about Converging Roads

Where Health Care Ethics and Medicine Converge
Converging Roads is a regional conference series offering continuing education for health care professionals that equips them to practice the highest ethical and medical standards of their profession. To learn more about Converging Roads, click here.
  • "I strongly encourage all those involved in healthcare to take part in this event, including doctors, nurses, medical students, social workers, and hospital chaplains. The presentations at this conference will better equip all of us as we strive to uphold the dignity of every human person."
  • -Bishop Michael G. Duca


Online Registration closed on Thursday, October 31 at noon.

  • On -site registration will be available on Saturday, November 2 at the Tracy Center beginning at 8:00 am.
  • Opening remarks begin at 9:15 am.
  • The Tracy Center
  • 1800 S Acandian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
  • Cash, check, or credit cards will be accepted.
  • If you have any questions ahead of Saturday's event, please contact Susie Lopez at [email protected].

Ticket Options:
  • Physician/Physician Assistant: $149
  • Nurse/Nurse Practitioner: $129
  • General Admission*: $79
  • (Other health care professionals and non-health care professionals)
  • Medical resident, clergy, or religious*: $69
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
  • (Medical, and nursing, graduate, and undergraduate students)
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Social Worker/Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.
  • **Not eligible for CME/CNE credits.

Exhibitor Opportunities:
Includes 1 exhibitor booth and admission for 1 organizational representative
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $170
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $100
  • Vendor/For-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $220
  • Vendor/For-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $150
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Social Worker/Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.


  • Care for the Sick and Dying: Rooted in Catholic Social Doctrine
  • Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.)
  • Dignity of the Human Person & Human Ecology
  • John Meinert, Ph.D.
  • Religious Liberty, Healthcare, and Human Flourishing
  • John S. Grabowski, Ph.D.
  • Women’s Healthcare
  • Angela Franks, Ph.D.
  • A Catholic Response to the Opioid Crisis
  • Cynthia Hunt, M.D. and Janzlean Laughinghouse, Ph.D., LCSW
  • Access to Healthcare for the Poor
  • Diana Hamer, Ph.D. and Joseph Keegan, LCSW-BACS
  • Human Suffering & Hastening Death
  • Cynthia Hunt, M.D., Landon Roussel, M.D., and Michael Rolfsen, M.D.


8:00 AM
  • Check-In/Registration Begins
  • Mass
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:20 AM
Care for the Sick and Dying: Rooted in Catholic Social Doctrine
10:25 - 11:25 AM
Dignity of the Person and Human Ecology
11:25 - 11:40 AM
11:40 AM - 12:40 PM
Religious Liberty, Health Care, and Human Flourishing
12:40 - 2:15 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon: Women's Health Care
2:15 - 2:30 PM
2:30 - 3:30 PM
A Catholic Response to the Opioid Crisis
3:35 - 4:35 PM
Access to Health Care for the Poor
4:35 - 4:50 PM
4:50 - 5:50 PM
Human Suffering and Hastening Death
5:50 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


President, St. John Paul II Foundation

Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.) is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. Early in his career as an educator and non-profit executive he became a popular speaker and successful writer while he established the groundwork for the initiatives that would become the St. John Paul II Foundation. Arland launched the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2014 and he is author of the 4th edition of the Handbook on Critical Life Issues recently published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Arland earned a B.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M, an M.DIV. in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and is completing a Ph.D. in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their ten children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.

Assistant Professor of Theology, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

John Meinert, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Theology at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University where he teaches Moral Theology, Catholic Social Thought, Bioethics, and Spirituality. He holds a B.A. in Theology from Benedictine College, an M.A. in Theology from the University of Dallas, and a Ph.D. in Moral Theology/Ethics from The Catholic University of America. He has two published books and numerous scholarly and popular articles concerning Moral Theology, St. Thomas Aquinas, Grace, and Spirituality. He is currently a member of the Louisiana State Board of Ethics (appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards), the founder and director of FranU’s bioethics lecture series, and a member of multiple theological organizations (ACT, SCE, and CTSA).

