Ethics Webinar — Promoting Dignity, Stewardship and Justice in Behavioral Health Care

The Gospels include many stories of mentally ill persons who had been ostracized from society, condemned to a life of suffering, isolation and indignity. Jesus responded with compassion and healing, restoring these persons to health, their families and communities.

It is this example which Catholic health care seeks to embody by serving and advocating for those whose social condition puts them at the margins of society and especially vulnerable to discrimination. Persons diagnosed with psychiatric disorders are often among this group.

Data indicate that persons with mental illness suffer disproportionately from chronic disease, addiction, poverty, homelessness, incarceration and premature death, including death from accidents, homicide and suicide. According to the World Health Organization, mental illness results in more disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. In the United States, mental disorders are among the costliest conditions, yet a large percentage of persons with serious mental illness go without care every year.

This webinar explores the stigma of mental illness and the ongoing challenges associated with access and reimbursement for behavioral health care. Presenters will discuss how Avera Health has addressed these challenges through a commitment to human dignity, stewardship and justice in the development, funding and provision of behavioral health services. Unique and emerging ethical issues in clinical behavioral health care will also be explored.


After this presentation participants will:

  • Identify factors which underlie the longstanding stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Understand how a commitment to promote human dignity, safety, efficacy and spirituality in behavioral health care inspired Avera's state-of-the art facilities and programming.
  • Describe an innovative stewardship model for financing behavioral health services.
  • Understand how technology can provide behavioral health services to vulnerable populations and medically under-served areas.
  • Describe emerging ethical issues in clinical behavioral health care such as assessing decisional capacity in persons with psychiatric symptoms; religiosity, religious practice and self-harm; psychiatric advance directives; treatment of co-occurring disorders; and pharmacogenomics.

Who Should Attend

  • Physicians, nurses and clinicians
  • Behavioral and social services professionals
  • Mission leaders
  • Ethicists
  • Ethics committees
  • Community benefit professionals
  • Chaplains and pastoral care
  • Advocacy staff
  • Senior leaders and executive teams


Mary Hill, JD, BSN, MA
Vice President of Ethics
Avera Health
Sioux Falls, S.D.

Steve Lindquist
Vice President of Behavioral Health Services
Avera Health
Sioux Falls, S.D.

Certificate of Attendance

Please note CHA does not offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) for any programs. Participants will receive an email with information on how to acquire a Certificate of Attendance following the program (typically included in the program evaluation email). Certificates of Attendance may be submitted to relevant organizations that accept proof of contact hours as credit. These include:

American College of Healthcare Executives: American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) members may self-report qualifying CEUs using the contact hour information provided on their CHA Certificate of Attendance. To self-report, log in as a member on the ACHE site; use the link on the left-hand side to self-report applicable contact hours for CEU credit.

NACC Board Certified Chaplains: National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) board certified chaplain members may self-report their continuing education hours (CEH's) using the contact hours information provided on their CHA Certificate of Attendance

For further information regarding Certificates of Attendance, please contact Danette Thompson, (314) 253-3408.

CHA Member Benefit

CHA's ethics webinars are designed to offer timely, convenient, relevant, cost-effective education about key topics and issues.

Participant /Site Coordinator Role

As a participant, you will receive dial-in instructions and webinar materials one week prior to the webinar via email. These materials will come to you from "CHA Service Center," so please watch for that email address. Be sure to have these materials ready the day of the webinar so that you can easily access the event and utilize the materials.

If you have registered and are convening a group of participants, please consider yourself the "site coordinator" and review the following suggested recommendations for serving in that role on behalf of the group.
More information

Can't Participate in the Live Event?

Can't Participate in the Live Event?
If your schedule doesn't permit you to participate in the live event and you are interested in the program, we encourage you to register as you will automatically receive a link to the archived version of the webinar when we distribute the evaluation email. The archived version will allow you to view the webinar when your schedule permits.


For more information, contact CHA Service Center or Rev. Thomas Nairn, OFM, Ph.D., Senior Director, Theology and Ethics.