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.
  • Feedback from past Converging Roads attendees:
  • "I’m so glad I attended. It was so insightful and gave me more knowledge on how to study more about human dignity, disabled persons and the correct way to explain our duty to others (as health care providers to our patients)."
  • "It is edifying to be with so many people trying to live their faith in a field that constantly challenges the truth."
  • "Thus far in my (nascent) career, my Catholic and medical identities have unfortunately been largely separate. I’m confident that the knowledge I obtained at Converging Roads and my subsequent reflection will serve me well on my path towards becoming the Catholic physician I’m striving to be."

Health + Safety Guidelines

As part of our mission to uphold the sanctity of life and family, the St. John Paul II Foundation is committed to the health and safety of all conference participants. In order to protect you and your patients, we are following recommendations from our host facilities and the State of Ohio, and we look forward to welcoming you to Converging Roads next spring!
  • We know that Converging Roads is an important ministry to you as health care professionals, and we desire to serve you through this conference. We are developing precautions to ensure adequate social distancing, minimize contact with high-touch surfaces, and maintain a safe and clean environment. More specific guidelines and recommendations will be publicized as we get closer to the date of the conference.
  • We are truly blessed to serve you, and please be assured of our prayers!
  • *Policy is subject to change; dependent on state and local guidelines at the time of the conference. 



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


  • Ordinary, Extraordinary, and Futile: What’s the Difference and What Difference Does it Make?
  • Elliott Bedford, PhD
  • Medicine and Morals in Making Clinical Decisions
  • Greg Burke, MD, FACP
  • Rights of Health Care Professionals: How to Integrate Faith and Ethics in Moral Medicine
  • Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD
  • Addiction and the Opioid Crisis: Treating the Whole Person
  • Cynthia Hunt, MD
  • The Catholic Health Care Professional in a Secular Society
  • Thomas W. McGovern, MD
  • Accompanying Children in the Womb and at the End of Life
  • Robin Pierucci, MD, MA
  • Access to Health Care for the Poor
  • Claudia R. Sotomayor, MD, DBe


7:45 AM
Check-In/Registration Opens
8:30 AM
Opening Remarks
8:40 - 9:40 AM
The Catholic Health Care Professional in a Secular Society
9:45 - 10:45 AM
Ordinary, Extraordinary, and Futile: What's the Difference and What Difference Does it Make?
10:45 AM
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Medicine and Morals in Making Clinical Decisions
12:00 -1:30 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
12:25 - 1:25 PM
Rights of Health Care Professionals: How to Integrate Faith and Ethics in Moral Medicine
1:30 PM
1:50 - 2:50 PM
Accompanying Children in the Womb and at the End of Life
2:55 - 3:55 PM
Addiction and the Opioid Crisis: Treating the Whole Person
3:55 PM
4:10 - 5:10 PM
Access to Health Care for the Poor
5:10 PM
Closing Remarks
5:30 PM
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Neonatologist and Medical Director

Dr. Robin Pierucci is Jewish convert to Catholicism, a wife, mother of three, and a practicing neonatologist. She also has a master’s degree in bioethics as well as completing the National Catholic Bioethics Center ethics certificate course. In addition to her full-time clinical duties within the NICU, Dr. Pierucci remains active in perinatal palliative care, as well as leading ongoing performance improvement projects for drug exposed infants and their families.  She has multiple publications in peer and non-peer reviewed journals and has spoken around the country on multiple perinatal and ethical topics.  Additionally, Dr. Pierucci has appeared on a number of programs aired on EWTN including, Women of Grace, The Journey Home, EWTN Live, and her documentary about in vitro fertilization.  She has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association for many years and has recently became an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and a board member of the American College of Pediatrics.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Associate Director, Center for Bioethics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He received an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University; an MD from The Ohio State University; and a PhD in Philosophy (Bioethics) from Georgetown University. Dr. Fernandes is board certified in General Pediatrics.  Focusing on bioethics and professionalism education scholarship, he also practices both hospital and ambulatory pediatrics. Dr. Fernandes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an elected member of both the AAP’s Executive Committee on Bioethics and the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care’s Board of Directors, a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, receiving the prestigious Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award twice in the last 10 years. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, most recently The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Professor of the Year Award in 2020. Dr. Fernandes has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association since medical school, and is a member of their national speaker board, traveling across the country to speak on issues in Christian bioethics. He is also an advisor to the CMA Medical Student Section, which awarded him the national Mentor of the Year Award in 2015. He lives with his wife Shruti (a family physician) and two boys in Dublin, Ohio.

