John G. Carney, MEd

President and CEO
(816) 979-1353

John G. Carney, MEd, became the Center’s second President and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics in December 2011. His commitment to improving shared decision making for patients and families spans three decades. His devoted early career work in the 1980s-2000s to the development of hospice and palliative care in Kansas and throughout the Midwest serving in executive positions at the provider and state association levels. His policy and advocacy work in the areas of aging, advanced illness and advance care planning includes executive leadership positions at the state and national association levels as well. He also served in a senior leadership position at the Center in aging and end of life from 2004 through 2010. His passionate voice advocating for families facing difficult healthcare decisions has been heard in rural communities, town halls and national forums from coast to coast.

In 2008 Carney assisted in co-authoring a report to Congress on Advance Care Planning and working with the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health on improving end of life care for all Americans. He has also been recognized for his leadership in executive management of small healthcare organizations.

He holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Newman University (Wichita, KS) and a master’s from Wichita State University.

Linda Doolin Ward

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
(816) 979-1362

Linda Doolin Ward’s career includes teaching, operations, marketing, communications, training and development, strategic planning and investor relations in both for profit and not for profit sectors.

In 2001, she joined Health Midwest, then the largest healthcare system in the Kansas City region. She served as executive vice president-corporate relations and was part of the team that led Health Midwest through its sale to HCA, the nation’s leading investor-owned hospital company. The sale was said to be the largest transaction of its kind in U.S. history and created the Greater Kansas City Health Care Foundation and REACH Foundation.

Linda joined the staff of the Center for Practical Bioethics in 2004 after serving on the board. She is now Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She has responsibility for finance/audit, planning, governance, resource development including endowment and planned giving as well as operations and program funding, membership, human resources, and has worked with area benefits leaders to develop a corporate program offering employees education in advance care planning as well as coaching and advocacy when dealing with advanced illness.

She has served on the board of MetroCare/NorthlandCare since inception in 2006, a program incubated at the Center that provides specialty care for people without access to care. She served as board chair in 2013 and 2014. She is also a member of KU Med Center’s Institute for Neurological Disorders Advisory Council, the advisory board of the National Research Network of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Central Exchange.

She has participated as retreat facilitator with the Frontiers Leadership Team, a regional consortium managing a $20 million CTSA – Clinical and Translational Science Award.

She served on the board for the United Way of Greater Kansas City and chaired their Health Impact Council. She was the first woman to serve as chairman of the board of trustees of Westminster College and was honored by them with an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2004. After 23 years on that board, she was named a life trustee in 2009. She has been a director of Lawson Bank since 1999.

Linda is an active participant in the Women’s Public Service Network and co-founded the Northland Giving Circle. She is past chair of the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri, which focuses on development of the Riverfront and the former Richards-Gebaur air base. She served on the founding board of the Northland Community Foundation and continued on that board for 21 years, four years as chair. The fund has grown from nothing but an idea at its founding in 1987 to assets of nearly $50 million.

She is also past chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund, The Harvest Ball Society and the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City. She is past vice-chair of the Partnership for Children and Crittenden.

Linda has been named a Churchill Fellow of Westminster College and Central Exchange Woman of the Year. She is the recipient of the Gillis Spirit of Kansas City Award, the Ann Robb Townsend Award for Business Leadership, and Kansas City Tomorrow’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2007 was honored with the Look North Award from the Clay County Economic Development Council. In 2009, she received the Pinnacle Award from the Northland Community Foundation.

Richard Payne, MD

John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics

Richard Payne, MD, is the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Missouri and the Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity at Duke Divinity School, Duke University. At the Center Dr. Payne is the Medical Director for PAINS and co-edits PAINS policy and educational briefs. He is also the director of a project on conflict of interest in public-private partnerships and working on research ethics focused on expanded access to drugs in development. Dr. Payne travels extensively lecturing on bioethics and palliative care for the Center.

