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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.
Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Fernandes received an MD from The Ohio State University, a PhD in Philosophy from Georgetown University, and an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, with a focus on bioethics. He directs ethics education for pediatric residents at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. His scholarly interests include Catholic Christian bioethics, Medicine and the Holocaust studies, pediatric ethics, and philosophical anthropology as it relates to medical practice. He has presented his work at international forums, and is the author of scores of peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters. After a decade as a hospitalist, he is now an academic primary care pediatrician and has been an expert witness in court cases defending the rights of Christian healthcare professionals and prolife organizations. Dr. Fernandes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Pediatricians, an elected member of the AAP’s national Executive Committee on Bioethics, a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, receiving the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award twice—in 2020 and in 2010. He has been awarded OSU’s highest honors for teaching, including the Award in Mentorship, Professor of the Year Award, and Master Teacher Award. He is an active member of the Catholic Medical Association and is part of their national speaker board, and a member of Ohio Right to Life’s Board of Trustees. Outside of medicine, his interests include hiking in the National Parks, history, travel, and tennis. He lives with his wife and two boys in Dublin, Ohio.
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.
DiAnn Ecret joined the National Catholic Bioethics center during the summer of 2016. DiAnn is a staff ethicist, nurse planner and a a full time Assistant Professor of Nursing at Ave Maria University. DiAnn graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing in 1987, completed her BSN & MSN from Wilmington University, an MA certification in theology/ethics from Villanova University. She completed her PhD in Health Care Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2017. DiAnn has 35 years of combined nursing experience in adult, pediatric, and neonatal critical care nursing, nursing management and nursing education. DiAnn teaches undergraduate nursing at Ave Maria University, is on the Health Care Task Force at Life Perspectives, serves as a member of the President’s Bioethics Committee at the University of Mary of Minnesota, and volunteers as an ethics consultant for Be Not Afraid. DiAnn is married to her husband Mike for 34 years, with 4 children, and 2 grandchildren.
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.
Dr. Claudia Sotomayor, is the Chief of the Clinical Consultation Service of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, a Cura Personalis Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine of GUMC. She holds an M.D. from Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, in Chihuahua, Mexico and 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.
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.
Bishop Robert J. Brennan was born on June 7, 1962, in the Bronx, New York, the oldest of five children. Bishop Brennan studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, New York; was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, on May 27, 1989, by Bishop John McGann; and was first assigned to the Church of St. Patrick in Smithtown. In 1994 he was appointed Secretary to the Bishop, working in this capacity for three bishops: the late Bishop John McGann, the late Bishop James McHugh, and Bishop William Murphy. He resided at St. Agnes Cathedral and served at the parish during those years. In 2002 he was named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In 2010, he was appointed pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Long Beach. On July 25, 2012, he was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Leaving his position as pastor in Long Beach at that time, he resided in the parish of Our Lady of Peace in Lynbrook. While at Rockville Centre, Bishop Brennan has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services, as well as various diocesan boards and committees. He has served as chaplain for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau County. He serves on the Board for the Institute for Catholic Schools at his alma mater, St. John’s University. He served in several capacities on the Catholic Faith Network including serving as one of the co-hosts of the award-winning program Insight. With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Brennan served as a member of the Committee for Catholic Education, the Administrative Committee, and the Priorities and Plans Committee. Bishop Brennan was appointed Bishop of Columbus by Pope Francis on January 31, 2019, and was installed as the 12th Bishop of Columbus at St. Joseph Cathedral on March 29, 2019.
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