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 Converging Roads 2021:
  • "Thank you so much for the support, education, and inspiration you provide for medical professionals so that we can live our profession with greater zeal and joy. This inspired me to be a better nurse and redirected my perspective in a way that will give me the energy I need to do what God is asking of me as a nurse."
  • "This was a wonderful experience to get to hear from Catholic medical professionals and understand the Catholic view of medicine that goes beyond what we are taught in the classroom about medicine or human life."




In-Person Ticket Options:
  • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $149
  • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $129
  • General Admission*: $79
  • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $69
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
Online Ticket Options:
  • Online tickets include access to the livestream on Saturday, April 2, 2022, as well as additional access to the recordings from noon CT on Sunday, April 3, to 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday, April 6.
  • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $119
  • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $99
  • General Admission*: $49
  • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $39
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $0
  • *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.

Student Scholarships:
  • Undergraduate, graduate, nursing, and medical students are eligible to register for Converging Roads at our scholarship admission rate. If you are a student currently enrolled in classes and would like to attend the conference, please complete our student scholarship form prior to registering for the conference (click here). If you feel called to contribute to our scholarship fund, you can do so at the time of registration.

Refund Information:
    • If you are no longer able to attend the conference, after purchasing your ticket, you may choose to transfer your registration fees to a student in need, or request a refund.
    • All refunds must be requested 2 weeks prior to the conference. The last day to request a refund is Friday, March 18. All refund requests made on or after March 19 will not be accepted, but the funds will automatically be transferred to a student in need. Please email [email protected] to transfer your registration or request a refund.


  • Medicine at the Service of the Human Person
  • Vocation of the Medical Professional
  • The Mental Health Crisis for Children in Light of COVID-19 and Beyond
  • St. John Paul II on the Role of Truth and Freedom in Medicine
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Human Trafficking in Our Midst
  • The Social Determinants of Health: Access to Care for Vulnerable Populations
  • The Role of Public Health in Traditional Medicine


8:00 AM
Mass Check-In / Registration
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:20 AM
Medicine at the Service of the Human Person
10:25 - 11:25 AM
Vocation of the Medical Professional
11:25 - 11:40 AM
11:40 AM - 12:40 PM
The Mental Health Crisis for Children in Light of COVID-19 and Beyond
12:40 - 2:15 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:10 - 2:10 PM
St. John Paul II on the Role of Truth and Freedom in Medicine
2:15 - 2:35 PM
2:35 - 3:35 PM
Hidden in Plain Sight: Human Trafficking in Our Midst
3:40 - 4:40 PM
The Social Determinants of Health: Access to Care for Vulnerable Populations
4:40 - 4:55 PM
4:55 - 5:55 PM
The Role of Public Health in Traditional Medicine
6:00 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Staff Ethicist, Nurse Planner, and Assistant Professor of Nursing

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.

Clinical Ethicist and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University

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.

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the University of Michigan Medical School Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion

Kristin Collier, MD, FACP is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Michigan where she serves as the director of the University of Michigan Medical School Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion. She also serves as an associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program where she oversees the primary care track. She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed her internship, residency and chief residency at The University of Michigan Hospitals. Her academic interests are in the overlap of spirituality, religion and health and her peer reviewed work has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the Annals of Internal Medicine, JGIM, the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and she also has had writings published in Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal, Theopolis and America Magazine. She is also the proud mother of four boys.

