2023 Keynote Speakers

Photo of Jacob Apple with books in the backgroundJacob M. Appel, MD, JD, MPH is Associate Professorof Psychiatry and Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he serves as Directorof Ethics Education in Psychiatry and Assistant Director of Academy for Medicine and the Humanities. He is currently co-chair of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry's Committee on Psychiatry and the Law and a judge for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Awards. He is the author of twenty volumes of fiction and nonfiction, most recently Who Says You're Dead? (Algonquin, 2019), a compendium of ethical dilemmas.


Photo of Nancy BerlingerNancy Berlinger, PhD is a research scholar at The Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institute based in Garrison, NY. Her current research focuses on three areas: ethical and societal challenges arising from population aging, with special attention to dementia care and to housing for older adults; the role of health practitioners, systems, and policymakers in the care and well-being of immigrants as a vulnerable population, and responding to and learning from Covid-19. She directed The Hastings Center's rapid-response guidance on Covid-19 and conducts empirical research on the experiences of health care workers and community-level responses to older adults and to immigrants during the pandemic. She has longstanding interests in decision-making and care in serious illness and near the end of life; the management of problems of safety and harm in health systems, and the moral dimensions of care work.

She directs The Hastings Center's Visiting Scholar Program, including its Early Career Scholars Workshop for Minority Doctoral Students, launched in 2021. She serves on the Bioethics Committee of Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, including ad hoc Ethics Review Committees on hospice access for patients alone. She is a founding board member of the Empire State Bioethics Consortium and teaches at Lehman College, City University of New York.

She is a graduate of Smith College and received a doctorate in English literature from the University of Glasgow and a master of divinity, with a focus on ethics, from Union Theological Seminary.

Her books include: Are Workarounds Ethical? Managing Moral Problems in Health Care Systems (Oxford, 2016); The Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life: Revised and Expanded Second Edition (Oxford, 2013, with Bruce Jennings, and Susan M. Wolf) and After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness (Johns Hopkins, 2005).


Photo of Sister Carol KeehanSr. Carol Keehan, D.C., RN, MS was the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). She assumed her duties in October 2005. She is responsible for all association operations and leads CHA's staff at offices in Washington, DC, where she is based, and in St. Louis. She retired from CHA in June of 2019.

Sr. Carol worked in administrative and governance positions at hospitals sponsored by the Daughters of Charity for more than 35 years. Prior to joining CHA, she was the board chair of Ascension Health's Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, FL. Previously, she served for 15 years as president and chief executive officer of Providence Hospital in Washington, DC. In the early 1980s, Sr. Carol served as Providence Hospital's vice president for nursing. In addition, she served in leadership positions at Sacred Heart Hospital in Cumberland, MD, and Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Pensacola, FL.

Sr. Carol holds influential roles in the governance of several health care, insurance and educational organizations. In 2014, she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), which advises the nation and international community on issues of vital importance to public health. In 2010 and the ensuing years, Sr. Carol played a central role in advancing the Affordable Care Act and ensuring that it continues to effectively provide health insurance to vulnerable people and working families.

Sr. Carol has been a representative to the International Federation of Catholic Health Care Associations of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care. In addition, she has been a member of several health, labor and domestic policy committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, and serves on the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Washington. Currently, Sr. Carol also serves on the boards of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, St. John's University in Queens, NY, The GHR Foundation, the board of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC and the board of St Vincent De Paul Hospital in Israel.

Her numerous awards and honors include the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Cross for the Church and Pontiff), bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI; the Seton Legacy of Charity Medal; Commonweal Magazine's 2018 Catholic in the Public Square Award, LCWR 2011 Outstanding Leadership Award; the Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award from Catholic Common Ground Initiative; and the Friend of Children Award from Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. In 2010, TIME magazine named Sr. Carol one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World." She has appeared on Modern Healthcare's list of "100 Most Influential People in Healthcare" for several years. In 2013, Sr. Carol was an Opus Prize finalist for successfully addressing the persistent social problem of inadequate access to health care.

Sr. Carol earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg, MD, where she graduated magna cum laude, and a master of science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina, from which she received the School of Business Distinguished Alumna Award in 2000 and was honored in 2009 as an outstanding alumna. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from: Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; St. John's University in Queens, NY; The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA; Niagara University in Niagra, NY; Marymount University in Arlington, VA; DePaul University School for New Learning in Chicago, IL; University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN; Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona, MN; Washington & Jefferson College of Washington, PA; Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University of Santa Clara, CA.


Photo of Aimee MillikenAimee Milliken, PhD, RN HEC-C is the Interim Director of the Ethics Service at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, and formerly practiced as a critical care nurse for over a decade. She received her PhD from Boston College in May, 2017. Her dissertation involved the development and psychometric evaluation of the Ethical Awareness Scale, an instrument to measure ethical awareness in critical care nurses. Subsequently, she completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical ethics, and was awarded funding to study trends in ethics consultation requests. Her current research focuses on fostering ethical awareness in clinicians and developing preventive ethics strategies. She teaches at Harvard Medical School, and has published and presented nationally and internationally on the topics of nursing ethics and clinical ethics.


Photo of Father Myles SheehanMyles N. Sheehan, SJ, MD is a Jesuit priest, physician, and professor of medicine. He joined the Center and the Georgetown Jesuit Community in January 2020. In 2018 he delivered the John Collins Harvey Lecture at the Fifth Annual Pellegrino Symposium.

After graduating from Dartmouth College, Fr. Sheehan attended the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Beth-Israel Hospital in Boston, MA. Following his residency, he began his journey to the Jesuit priesthood, while also pursuing master's degrees in philosophy and health care ethics at Loyola University in Chicago, IL, and  two years in a geriatric medicine fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He earned a master of divinity with distinction from the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, and was ordained as a priest in 1994. In 2017, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from John Carroll University, OH.

For 14 years, Fr. Sheehan worked at Loyola University in Chicago, first as a professor, and eventually as senior associate dean at the Stritch School of Medicine and the Ralph P. Leischner Professor and Chair of the Leischner Institute for Medical Education. When he departed Loyola in 2009 to become the Provincial for the New England Province Society of Jesus, he was praised as one of the university's "most respected and deeply loved faculty members." 

In his role as Provincial, Fr. Sheehan was responsible for the care of the 300 Jesuits in New England. In 2015, he became the Provincial Delegate for Senior Jesuits for the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Society of Jesus, for which he helped supervise the personal care of about 200 Jesuits in four health-care facilities.


Photo of Felicia 'Liz' StokesFelicia "Liz" Stokes, JD, MA, RN is the Director of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights and demonstrates expertise in public policy on ethical issues including end-of-life, intellectual disabilities, artificial intelligence and women's reproductive health. She is an international speaker on the Code of Ethics for Nurses and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. Liz is a former American Academy of Nursing Jonas Policy Scholar. Her expertise and leadership are also demonstrated through various charitable roles in the health and legal communities. Liz's sphere of influence as a nurse-attorney-bioethicist enables a unique contribution to nursing ethics, law and policy.