Dr. Payne holds a joint appointment in the Divinity and Medical Schools at Duke University. At the Duke Medical Center he is as a Faculty Associate of the Trent Center in Bioethics and a member of the Duke Cancer Center. At the Duke Divinity School, Dr. Payne was Director of the Duke Institute for Care at the End of Life (2004-2012) and is currently a member of the Ministry Division and Program in Medicine, Theology and Culture. He teaches courses in pastoral care at the end of life.

Dr. Payne received his B.A in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, 1973 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, 1977. He completed his post-graduate training in medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston (1979); in neurology at the Cornell Campus of the New York Presbyterian Hospital (1982); and fellowship training in pharmacology, neuro-oncology and pain medicine at Weill Cornell Medical School and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (1984). He was a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Medical Faculty Development Program (now called The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, 1981-1984). He is board certified in neurology with added qualifications in pain management and palliative medicine.

Prior to his appointment at Duke and the Center, he served as Chief, Pain and Symptom Management Section, Dept. Neurology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (1992-1998), Houston, TX, and from 1998-2004 led the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City where he held the Anne Burnett Tandy Chair in Neurology, and was Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University.

He has served as chairs of the board of directors of the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA), the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship as a board member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). He has also served on numerous federal panels at the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine, and has given expert testimony to Congressional Committees and the President’s Cancer Panel in the areas of health disparities, pain management and palliative care. From 2003-2004, he served as President of the American Pain Society.

Dr. Payne currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Hastings Bioethics Center, where he also chairs a selection committee for the Hastings Center-Cunniff-Dixon Foundation Physician Excellence Awards in End-of-Life Care. He also serves on medical advisory boards for QRx Pharma and Prolong Pharmaceuticals (board chair), and is a consultant for Vitas Innovative Hospice Care.

Dr. Payne is an internationally known expert in neurology, oncology, pain management and palliative care, and bioethics, and has more than 275 publications in these fields. He has also edited 4 books and has given a number of endowed lectures, including the Jules Rominger Lecture (Mercy Health System, Philadelphia); Florence M. Lockhart Nimick Lectur, Univ. Pittsburgh Medical Center; Humphrey Oei Distinguished Lecture at the Lien Palliative Care Center-National Cancer Institute in Singapore; Josephina Magno Lecture at Capital Hospice; and Rosemary Flanagan Lecture at the Center for Practical Bioethics. Among his many awards are the Distinguished Service Award from the American Pain Society, the John J. Bonica Leadership Award from the Eastern Pain Association, the Humanitarian Service Award from the Urban Resources Institute, the Pioneer Award from Operation Rainbow/PUSH, the Excellence in Pain Award from Janssen Pharmaceutical, and the Vision to Action Award from the Center for Practical Bioethics (2013).

Tarris Rosell, DMin, PhD

Rosemary Flanigan Chair
(816) 979-1361

Tarris “Terry” Rosell, DMin, PhD, serves in the Rosemary Flanigan Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics. In that role, and contractually on behalf of the Center, Dr. Rosell does bioethics education and consultation at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (Chair, Department of Bioethics) and the University of Kansas Medical Center (Clinical Associate Professor, School of Medicine). He is also, for many years, a Professor of Pastoral Theology (Ethics and Ministry Praxis) at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.

Dr. Rosell completed a fellowship in clinical ethics at Vanderbilt University and earned the PhD there in Ethics and Society from the graduate department of religion. His first doctorate is in Pastoral Theology from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School.

From 2006-10, he served as co-director of Sabbaths of Hope, a grant-funded project with Mental Health America of the Heartland, which empowers faith leaders to address the stigma of depression and inequitable access to treatment. He concurrently directed another disparities initiative ultimately incorporated as MetroCARE, a referral network of volunteer healthcare providers for low income uninsured persons.

Dr. Rosell provides ethics consultation for the University of Kansas Hospital, where he co-chairs the Hospital Ethics Committee and directs the Ethics Consultation Service. He co-founded at Saint Luke’s the Schwartz Center Rounds, Human Values Rounds (for internal medicine residents), and Compassionate Caregiver Rounds, serving in a facilitator role for nearly a decade. He has served on numerous other institutional committees and groups pertaining to medical education, research ethics, and clinical ethics, including the Clinical Ethics Consultation Affairs committee of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities. Dr. Rosell chairs the Program Committee for the 2015 annual meeting of ASBH.