Ordinary Professor of Moral Theology/Ethics, Catholic University of America

Dr. John Grabowski earned his B.A. in theology at the University of Steubenville and his Ph.D. at Marquette University. For the last twenty-eight years he has been on the faculty of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he is currently Ordinary Professor of Moral Theology/Ethics. Dr. Grabowski has published works in the areas of moral theology, marriage, sexuality, and bioethics. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, The Heythrop Journal, and the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly as well as popular journals such as America, Commonweal, The Living Light, and Share the Word. His books include Sex and Virtue: An Introduction to Sexual Ethics (CUA Press, 2003), Transformed in Christ: Essays on the Renewal of Moral Theology (Sapientia Press, 2017), One Body: A Program of Marriage Formation for the New Evangelization with Claire Grabowski (Emmaus Road Press, 2018), A Catechism for Family Life with Sarah Bartel (CUA Press, 2018), and Raising Catholic Kids for Their Vocations with Claire Grabowski (TAN, 2019). He also wrote the Foreward to the 1997 English edition of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

Internal Medicine Physician, Baton Rouge Clinic

Michael L Rolfsen received his medical degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1982 and obtained a Masters in Bioethics and Health Care Policy from Loyola University Chicago in 2008. He serves on the hospital ethics committees at Our Lady of Lake Hospital, Woman's Hospital, and as chairman of the committee at Baton Rouge General Hospital. In 2012 he developed and began teaching a Medical Bioethics course at LSU in both the Philosophy Department and Honors College. He is currently a full time practicing physician in Internal Medicine at the Baton Rouge Clinic where he also serves as medical director for quality. Dr. Rolfsen has been married for 36 years and is the father of 5.

Psychiatrist and Chair of Catholic Medical Association National Opioid Task Force

Dr. Cynthia Hunt is a graduate of Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and Board Certified practitioner in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry, which includes a year of fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  She currently maintains an active practice at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, where she is the Chief of the Department of Psychiatry.   She is also an Adjunct Faculty Member of St. Patrick’s Archdiocesan Seminary in Menlo Park, CA . She has been privileged to serve the Catholic Church over the last 12 years in the Exorcism and Deliverance ministry as psychiatric consultant to priests, exorcists and Bishops and is on the Advisory Board for the Pope Leo XIII Institute.   She has been invited to give presentations on this topic in many settings including Priest/ Clergy Days,  Deaconate Training, National Meetings of the Catholic Medical Association  and the Catholic Psychotherapy Association as well as  conferences with laity and SCRC. Dr. Hunt  has also worked within  the Catholic Medical Association for many years and has served as President of the Fresno Guild,   member of the FIRE Committee, and as a speaker for CMA national and local conferences.   She is currently a CMA Board Member and is Chair of the national CMA Opioid Task Force,  meeting with Health and Human Services in Washington, DC.   Recently she participated in  representing  North America at an International Meeting on Addictions at the Vatican through the Dicastery of Integral Human Development. An accomplished pianist, Lay Carmelite,  and member of the Board of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests,  she has been blessed with her husband of 27 years and their three children.

Clinical Director for Addiction Recovery Services, Capital Area Human Services

Jan Laughinghouse is a licensed clinical social worker who serves in the capacity of Clinical Director for Addiction Recovery Services at Capital Area Human Services.  She has over 20 years of experience in substance abuse treatment and has worked extensively with women, veterans, individuals who with co-occurring disorders, and those who have experienced trauma and chronic homelessness. A North Carolina native, Dr. Laughinghouse received her B.A. in Psychology from Bennett College, a Master of Social Work from the joint degree program at North Carolina A & T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Laughinghouse has served on the faculty at Guilford Technical Community College, Bennett College, and Southern University.  She has successfully married her love of education with her clinical skills to promote understanding of substance use disorders and reduce stigma by presenting to audiences at the LSU School of Social Work, UNC-Greensboro, Partners Ending Homelessness Academy, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, East and West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Offices, West Baton Rouge Probation and Parole, Rubicon/Huntsman, Nova Chemical, OHCC OPEN TALKS Conference, and faith-based opioid forums.

Professor of Theology, St. John’s Seminary

Angela Franks, Ph.D., has a doctorate in theology and an M.A. in philosophy.  She is a full-time professor of theology at St. John’s Seminary and the mother of six.  Angela is in demand as a speaker, author, and teacher.  An experienced speaker, she has spoken at numerous conferences, including the International Theology of the Body Congress, and on EWTN, FOX News, and many other outlets. She has been published in America Magazine, First Things, Public Discourse, Church Life Journal, The Plough, and academic journals, in addition to contributing chapters to edited books. She has written two books on sexual ethics and the history of eugenics: Contraception and Catholicism and Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy. She lives with her family in Boston. You can find her on the web at www.angelafranks.com.

