Bioethics Alumni Spotlight of the Quarter – April 2014 – Deb Love, JD, MBA, MA


Deb Love (MA ’11) describes bioethics as a “calling” she didn’t fully understand at the time she embarked on the Graduate Program in Bioethics at Wake Forest University. Educated to think like an attorney, Deb arrived in the program with a background in organizational change and interpersonal dynamics, including family systems theory.  At the time of enrollment, Deb was simply looking for a new and inspired career direction that would allow her to apply her training, experience and education to the context of healthcare.  She quickly discovered that the vast field of bioethics greatly captured her attention and that she had indeed found her “calling” in a new vocational path.

During her time in the Graduate Program, Deb interned at the University of North Carolina Center for Bioethics in Chapel Hill, NC.  Her combined experiences in course work and internship revealed that she was particularly drawn to improving communication in the physician/patient relationship, particularly in end of life issues.  Upon graduation she continued to work at UNC as the Clinical Ethics Outreach Partner, where she was able to make connections with bioethics colleagues across the state.  There, Deb played a leadership role in founding the Clinical Ethics Network of North Carolina (CENNC) and became active in statewide efforts.  Together with colleagues, Deb helped establish the North Carolina Partnership for Compassionate Care (NCPCC), a program of the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation to promote conversations about advance care planning.  Her work with NCPCC prompted an invitation to join a task force for transforming end of life care at Novant Health in Winston-Salem, NC.  Today, Deb is the Corporate Director of Bioethics for Novant Health, where she is charged with enhancing the professionalism and processes of the ethics committees at Novant Health’s fifteen medical centers.   Deb also works to establish new models for embedding ethics into the acute care setting, with the aim of promoting conversations earlier in the disease continuum.  Deb has retained an adjunct assistant professor appointment at the University of North Carolina and is hopeful for opportunities for research collaboration in the future.   

The new career direction Deb sought on entering the Graduate Program in Bioethics at Wake Forest University has come to fruition. In retrospect Deb realizes that personal life experiences drew her into this aspiring field, and her Masters in Bioethics helped shape her focus.  Her degree is her work, and without her MA in Bioethics she would not be in her current role.  As a member of the inaugural class, Deb is grateful for her time spent at Wake Forest University.  Deb will always recall the spirited cross-generational dialogue that occurred around the table, especially over cases in Clinical Ethics or in Current Topics.  The opportunity to explore a topic in depth with others was a gift the program offered Deb.  Most of all, Deb remembers the enduring friendships formed with classmates and faculty, claiming she will “never be able to fully express” her gratitude for the support from faculty mentors at both Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 

Deb currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC and Winston-Salem, NC with her husband John Grubenhoff.  Together Deb and John enjoy traveling to see their children and grandchildren, attending baseball games, and listening to classic jazz.   Deb has recently discovered a new passion in the game of golf, which creates balance between work and play and teaches her to be both humble and confident at the same time.   

Bioethics student, Kevin Brewer, speaks with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics of Harvard on “Margin, Mission, Morals and Moniker in Big Pharma”


To read the article please click here:

April 16 – Center for Bioethics co-sponsors Advance Healthcare Planning events in the community

The Center for Bioethics, Health & Society at Wake Forest University is co-sponsoring the Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, Novant Health, and Wake Forest Baptist Health, along with other regional hospitals, to lead a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare planning!  Do YOU have plans?


Specifically, on Wednesday, April 16 – National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), we are hosting events in Winston-Salem and Salisbury for the entire community.  These are free workshops, with both morning and afternoon sessions.  Participants will learn about the importance of advance healthcare planning.  Please share this information with your loved ones, co-workers, neighbors, and friends by forwarding this email.
Click here for more details:!nhdd-events/cwc6

April 4 – Keeping it Fresh? Exploring the Relationship Between Food Laws & Their Impact on Public Health & Safety Symposium

The Center for Bioethics, Health & Society and the Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy will be hosting this Symposium on Friday, April 4, from 8:45 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in room 1312, Worrell Professional Center.  The list of participants includes:

Tim Caulfield (LL.M.) – University of Alberta; Professor, Faculty of Law and School of Public Health

Katherine Pratt (J.D./LL.M.) – University of Loyola Los Angeles; Professor of Law

Anne Barnhill (Ph.D.) – University of Pennsylvania; Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Vanessa Zboreak (J.D.) – Wake Forest University; Extended Faculty

Paul F. Campos (J.D.) – University of Colorado Law; Professor of Constitutional Theory & Legal Philosophy

Keynote address by Dr. Brian Elbel of NYU School of Medicine

For more information, please visit the Journal of Law & Policy website<>.

Everyone is welcome! Please feel free to join us for the entire event, or intermittently throughout the day.



