2022 Healthcare Ethics and Law Conference

Coming out of the Pandemic: Where are we Mentally?

Friday, Feb. 18, 2022
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Regions Community Room, Cooney Hall at Samford University

Samford University's Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute's annual conference is designed to help Alabama institutional ethics committees at all levels with some of today’s most pressing health care and law issues.

Registration Coming Dec. 1


Conference registration costs $50 per person, which includes lunch and conference materials. Samford students and faculty receive free registration. Contact Scott Bickel at cbickel@samford.edu for the promotional code. A Samford ID must be shown at registration.

Advanced registration is encouraged as seating is limited.


2022 Healthcare Ethics and Law Conference

Friday, Feb. 18, 2022

  • 8:00 to 8:10 a.m.
    • Welcome and Announcements
  • 8:10 to 8:55 a.m.
    • Ethical Aspects: An overview of basic foundations of ethical issues
    • Presented by Dennis Sansom, Ph.D., professor and chair, department of philosophy, Samford University
  • 9:00 to 9:45 a.m.
    • Nurse Aspects: An overview of the toll on COVID on mental health and the nursing profession
    • Presented by Stephanie Wynn, D.N.P., RN-BC, PMHNP, associate dean for scholarly activity, professor and coordinator of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track, Samford University
  • 9:45 to 10:00 a.m.
    • Break
  • 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.
    • Psychologist Aspects: The COVID pandemic and acclimating during prolonged crises
    • Presented by Josh Klapow, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist, adjunct Associate Professor, UAB, radio/tv show
  • 10:50 a.m. to 11:35 a.m.
  • 11:45 to 1:15 p.m.
    • Pellegrino Award and Lunch
    • Lecture title: TBD
    • Pellegrino Awardee: Patrick Smith, Ph.D., associate research professor of theological ethics and bioethics, Duke University Divinity School; director, bioethics program, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and the History of Medicine; associate professor of population health sciences, Duke University School of Medicine; senior fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University
  • 1:20 to 2:05 p.m.
    • Pharmacist Aspects: Key issues regarding medication use and mental health due to COVID from a pharmacist perspective
    • Presented by Marshall Cates, Pharm.D., BCPP, FASHP, FCCP, professor and chair, department of pharmacy practice, Samford University
  • 2:05 to 2:15 p.m.
    • Break
  • 2:15 to 3:00 p.m.
    • Social Worker Aspects: TBD
    • Presented by Lisa Baker, Ph.D., LCSW professor and chair, department of social work, Samford University
  • 3:00 to 3:25 p.m.
    • Panel Discussion: Where do we go from here regarding mental health post-COVID?
  • 3:25 to 3:30 p.m.
    • Wrap Up and Program Evaluation

Speaker Bios

Dennis L. Sansom, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy at Samford University's Howard College of Arts and Sciences

Dennis Sansom, Ph.D. came to Samford University in 1988 and has served as chair of the Department of Philosophy since 2000. He focuses on ethics, offering courses in Christian Ethics, Philosophical Ethics, Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics and Medical Ethics. Furthermore, Sansom has researched and taught on how literature illustrates and helps define important philosophical concerns pertinent to bioethical issues.

Stephanie Wynn, D.N.P., RN-BC, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC, FAANP, COI

Professor and Associate Dean for Scholarly Activity; Director, Nurse Practitioner Residency; and Coordinator, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track at Samford University's Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing

Stephanie Wynn, D.N.P. is a nurse educator with extensive professional leadership and scholarly work. In addition, she has experience with program, curriculum and course development. Recently, she developed several pathways to assist Veterans students in obtaining a B.S.N. degree. She has a wide-range of clinical experience in underserved populations, which includes the provision of education, counseling, and treatment to minority and disadvantaged patients in various settings. Currently, she is the only mental health primary care provider for a community-based clinic, which offers services for uninsured patients in seven underserved and rural counties in Alabama. She is committed to developing professional nurses and strengthening relationships with academic, preceptors, and clinical partners throughout the community..

