of the consortium began in 1993. Beverly Fairbairn, RN, CCRN, a nurse on the Ethics Committee at Saint John’s Hospital, proposed the development of a nursing ethics educational program to Katherine Brown-Saltzman, RN, MA, who at the time was the chair of the UCLA Nursing Ethics Committee. Thus began a mutual effort of gathering the network of nursing leaders interested in ethics and broadened immediately into the organization of a community-wide educational effort about nursing ethics. Others founding members that have continued to contribute to the consortium’s efforts include:
- Elissa Brown, MSN, PMHCNS-BC, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
- Linda Gorman, RN, MN, PMHCNS-BC, CHPN, OCN, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Palliative Care Program
- Marilyn Shirk, MN, RN, CNS-BC, Mental Health Nursing Liaison, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Currently the collaboration also includes:
- Cynthia Smith Idell, RN, BA, MSN, AOCN, City of Hope National Medical Center
- Margi Spies, RN, MEd, CNOR, NEA-BC, Senior Manager, Management Consulting Group, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., SCAL, Regional Offices
- Brenda Barnum, RN, BSN, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
- Theresa S. Drought, PhD, RN, Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, Director Medical Bioethics.
Past consortium members included:
- Tami Borneman, RN, MSN, CNS
- Becky Crane, RN, PhD
- Marge Dodero, RN, BS
- Margaret Ecker, RN, MS
- Michele Evans, RN, BSN, CHPN
- Sherry Hirschberg, RN, MSN
- Kathy Kelly, RN, CCRN
- Lisa Shellin, RN, BSN, MSN
- Cynthia Smith Idell, RN, BA, MSN, AOCN
- Margi Spies, RN, MEd, CNOR, NEA-BC
In 2005, with the continued growth of the Ethics of Caring, the consortium incorporated and became a non-profit organization. We are deeply grateful and appreciative for all of the sponsoring institutions, nursing leaders, past members and conference participants that have supported the Ethics of Caring over these many years and inspire a passion for ethics.
In 2010, Ethics of Caring in collaboration with the American Nurses Association planned a national nursing ethics conference for 2011 using the model and format of the past Ethics of Caring conferences. We are now collaborating nationally with colleagues and seeking sponsors from all over the country to hold the 2013 National Nursing Ethics Conference.