Annual Dinner


April 9 | 5:30 – 9:00 pm
Kansas City Marriott Muehlebach

The Center thanks everyone who made our 2019 Annual Dinner a great success:

  • Generous sponsors, led by North Kansas City Hospital and Saint Luke's Health System, with other major support from HCA Midwest Health, The University of Kansas Health System, Bert Berkley in memory of Joan Berkley, and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
  • Wonderful co-chairs Wayne and Julie Carter
  • Talented artists Robyn Nichols, Marn Jensen and Andy Newcom
  • Passionate and provocative keynote speaker Jamie Metzl
  • Dynamic Vision to Action Honorees Jim and Lisa Spigarelli
  • Board Chair Sandra Stites and Vice Chair Eva Karp for their roles in the program, along with dedicated board members who support us in so many ways throughout the year

Jamie's keynote address explored the delicate and fascinating world of genetic engineering that not only lies ahead but has already begun to unfold, as described in his book, "Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity," released on April 23, 2019. After dinner, Jamie delved deeper into some of these issues in response to questions posed by our President and CEO John G. Carney.

Jim and Lisa Spigarelli accepted the 2019 Vision to Action Award with recognition of Kansas City as a place where organizations like the Center receive the support they need to grow and make a difference.

The program also featured videos showing how the Center's work in advance care planning and bioethics education is making an impact locally, regionally and nationally, as well as a poignant memorial tribute to our John B. Francis Chair, Dr. Richard Payne, who died on January 3, 2019.

 For more images from the annual dinner, please visit our Facebook page:


* Please select a video segment using the Menu in the Upper Left Corner. 


Bioethics Education In The Information Age
A Tribute to Dr. Richard Payne
New Frontiers In Advance Care Planning


Richard Payne, MD, served as the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at CPB from January 2013 until his sudden and tragic death on January 3, 2019. We will honor his memory and life of service with a special tribute during our ceremonies. Guests of the dinner are also invited to a public memorial service on April 10, 2019 at Community Christian Church in Kansas City. 




Wayne and Julie Carter

Wayne Carter, DVM, PhD, recently stepped down as CEO of  BioNexus KC to move to Atlanta, where his wife, Julie Carter, JD, joined St. Mary’s Health Care System as vice president of mission services. A veterinarian by training, Wayne led BioNexus KC, formerly known as the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, for more than six years. Julie was previously a mission leader intern at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas.


James and Lisa Spigarelli

As President and CEO of MRI Global, Jim Spigarelli, PhD, was responsible for all aspects managing, operating, and developing the Institute in addition to holding many leadership positions in academic and business communities. Jim joined the Center’s board in 2011 and served as Board Chair in 2013 and 2014. “After experiencing the death of my daughter from cancer,” he said, “the Center’s long history of helping families with the most difficult medical decisions became personal.”


Robyn Nichols

Silversmith Robyn Nichols’ handcrafted jewelry, tableware and sculpture are collected and displayed in world-renowned museums, including the Smithsonian and the Nelson-Atkins. This year, Robyn is creating a custom piece in addition to her signature argentium sterling silver gingko leaf brooch.

Marn Jensen and Andy Newcom

Marn has been part of the Hallmark Creative Community for over 30 years. As a mixed-media artist, she often incorporates found or antique objects in her work to add texture and story within each piece. Andy has been creating art since his debut as the youngest exhibitor in the Plaza Art Fair at age 16. At Hallmark, he has been a Senior Photo Stylist for the past 20 years and enjoys teaching macramé workshops at Hallmark and beyond. Andy and Marn shared Hallmark’s 2017 Barbara Marshall Award. The result was “Wishes for the World,” an exhibit inspired by conversations with more than 70 older adults and their 250 wishes for themselves, families and the world. Watch the “Wishes for the World” video on YouTube.

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