Delegate and Special Advisor to the Ambassador on Human Trafficking, Mission of Order of Malta to the United Nations

Deb is critical care nurse by training with a BSN, MBA and a Master’s in Theology with a concentration in bioethics. After working in healthcare and the private sector for 30+ years, she now concentrates in public, non-profit organizations, and philanthropy. She works in areas where she can combine her passion for healthcare, business and faith.   Deb currently is a Delegate and Special Advisor to the Ambassador on Human Trafficking for the Order of Malta’s Mission to the United Nations, where she focuses on human trafficking and the global refugee crisis. She recently founded Global Strategic Operatives for the Eradication of Human Trafficking, (GSO), which conducts trainings to healthcare systems on how to identify victims and take appropriate actions. The goal of the GSO healthcare pilot is to create and submit a ‘universal policy’ to the WHO for consideration of implementing a worldwide human trafficking policy for healthcare providers.  In addition, Deb works with Homeland Security and law enforcement to provide human trafficking educational presentations to airline personnel, government employees, corporations and universities. She supports an anti-human trafficking educational exhibit in Haiti which rotates regularly around the country. Deb participated on a Human Trafficking Symposium at the Vatican last spring, and the Human Trafficking Summit at the White House in January 2020.   Deb founded Nurses With Global Impact, Inc. in 2016 as a resource for nurses and to recognize those doing extraordinary work and making a global impact in healthcare. She hosts International Nurses Day at the United Nations annually where a select group of nurses are chosen from around the world to be honored and awarded.   Deb has always had a passion for healthcare missions: Haiti (20+ years), Philippines, Dominican Republic and Bosnia Herzogovina, where she was a member of a Crisis Intervention Team with National Organization for Victim’s Assistance (NOVA) of Washington, DC, to work with women and girls who survived rape camps. She was a member of the Federal Disaster Medical Team that was deployed to NYC on 9/11/01.   Deb is active on a number of non-profit boards: two term Board of Councilor with the Order of Malta, American Association, and continues as a member of the Medical Committee for the annual Lourdes Pilgrimage. Deb also sits on the boards of Malteser International Americas, RAD-AID, Int’l, World Youth Alliance, the Gold Foundation, and the National Catholic Bioethics Center. She is a former member of the CRUDEM Board for Hopital Sacre Coeur in Haiti for 8 years, chaired the Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA, on the Board of Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless Program for 5 years, and spent 4 years on the Board of the American Heart Association as Chair of Public Advocacy.   Deb was the Director of Respect Life Education for the Archdiocese of Boston for 8 years. She helped start-up Pure in Heart, a 501(C3) young adult ministry in Boston, Haiti, Kenya, Ireland and UK.   Deb was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in Boston. She is married to Steve Rusckowski and they now reside in NYC.

Burnett Family Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethical Leadership, University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX

Timothy J. Furlan is currently Burnett Family Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethical Leadership at the University of St Thomas in Houston, TX.  He previously studied the classical liberal arts at Thomas Aquinas College before going on to pursue graduate studies with a focus on ancient philosophy and ethical theory at the University of Chicago (M.A.) the Universite de Paris IV (Sorbonne), and Trinity College Dublin (Ph.D.). During his doctoral studies he also held visiting fellowships in Fribourg (Swiss Confederation Scholar), Munich, and Athens. More recently, he pursued post-graduate study in bioethics at Harvard Medical School and earned his Masters of Bioethics (summa cum laude) and served as editor of the Harvard Journal of Bioethics. He was previously a philosophy professor at Xavier University and Boston College where he taught a wide range of courses and led study trips to Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Ireland, Paris, India, and along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of St. Thomas

Fr. Raphael Mary Salzillo, OP is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX. Fr. Salzillo completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame where he specialized in medieval philosophy and metaphysics, with a particular interest in the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Fr. Salzillo did his undergraduate work in applied physics at the California Institute of Technology, after which he received an MS in electrical engineering from the University of California – San Diego. After becoming a friar of the Order of Preachers in 2001, he received an MA in Philosophy and a Master of Divinity from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. He was ordained a priest of the Catholic Church in 2009 and worked as a chaplain at the University of Washington in Seattle before pursuing his graduate studies at Notre Dame.



Holy Rosary Catholic Church

3617 Milam St, Houston, TX 77002

For More Information:
Michelle McDonald, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





    7730 Westview
    Houston, TX 77055


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491