Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
December 24, 2001
College ethics centre comes under bishops' corporation
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — The St. Joseph's College Ethics Centre has lost the support of St. Joseph's College at the University of Alberta but has gained a bigger backer — the Alberta Catholic Health Corporation, an entity of the Alberta bishops.
The centre will continue operating at its current location on 112th Street, but will have a new name by the end of the year. "We are hoping all the legalities will be completed by midnight Dec. 31," Sister Mary Lou Cranston, the centre's director, said Dec. 19.
ACHC chief executive officer Michael Shea announced the takeover in a Dec. 14 letter to the health care community. He said at this point the ACHC intends to continue the operation of the centre in its existing location and with the same mission, role and staff. The centre has five staff, two of them full time, including Cranston.
Shea's letter says that as a result of several changes, including the loss of some funding, St. Joseph's College is "unable to continue its involvement" and has invited the ACHC to assume responsibility for the centre.
Cranston, however, said the college's board of governors passed a motion in September withdrawing its support of the centre because its work doesn't match the college's mission.
Financial support was never an issue because "St. Joseph's College has never financially supported the ethics centre," she said. The centre's $230,000 annual operating budget comes from Caritas, the Grey Nuns and the Alberta Health Corp.
Cranston said she was never told why St. Joseph's College feels the centre's work doesn't match the college's mission. "It's very hard to understand."
College president Basilian Father Tim Scott and dean Tim Hartnagel could not be reached for comment Dec. 19. Shea was out of town and also could not be reached for comment.
Cranston said the two months following the college's decision were "very difficult for her" but now that the centre has gained the backing of the ACHC things look brighter.
"The centre will go on and hopefully it will get better," she said.
The ethics centre's mission is to provide health care ethical consultation and education from a Catholic perspective to individuals, families and institutions.
The centre's profile has increased sharply in the past few years mainly due to Cranston, a widely sought theologian, ethicist and lecturer. She has lectured and written on major ethical issues and has done consultation and education not only in Alberta but across Canada.
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