For three years, Dr. Rosell was a consultant for Duke University’s Institute on Care at the End of Life for the St. John Health—Duke Collaboration for Palliative Care in metro Detroit. That project engaged faith communities regarding palliative and end-of-life care.
He continues to resource the Center’s longstanding commitment to promoting advance care planning through Compassion Sabbath and other program initiatives.

Dr. Rosell lectures widely, especially in the Greater Kansas City area and throughout the Midwest. He has also taught internationally, most recently in the Philippines (2009 and 2010), Kenya (2011), and Myanmar (2014 and 2015).

Ethics articles by Tarris Rosell are found in numerous periodicals, both print and electronic. He contributed a chapter to the 2008 Cambridge University publication, Complex Ethics Consultation: Cases that Haunt Us, and another to a 2011 publication by Johns Hopkins University Press, Controversial Bodies, on the ethics of plastinated bodies exhibition. Several co-authored research articles are forthcoming in 2015, and another book chapter, also.

Terry lives in the Kansas City area with his life partner, the Reverend Dr. Ruth Rosell. They have four adult children and a son-in-law. When not engaged in ethics work, Terry (mostly) enjoys working on a long-term rehab project on a rural Kansas lake property—to which he hopes someday to retire with Ruth, and there to live the life of a grandfather-artist.

Myra Christopher

Kathleen M. Foley Chair for Pain and Palliative Care
(816) 979-1350

Myra Christopher holds the Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care at the Center for Practical Bioethics. Prior to December 2011, Ms. Christopher was President and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics since its inception in 1985. From 1998-2003, she served as the national program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for State-based Initiatives to Improve End-of Life Care which was housed at the Center. These roles have allowed Christopher to continue her lifelong mission to improve care for seriously ill people and their families.

Because of Christopher’s involvement with the Nancy Beth Cruzan case, Senator John Danforth sought her assistance in drafting and introducing the Patient Self-Determination Act, which became law in 1990. She consulted with the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on patients’ rights and organizational ethics standards and developed Beyond Compliance, resource materials and a seminar for the Joint Commission that was presented across the country.

She served as a public outreach advisor to Bill Moyers on for his PBS documentary, On Our Own Terms, worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to present the first national conference on palliative care in nursing homes, directed Community State Partnerships to Improve End-of-Life Care, an $11.25 million grant award program, collaborated with the National Association of Attorneys General to establish palliative care as a consumer protection issue, edited State Initiatives to Improve End-of-Life Care, and collaborated with the RAND Institute to develop a report to congress on advance care planning.

Since the late 1990’s, Christopher has expanded the scope of her work to include the under treatment of chronic pain. She speaks and writes about both pain and palliative care. She was a reviewer on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Dying in America, which was published in 2014. She is currently the principal investigator on the Pain Action Initiative: A National Strategy (PAINS) and serves as Chair of the PAINS Steering Committee. PAINS’ mission is to improve care for the more than 100 million Americans who struggle with chronic pain.

From 2010-11, she served as a member of Pain Study Committee at the IOM focused on the under-treatment of pain. The committee submitted its report, Relieving Pain In American: A Blueprint for Transformation in Prevention, Care, Education and Research, to Congress in June 2011. In 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appointed her to the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee at the National Institutes of Health. In that capacity she has served on the Oversight Committee for HHS’ National Pain Strategy Report, to be published in 2015. Christopher has consulted with many organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, AARP and others to promote pain and palliative care as a public health issue.

On behalf of the Center for Practical Bioethics, she participated in founding the Coalition to Transform Advanced Illness in Washington, DC and served on its incorporating board.
Christopher is currently on the boards of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation and the Coalition for Physician Accountability. She has served on many boards of directors and advisory boards locally and nationally, including the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Duke University Institute for Care at the End of Life, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and the University of Kansas School of Nursing.