8:30 a.m.         Breakfast and Check-In

8:45 a.m.         Opening Remarks by Dean Blake Morant

9:00 a.m.         Panel 1 – Anne Barnhill and Katherine Pratt

10:00 a.m.       Question & Answer Session for Anne Barnhill & Katherine Pratt

10:15 a.m.       Keynote Introduction by Provost Rogan Kersh

10:30 a.m.       Keynote Address – Dr. Brian Elbel

11:00 a.m.       Question & Answer Session to follow Keynote Address

11:15 a.m.       Panel 2 – Vanessa Zboreak

11:45 a.m.       Question & Answer Session for Vanessa Zboreak

12:00 p.m.       Break for lunch

1:30 p.m.         Panel 3 – Paul F. Campos and Tim Caulfield

2:30 p.m.         Question & Answer Session for Paul Campos and Tim Caulfield

3:00 p.m.         Conclusion

April 3rd – Bioethics Seminar – Scienceploitation: The Marketing of Unproven Stem Cell Therapies


Timothy Caulfield, BSc, LL.B, LLM, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy; Senior Health Scholar, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research; Professor, Faculty of Law and School of Public Health; and Research Director, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta

4:00-5:00 PM, Reception to follow

DeTamble Auditorium, Counselling, 1st Floor, Tribble Hall, Wake Forest University

March 26th – Bioethics Seminar – Ethics, Society, and Advances in Brain Science


March 26th 2014

Ethics, Society, and Advances in Brain Science

Judy Illes, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, Professor of Neurology & Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics, University of British Columbia

5:00-6:00PM , Reception to follow

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium, Room 404, Wake Forest University

Bioethics Alumni Spotlight of the Quarter – January 2014 – Kristen Boswell Coggin, MD




Kristen Boswell Coggin MD (MA’12) is the youngest partner at Cape Fear Neonatology Associates, a 44-bed NICU at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC.  Within the field of neonatology, she is one of a few in North Carolina with any formal training in bioethics.  Her MA in Bioethics makes her the “go to” person when ethical dilemmas arise, an “expert” status that urges her to continually advance her knowledge in bioethics.  Such “expert” status is fun and exciting, yet the intersection of neonatology and bioethics offers many challenges.  While some may turn the other way, Kristen walks directly into the ambiguous intersection, the precise place in which she had hoped to land.

Kristen has long had an interest in ethics and a desire to unite ethics with her profession.  Growing up in eastern North Carolina she received her undergraduate and medical degrees from East Carolina University, a school that embraces ethics education and makes bioethics an integral part of its curriculum.  At East Carolina University, Kristen was first introduced to Dr. John Moskop.  Dr. Moskop played a fundamental role in furthering Kristen’s interest in ethics and challenging her to stand in the intersection of neonatology and bioethics.  After completing her pediatric residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kristen wanted to delve further into the depths of bioethics and continue her studies with Dr. Moskop, who was now teaching in the Bioethics Master’s program at Wake Forest.  

Kristen completed her neonatology fellowship at Wake Forest University.  Most neonatology fellows traditionally fulfill the “scholarly activity “requirement through research; however, Kristen believed that a solid foundation in bioethics would best serve her professionally and personally.  Now in practice, and standing in the intersection of neonatology and bioethics, Kristen knows she made the right decision.  Kristen “believes wholeheartedly that [she] is a better physician for having completed [her] degree in bioethics because it allows [her] to practice both the art and science of medicine in a more comprehensive and thoughtful way.” 

Because of her degree from Wake Forest University, Kristen feels better equipped when she finds herself in the exciting, yet challenging, role as “expert.”  Kristen anticipates that advances in technology will increase the frequency of bioethical dilemmas in neonatology and that undoubtedly more questions of justice will arise.  As doctors are forced to consider whether something should be done simply because it can be done, Kristen hopes to stand alongside her peers and “be a leader – both in the asking and answering of such questions.”  Kristen believes that her background in bioethics will continue to provide a solid foundation as she stands in the intersection of bioethics and neonatology and makes the bioethical aspects of her work a priority in the provision of patient care.

Kristen resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband Myers and daughter.       

February 6th – Bioethics Seminar – Is There Anything Wrong with Altering Human Nature?

February 6 2014:

Is There Anything Wrong with Altering Human Nature?


Gerald McKenny, PhD, Walter Professor of Theology, Notre Dame University

3:30-4:30 PM, Reception to follow

DeTamble Auditorium, A (center) Wing, 1st Floor, Tribble Hall, Reynolda Campus

Dr. Ana Iltis publishes in JAMA Psychiatry, October 2013

Ana Iltis, Associate Professor of Philosophy, was first author on a paper that just appeared  in JAMA Psychiatry (formerly Archives of General Psychiatry). The paper, “Addressing Risks to Advance Mental Health Research,” provides mental health researchers with practical approaches to identify, communicate, manage and justify research risks.

For further faculty publications click here

Bioethics Alumni Spotlight of the Quarter – October 2013 – Emily Hoppes


Emily Hoppes graduated with her MA in Bioethics from Wake Forest University in 2011.  As a member of the Peace Corps, Emily lives in a tiny village in Tanzania with no electricity or running water, has learned to speak the local language, and attempts to fully integrate herself into the community.  Upon graduation, Emily was excited to take her new knowledge to Africa and apply it to the Peace Corps.  Once she arrived in Africa, however, she found the problems she had hoped to address were much more complicated.   As an avid blogger, Emily struggled to find the words to describe her experiences.  Yet, Emily notes, her bioethics education prepared her for such a complex task: analyzing and interpreting problems.  Emily quickly found that her bioethics education affected and influenced her everyday life in Africa because it taught her “to look at every angle, look through every lens, and leave nothing out, because that one small thing could make all the difference.”  Her MA in Bioethics helped her to document experiences and reflect on even the most extended problems.  Emily’s reflections stem from her identity as a MA in Bioethics graduate, a passionate Catholic, and a current Peace Corps volunteer.  Her reflections can be found at