Joshua C. Klapow, Ph.D.

Licensed clinical psychologist, performance coach and Chief Behavioral Scientist at ChipRewards and adjunct associate professor at UAB

Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. is the author of “Living SMART: Lifestyle Change Made Simple” a consumer focused book on lifestyle change. He works extensively with individuals and organizations in the area of performance optimization. His work focuses on leveraging behavioral science strategies to help both individuals and organizations achieve strategic goals. Dr. Klapow was named by Yahoo Finance as a Top 20 Entrepreneur to Watch in 2020 and featured in Thrive Global for his unique approach to performance coaching.

Frank McPhillips, J.D.

Shareholder at Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C.

Frank McPhillips, J.D. has broad experience as bond counsel and disclosure counsel in a wide variety of transactions for the State of Alabama and numerous local governmental entities, investment banking firms, universities and colleges and private enterprises seeking economic development incentives. He also served as special legislative and tax advisor to the Director of Finance of the State of Alabama. In addition, he has served as general counsel of the Birmingham Airport Authority since its inception in 1986, and has served as principal outside counsel to the Alabama Housing Finance Authority since 1999.

Patrick Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics; Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University

Patrick Smith, Ph.D. was named a 2016-17 Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology and was the recipient of the 2019 Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics. Along with his work at the Divinity School, he is the director of bioethics for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine and associate professor in population health sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Duke University Medical School. He has served as a member of the board of directors for the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. His current research and writing are in the areas of moral philosophy, bioethics, theological ethics, end-of-life care, and the religious social ethics of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Smith served as a lecturer at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He served as core faculty for the Master of Bioethics program offered through Harvard’s Center for Bioethics. He also was a principal faculty member for the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality, an interfaculty initiative across Harvard University that aims to be a research catalyst for an integrated model of spirituality, public health, and patient care in dialogue with spiritual communities. Professor Smith also worked professionally for eight years as the ethics coordinator for Angela Hospice Care Center in Livonia, Mich. During some of that time he served on the Ethics Advisory Council for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and as a board member for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of Michigan.

He has served on the board of directors of organizations working for the common good and more equitable social arrangements such as YW Boston, which aims to empower women and eliminate racism. He also contributed thought leadership by serving on the board of a community development corporation that supports local communities through building affordable housing, engaging in advocacy work, and providing education on housing policies and practices.

Marshall E. Cates, Pharm.D., BCPP, FASHP, FCCP, FALSHP

Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice at Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy

Marshall Cates, Pharm.D. has taught psychiatric pharmacy at McWhorter School of Pharmacy since 1995. As a clinical faculty member, he has held psychiatric pharmacist appointments in a variety of practice settings over the years, including a state psychiatric hospital, a VA medical center, a community mental health center, and a private hospital. He was among the first group of pharmacists to become board certified in psychiatric pharmacy in 1996. He founded and directed an ASHP-accredited residency in psychiatric pharmacy practice at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. His primary classroom teaching responsibilities have been in psychiatric pharmacotherapy and a mental health-related elective course, and he has been a preceptor for a psychiatric pharmacy advanced pharmacy practice experience when not serving in an administrative role. He has been very involved in professional pharmacy organizations, including having served as president of both a state and a national organization. He has been involved in numerous clinical, laboratory, and pedagogical research projects, and he has published more than 55 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

Lisa Baker, Ph.D., LCSW

Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work at Samford University's School of Public Health

Lisa Baker, Ph.D., is a licensed certified social worker (AL) with over 15 years of post-M.S.W. clinical experience as well as more than 15 years in higher education. Her areas of research and scholarship include evidence-based education, disaster preparedness and response, pediatric and perinatal health social work and online education. A current interest is the use of telepresence robots and virtual reality to engage online students in simulation. In 2009, she worked on a project for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security evaluating public education resources for radiation disasters, and is an evaluator on grants from the National Science Foundation. Baker is also a disaster mental health responder with the AL-1 National Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Continuing Education

Continuing education details forthcoming.