Owner & Chief Medical Officer, Communitas Primary Care

Dr. Landon Roussel is the owner and founder of Communitas Primary Care. He earned his M.D. from Cornell Medical College in New York City, a master’s degree in bioethics summa cum laude through the Erasmus Mundus program in Universities of Leuven (Belgium), Radboud (Netherlands), and Padova (Italy), and bachelors’ degrees magna cum laude in biochemistry and Hispanic studies from Rice University in Houston. Dr. Roussel trained as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine specializing in Primary Care through Harvard Medical School at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 2013-2016. Dr. Roussel is very passionate about service through excellent and ethical patient care. In 2010, he was a member of the inaugural medical cohort for Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) through the Museum of Jewish Heritage. There he studied medical ethics through the lenses of the Holocaust. Dr. Roussel serves as an Adjunct Professor at Franciscan University in Baton Rouge, where he teaches graduate-level bioethics. When he is not practicing medicine, Dr. Roussel enjoys his involvement as a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus, writing, and hiking. He is married to his college sweetheart Amanda and has two young children.

Academic Research Director, LSUHSC Internal Medicine Residency Program, Our Lady of the Lake RMC

Diana Hamer received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from Tulane University and a Masters of Science in Molecular Biology from Erasmus MC. She currently holds the position of Academic Research Director at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. In this role, she is responsible for the fostering and developing scholarly activity for the LSUHSC Internal Medicine Residency Program and supervises residents’ research projects. Diana’s research interest focus on population health and healthcare access and utilization. At Our Lady of the Lake, Diana has developed and supports research centered on utilizing patient population data and geographic information systems to address healthcare challenges encountered in most urban, underserved communities in the United States.




This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and St. John Paul II Foundation. Christian Medical & Dental Associations is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations designates this educational activity for a maximum
of 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their
participation in the activity.

Physician Assistant

AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) . by an organization accredited by the ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive up to 7 credits for completing this activity.

Nurse Practitioner

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Individuals are responsible for checking with the AANPCP for further guidelines.
Nurse practitioners may receive up to 7 credits for completing this activity.


This educational activity has been approved by the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (OBN-001-91). _7_ contact hours approved.

-Discuss the unique aspects of providing healthcare to women. Describe an integral view of the human person as essential for comprehensive and holistic medical care for women. Identify medical care that respects the unique ways women bring life, love, and their feminine genius into the world.

-Define religious liberty. Identify why religious liberty is essential to human flourishing. Discuss a path for medical professionals that will ensure a convergence of positive patient outcomes and robust respect for religious liberty and conscience rights for patient and provider.

-Identify the effects of social determinants of health in a hospital system. Discuss the challenges, joys, and unique needs of health care to the poor. Identify effective models for ensuring robust access to health care for the poor.

-Discuss the health crisis centered on opioid abuse and overdosing. Identify a path forward for alleviating the crisis through prevention, treatment, and recovery programs. Identify a robust response for Catholic facilities and Catholic medical professionals with consideration for what practices and interventions, rooted in best practice, can be implemented.

-Articulate the meaning and purpose of suffering and how to help patients through suffering. Discuss why suffering individuals’ despair or seek suicide and the duty of the physician when suicide is requested. Describe two case studies in which medical interventions hasten death and discuss the ethics of such cases.

-List the basis for the sanctity of human life. Describe how the patient is a human person who images God. Define what it means to speak of the dignity of the person and how this dignity impacts medical care.

-Discuss the basic principles of social doctrine for the Church. Identify how care for the sick, disabled, and dying is rooted in the works of mercy and social doctrine. Articulate how patient care is rooted in Catholic social doctrine and the works of mercy and how such care will be distinctive in clinical practice.


The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 7.0 Continuing Education Hours. Please be sure to select the General Admission or Clergy/Religious (if applicable) ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email [email protected].



The Diocese of Baton Rouge MAT Certification Program has approved this program for 9.0 Enrichment Hours. Please be sure to select the General Admission or Clergy/Religious (if applicable) ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email [email protected].


Social Workers

This program was approved for 7.0 General contact hour(s) of continuing education credit by the National Association of Social Workers—Louisiana Chapter as authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners. Please be sure to select the General Admission or Clergy/Religious (if applicable) ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email [email protected].



The Tracy Center

1800 S Acadian Thruway
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

For More Information:
Susie Lopez, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





    1177 W Loop South, Ste. 940
    Houston, TX 77027


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491