Lifetime Achievement Award

For a lifetime of contributions to the ministry

Ron Hamel, Ph.D.
Past Member, SSM Health Ministries and Board of Directors
SSM Health

Ron Hamel, Ph.D. is the retired senior ethicist at the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), where he served as ethicist from 1998-2014. He was principal author of CHA's multimedia resources, Harnessing the Promise of Genomics: Resources for the Catholic Health Ministry, Understanding and Applying the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and Striving for Excellence in Ethics. He contributed extensively to CHA's Health Progress journal and was founder and executive editor of the online ethics publication, Health Care Ethics USA.

Most recently, Dr. Hamel served as a member of SSM Health Ministries, the Sponsor of SSM Health based in St. Louis, He served on the Sponsor Board from 2014-2022 and was its President/Chair from 2015-2019. He also served on the SSM Health Board of Directors from 2014 till December of 2021. He currently serves on the CHRISTUS Health Board Mission Integration and Human Resources Committee and the Quality Committee, and is resource ethicist for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. In addition, he served on the Catholic Health Association’s Sponsor Committee from 2015--2022, is a member of CHA's Ministry Identity Assessment External Reviewer Team and consults with a number of Catholic health care systems.

A sought-after lecturer and presenter to health care organizations across the country, Dr. Hamel is the author of many articles and publications about health care ethics in a wide variety of professional publications. He has also edited and co-edited several books, including Introduction to Christian Ethics: A Reader (Paulist Press, 1989), Choosing Death: Active Euthanasia, Religion and the Public Debate (Trinity Press International, 1991), A Matter of Principles? (Trinity Press International, 1994), Must We Suffer Our Way to Death?: Cultural and Religious Perspectives on Assisted Death (SMU Press, 1996), Three Levels of Managed Care (Sheed & Ward, 1997), Making Health Care Decisions: A Catholic Guide (Ligouri, 2006), and Artificial Nutrition and Hydration and the Permanently Unconscious Patient: The Catholic Debate (Georgetown, 2007).  In 2001, he received the Kevin O'Rourke Award from the Gateway Catholic Ethics Network in St. Louis for his contributions to Catholic health care ethics.

Prior to joining CHA, Dr. Hamel was Director of the Department of Clinical Ethics at Lutheran General Hospital-Advocate, Park Ridge, Ill. From 1989-1994, he served as Senior Associate for Theology, Ethics and Clinical Practice at the Park Ridge Center in Chicago and was associate professor of Christian Ethics at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. from 1979-1989. He earned his Ph.D. in theological ethics with a specialization in health care ethics from Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y.