Chief Patient Experience Officer, Geisinger Health System

Dr. Burke was appointed Chief Patient Experience Office for the Geisinger Health System in early 2014 and focuses his efforts on the delivery of compassionate and quality medical care throughout the entire system. He has practiced internal medicine at Geisinger Medical Center since 1992. He continues his role as medical director at both Geisinger HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospitals. He has a special interest in the promotion of professionalism in medical practice with an emphasis on applying a holistic philosophy of medicine.   He actively lectures and publishes articles in the fields of medical ethics and physician spirituality. He serves as the current editor-in-chief of “G” – the Geisinger Magazine. His awards include the Clinical Excellence Award for HealthSouth (2009), Best Doctors in American (2007-08, 2011-12), Victor Marks Service Excellence Award (2007, 2013) and the Papal Medal “Benemerenti” award in 2007. He is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College and completed an internal medicine residency and chief residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Director, Ethics Integration for Ascension St. Vincent

Since 2014, Elliott Bedford, MA, PhD has served as Director, Ethics Integration for Ascension St. Vincent in Central and Southern Indiana. In 2008 and 2009, he received a bachelor and master of arts in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, OH. He completed a master of arts in Theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO. in 2012 and obtained a Doctorate in Health Care Ethics, Catholic Tradition, from St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO in 2014. As Director, Ethics Integration, Elliott provides leadership in fostering the moral identity of St. Vincent Health in Indiana as ministry of the Catholic Church. Working with staff from senior leadership to frontline care providers, he leads the development and integration of ethics education, consultation, and policy development services for St. Vincent’s 20 acute care facilities and roughly 16,000 associates. He also works closely with Ethics leadership at Ascension Health in St. Louis, Missouri to provide support services across its nationwide ministry and helps foster relationships with the Catholic dioceses of Lafayette-in-Indiana and Evansville, and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He is also an adjunct professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Marian University, Indianapolis.

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 Ethicist and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University

Dr.  Claudia Sotomayor, currently works as Clinical Ethicist at the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine of GUMC. She is also a Cura Personalis Fellow . She holds an M.D. from Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, in Chihuahua, Mexico. She also graduated with a Master’s degree in Bioethics from Anahuac University in Mexico City, and she graduated with a Doctorate in Bioethics from Loyola University in Chicago Il, USA. Claudia also completed a fellowship in Clinical Bioethics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX. (USA). She has been a Research Scholar for UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights since 2012 where she has worked in the area of Multiculturalism, Bioethics and Religion. She has also served as a member of the Ethics committee in different hospitals in the USA. Before coming to the USA, she worked in different hospitals in Mexico as a primary care physician, and was the health committee coordinator for FUNDESPEN, a non-profit that provides medical care to Mayan communities in rural areas of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Partner-Owner, Mohs Surgeon, Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants
Regular Co-Host, Doctor Doctor

A native of Escanaba, Michigan, Tom completed his M.D. at Mayo Medical School and spent eight years in the U.S. Army that included biological warfare research and a dermatology residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Denver. He trained in Mohs surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at the Yale University School of Medicine and has practiced Mohs Surgery and Reconstruction in Fort Wayne since 2000. He serves on the CMA national board and chairs both the CMA Annual Leadership Training Meeting and Young Member Advisory Committee. He is ‘living the dream’ co-hosting Doctor, Doctor, the official weekly radio program and podcast of the CMA that airs on EWTN. Through Our Sunday Visitor, he will publish his first book in early 2021. He and his wife Sally of 30 years are raising seven home-schooled children who gladly get a break from his ‘Dad jokes’ when he speaks at conferences.



Pontifical College Josephinum, The Jessing Center

7625 N High St
Columbus, OH 43235

For More Information:
Sara Dietz, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





    7730 Westview
    Houston, TX 77055


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491