David Craig and The Public Ethics of Healthcare Reform

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A Religion and Ethics Roundtable

Friday, September 26, 4:00-5:30 pm

The Poynter Center, 618 E. 3rd St., Bloomington IN

The national debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act is understandably divisive. It is divisive because nothing less is at stake than competing visions of a just society. Yet we can understand the competing visions and their associated public ethics of health care obligation by listening to the moral, economic and religious concerns that people bring to the debate and interpreting the underlying values charitably. Surprisingly, neither the reigning conservative nor liberal vision of health care justice fits how health care has been organized in the United States. This talk illustrates that discrepancy with lessons learned from interviews with leaders of religious hospitals and religious activists lobbying for reform. It calls on scholars to do ethics in public—and with the public—to advance the cultural change required for the Affordable Care Act to succeed.

About the speaker     David Craig is associate professor of Religious Studies at IUPUI and author of Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and American Democracy (Georgetown University Press, 2014). He has convened conversations about how religious congregations and partner organizations can support a shift toward a more affordable, community-based health care system. He is also the author of John Ruskin and the Ethics of Consumption (Virginia, 2006), along with articles on virtue ethics, ritual studies, philanthropic studies, and environmental, economic and health care ethics.

This is a public program open to all. An RSVP to agitlitz@indiana.edu is appreciated; however it is not required to attend.

Religion and Ethics Roundtables highlight the work of scholars at IUB, IUPUI and beyond, with the goal of engaging the IU community and the public in dialogue about important issues at the intersection of religion, ethics, and society. For more information, contact CSRES director, Lisa Sideris: lsideris@indiana.edu.

Informatics research team awarded grant for clinical effectiveness research

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute — created by the Affordable Care Act — has awarded a $2 million grant to a research team from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research.

Headed by Brad Doebbeling, Department of BioHealth Informatics chair and a professor of informatics, medicine and biomedical engineering, the team is the first in Indiana to receive an institute grant designed to include patients in the discussion of how to improve and expedite medical care.

In the coming months, Doebbeling’s team will work with community health centers around Indiana to understand how to provide better health care in a more timely fashion.

“We were funded to form a collaborative of community health centers from around the state of Indiana to gain a better understanding of how we can improve access to health care in Indiana,” he said.

Doebbeling’s team will examine how patients enter into clinic systems and engage patients, providers and staff in discussions about opportunities for change. They will study best practices and innovations that the community centers have discovered work for them on a physician, staff member or patient level to improve access to care.

“We’re right at the tipping point in health care informatics and health system redesign, where we can effectively use the information and data to make better decisions about organization and to provide more efficient, higher-quality health care,” Doebbeling said. “I’m excited; now is the time to solve those kind of problems. Our country is embarking on a grand experiment to work within existing insurance plans and delivery systems to expand care to the uninsured.

“There is tremendous data and information available that we need to utilize to provide better, safer and more efficient and effective health care. This is exciting because it’s a real partnership between patients, providers, staff, health systems and researchers all working together to solve problems with access to care.”