Christopher has received many awards for the work she has done to improve care for those suffering from advanced illness and chronic pain, including The American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Patient Advocacy Award, the American Academy of Pain Management’s “Head Heart" Award, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care President’s Award, the W.F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service/William Jewell College, the American Academy of Critical Care Nursing’s Pioneering Spirit Award, the Marian Gray Secundy SANKOFA Award for work to improve palliative and end-of-life care for African Americans, the National Association of Attorneys General President’s Award, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC), the Honorary Alumnus of the Year Kansas University School of Nursing, and Nonprofit Professional of the Year from Nonprofit Connect.

In December 2011, Christopher received an Honorary Doctorate from National University Health Sciences in Chicago in March 2015 was inducted into the inaugural class of the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame at UMKC.

Kathy Greenlee, JD

Vice President of Aging and Health Policy

Kathy Greenlee came to the Center at the beginning of November 2016 to work on issues that impact older adults and people with disabilities, with an emphasis on advanced illness and end-of-life care. Kathy is responsible for promoting increased use of Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP) in Missouri and Kansas. She will also engage with community based aging and disability organizations around issues relating to advanced illness and end of life care. Kathy is interested in improving transitions of care by creating systems that build relationships between health care providers and community based organizations. She is a passionate advocate on issues relating to elder abuse and will continue to provide local and national leadership in the areas of elder abuse prevention and response.

As Assistant Secretary for Aging in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2009 to 2016, Greenlee was responsible for leadership and management of the Administration on Aging and program implementation of the Older Americans Act. Greenlee led an effort to create the Administration for Community Living (ACL), an agency the administers a broad range of aging and disability programs. When she left her dual positions, ACL had a staff of more than 200 and an annual budget of $1.9 billion.

While in Washington, Greenlee provided national leadership on elder abuse by tackling issues on multiple fronts domestically and internationally. On behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, she chaired the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Committee. She also created the first-ever federal home for state adult protective services programs and created the first national data collection system. Kathy co-chaired the HHS LGBT Issues Coordinating Committee, an endeavor that resulted in comprehensive program and policy improvements on behalf of LGBT individuals.

Prior to leaving for Washington, Kathy spent 18 years in Kansas state government. She served as Secretary for Aging for Governor Kathleen Sebelius and she is a former Kansas State Long Term Care Ombudsman. A lawyer by training, Greenlee was also General Counsel of the Kansas Insurance Department and an Assistant Attorney General for Attorney General Bob Stephan.

Greenlee has an undergraduate degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of Kansas. She is a native Kansan and a proud Jayhawk. Among her many interests and activities, international travel makes her happiest of all.

Jan Evans, CPA

(816) 979-1355

Jan Evans joined the Center in January 2011, as fund accountant. Jan has over 30 years of varied business experience, primarily in the areas of non-profit accounting and budgeting. She also has been involved in education, teaching several high school business courses. Jan was an active member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary Educational Sorority, and a member of the Missouri Association of Certified Public Accountants. Jan holds a B.A. in Business Education from Avila University and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting and Finance from Rockhurst University. She has her Certified Public Accountant certificate and is licensed to practice in the state of Missouri.

Cindy Leyland

Director of Program Operations
(816) 979-1357

Cindy Leyland serves as the Director of Program Operations and is responsible for creation, implementation and management of administrative, financial, and operational systems and processes in support of executive and program leadership needs. Cindy also supports resource development work of the Center through prospect identification and management, grant writing and management. Cindy is a highly skilled project director and is responsible for day-to-day operations, budget oversight, and grant management for the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) team and she leads the Citizen Leadership Group of Relieving Pain in Kansas City.

Cindy came to the Center in 2005 as project director for the Kansas City Partnership to Advance Pediatric Palliative Care, the Center-sponsored initiative which helped to organize, strengthen and promote access to the area’s palliative care services for children, their families and health care providers. She also supported the KC4 Aging in Community initiative.

