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Dr. William Toffler is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University where he practiced the full scope of family medicine and taught medical students and residents for more than 34 years. He is co-founder and National Director of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation (PCCEF), a non-profit organization that promotes compassionate care for severely ill patients without sanctioning or assisting their suicide. PCCEF physicians affirm an ethic based on the principle that all human life is inherently of value and that the physician's roles are to heal illness, alleviate suffering, and provide comfort for the sick and dying. He is committed to defending the long-standing, medical prohibition against doing harm. He has been a member of the Physicians Resource Council at Focus on the Family for more than 20 years. He has frequently invited to speak about medical ethical issues at both national and international conferences and on US television and radio including the NPR, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, as well as international media in Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan.
Fr. Tad currently serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and directs the Center's National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes and speaks widely on bioethics and medical ethics. Since 2001, he has given several hundred presentations and invited lectures, and participated in debates and roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has taught bioethics classes for seminarians at St. John's Seminary in Boston, Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut. As an undergraduate Fr. Tad earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He later earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Father Tad studied for 5 years in Rome at both the Gregorian University and the Lateran University, where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and Oregon State Legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning. He writes a monthly newspaper column on bioethics that is nationally syndicated to more than 40 diocesan newspapers in the U.S., and which has also been carried by newspapers in England, Poland and Australia. He has done commentaries for numerous media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times.
Maricela P. Moffitt, MD, MPH, FACP graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1986. She is Board certified in Internal Medicine and has practice Medicine for 28 years in Arizona. She obtained a Masters degree in Public Health in 1994 at the University of Arizona. Her research interest include Tuberculosis and medical education. She is currently holds the academic rank of Professor of Medicine and serves as the Director of the Doctoring Curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix where she teaches communication and physical exam skills to medical students. She is a part-time Hospitalist at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. She has served on the 1st Way (a crisis pregnancy center) Board of Directors; The HOPE Mobile Ultrasound Unit Board; The national Catholic Medical Association Board (President 2012) and current Board member. She currently serves on the Phoenix Diocesan Medical Ethics Board, the Catholic Medical Association Phoenix Board and Livanta LLC Board (Healthcare Quality Improvement). She teaches with her husband in the RCIA program at Corpus Christi parish. She is married to Dr. Robert A. Moffitt. They have three adult children.
Becket Gremmels, PhD is the System Vice President for Theology and Ethics at CommonSpirit Health. CommonSpirit is a Catholic health system with over 140 hospitals in 21 states. Dr. Gremmels received his PhD in Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University, and his BA in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He completed a Fellowship in Clinical Ethics at Saint Thomas West Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee, and has worked as an ethicist in Catholic health care for 12 years. His articles on bioethics have appeared in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Christina Bioethics, the Journal of Moral Theology, among others. He and his wife have three children, ages 9, 6, and 3.
Michael Gerard Duca, a native of Dallas, Texas, was ordained a priest on April 29, 1978, for the Diocese of Dallas. On December 20, 2004, he was conferred the Title of Reverend Monsignor. He was called to the order of bishop on April 1, 2008, for service in North Louisiana. On May 19, 2008, he was ordained and installed as the second Bishop of the Diocese of Shreveport. On June 26, 2018, he was appointed as Bishop-designate for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and installed as the 6th Bishop on August 24, 2018. Bishop Duca attended Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas from 1970 to 1978 and also studied in Rome from 1994 to 1996 at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas-Angelicum University where he received his License in Canon Law. During his active ministry as priest and prior to his appointment as diocesan bishop, Bishop Duca served in many different parishes in the Dallas area, including: All Saints Catholic Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church and St. Luke Catholic Church. He also previously served on a diocesan level in the Diocese of Dallas as Vocations Director, member of the Personnel Board, Campus Minister at Southern Methodist University, member of the Presbyteral Council, member of Board of Consultors, and Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests. From 1996 to 2008, he served as Rector at Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas. Bishop Duca presently serves as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops and Immediate Past President of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference. He serves as a trustee to Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans and St. Joseph Seminary, Covington, LA, as well as serving on the University of Dallas Board of Trustees. He is a member of the St. Francis Medical Center Board of Directors, Monroe, LA, the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) Board of Directors, Miami, FL, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Knights of Columbus-Fourth Degree, and the Knights of Peter Claver-Third & Fourth Degree. In 2008, Bishop Duca received the Bishop Lynch High School Alumnus of the Year Award; in 2013 he received the University of Dallas’ Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2018 he received the Bishop Lynch High School Legacy Award.
Sarah Hill, PhD is the Regional Vice President of Mission Integration for CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. She is an executive committee member of the Supportive Care Coalition, a coalition of 19 Catholic health systems committed to advancing palliative care. She is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania's Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center's External Advisory board, the Catholic Health Association's Theology and Ethics Committee, and the Florida Catholic Conferencce of Bishop's End of Life Care Committee. Dr. Hill received her B.S. degree from Marquette University, her M.A. from the University of West Florida and her PhD in Health Care Ethics from St. Louis University. Dr. Hill has delivered presentations including keynote addresses on ethics and palliative care at various national and regional events including the Catholic Health Association Annual Assembly, the Center to Advance Palliative Care annual assembly, the American Society on Aging, and the Supportive Care Congress and has written articles and a book chapter on ethics and palliative care.
Rev. Ryan Hallford, MDiv is a Catholic priest at St. Aloysius Church in the Diocese of Baton Rouge and teaches Pastoral Care at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University. Fr. Ryan received his BA in Philosophy and BA in Literature from Louisiana State University and Masters of Divinity from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.
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