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Clarkson University Professor to Lead Center to Review Hospital Ethics Practices Nationwide

Dr. Ellen Fox, a professor of bioethics at Clarkson University, will lead the new Center for Ethics in Health Care at Altarum Institute.

Dr. Ellen FoxThe Center will focus on improving health care by improving ethics programs and practices. The Center’s first research project will look at health care ethics consultation (HEC), a service that is routinely offered by U.S. hospitals to help patients, families, and health care providers resolve ethical concerns.

Fox is a board certified internal medicine physician and internationally recognized expert in health care ethics. She is also founder and CEO of Fox Ethics Consulting.

In its first research project, the Center’s research team will ask HEC practitioners and administrators in 600 U.S. hospitals about their HEC practices and their views on potential improvement strategies. The team will also assess current HEC quality using expert reviews of written HEC records.

In recent years, concerns have been raised about the quality of HEC and the fact that HEC services operate with little oversight. Bioethics experts have been actively debating how best to improve HEC practices.

The new Center is being funded, in part, by a grant from the Greenwall Foundation and will begin work this month. The Greenwall Foundation promotes bioethics research in order to improve patient care, inform biomedical research, and enhance public policy.

“Like any health care service, ethics consultation needs to meet quality standards,” said Fox. “This research will give hospitals and policymakers information they need to improve ethics consultation quality nationwide.”

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Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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