Before coming to the Center, Cindy spent five years at Community Action Partnership of Greater St. Joseph, an agency dedicated to the elimination of poverty in four northwest Missouri counties. During her tenure there, she oversaw direct emergency service delivery, as well as community organizing projects specifically focused on advocacy and policy development at the local, state and federal levels. She is a graduate of Benedictine College’s Executive MBA program, with emphasis on leadership, entrepreneurship and transformational strategic planning, and has served on the boards of Synergy Services and the American Lung Association of Western Missouri. She volunteers regularly at Safe Haven, a domestic violence shelter.

Leslie Ann McNolty

Program Associate
(816) 979-1394

Leslie Ann McNolty joined the Center in November 2014 as a Program Associate. She received B.A. degrees in Philosophy and Political Science with a Secondary Degree in Women's Studies at Kansas State University before taking her M.A. in philosophy from Rice University in Houston, TX. Currently, she is completing a doctorate in bioethics from Albany Medical College. She teaches in the philosophy department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and in the bioethics department at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Trudi Galdblum

Marketing & Communications
(913) 961-0129

A native of Washington, D.C., Trudi began her career with the federal Department of Health and Human Services, first as a research analyst in the Baltimore, Maryland, headquarters of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid supervising demonstration grants and contracts, and subsequently in the DHHS Kansas City Regional Office as a project officer for a quality of care peer review organization.

As director of marketing and communications for the Center for Practical Bioethics since 2013, she develops strategy and implements tactics to build awareness and support for the Center’s work.

Since starting Galblum Communications in 1991, she has helped more than 80 organizations, from small shops to large institutions, to develop community support for their missions through public relations, grantwriting, development communications and historical documentation for print, web and mobile platforms, as well as video and social media. From 1991 until joining the Center, Trudi led marketing and communications for Nonprofit Connect, which provides education, resources and networking to help nonprofits more effectively achieve their missions.

Trudi holds a Master of Policy Sciences degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned a Nonprofit Fund Raising Certificate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Bloch School of Business and Public Administration and also has extensive nonprofit board experience.


Clinical Ethics Associate

Dr. Maria Fox is a Clinical Ethics Associate at the Center for Practical Bioethics, working part-time in bioethics while also an Advanced Practice Nurse in Palliative Care at the University of Kansas Hospital. She serves there on the Hospital Ethics Committee and Consultation Service, assisting her Center colleague, Dr. Terry Rosell, in the fulfillment of contractual responsibilities related to clinical ethics education, policy and consultation. Dr. Fox also serves with Center colleagues in adjunctive bioethics education of students at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Maria was born in Peru and immigrated to the USA with her family at a very young age. She grew up in Chicago and around the other side of the "Big Lake" in the southwest part of Michigan. Dr. Fox earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and just recently completed a doctoral degree in nursing practice at the University of Kansas.

Throughout Maria's early nursing career, which was primarily in intensive care units, she was on the front line to witness wonderful, innovative and life-saving interventions. At the same time, she recognized that the dying process can be prolonged with those very same interventions. Maria obtained a Certificate in Bioethics from Rush University in 2000, and subsequently has been involved on Ethics committees in several hospitals while in a nursing role.

Maria's passion is to support front-line nurses in provision of compassionate and ethical nursing care for patients and their families, especially those patients who are critically ill or at high risk for dying.

Matthew Pjecha

Operations Specialist
(816) 979-1366

Matthew Pjecha joined the center in January 2016 as the Operations Specialist. He works on the TPOPP program, the Ethics Committee Consortium, the Organizational Membership Program, and manages technology and media assets.

Matthew received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Missouri - Kansas City in May of 2012 where he focused on bioethics and philosophy of science. He then completed an M.S. in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May of 2014 focusing on health policy and science and technology studies.

Monica Delles

Operations Assistant

Monica Delles joined the Center in July 2016 as the Operations Assistant. Monica has a diverse professional background including non-profit volunteer coordination, co-owning a store-front business, professional sales, college and corporate computer training, and freelance writing. Monica has always enjoyed volunteering in her community and is currently serving as a deacon in her church.

Although she has called Kansas City home for 20 years, Monica grew up living in numerous states - mainly on the east coast - and overseas. She did stay on the Virginia Peninsula long enough to earn her BA in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing from Christopher Newport University.