Humility Health and Healing

Humility, Health, and Healing:
Where Do We Go From Here?

2021 Annual Event

Originally Aired on February 25, 2021

Watch Dr. Kerzin discuss the benefits of meditation.

February 25, 2021

Dr. Barry Kerzin serves as personal physician to the Dalai Lama. He also is the founder of the Altruism in Medicine Institute, whose mission is to increase compassion and resilience among healthcare professionals and their patients. The Institute also addresses systemic issues of racism and equity.

Dr. Kerzin’s keynote address will focus on humility, health and healing, which prompts us to reflect on where we go from here? How should we proceed on our journey to recover from the most devastating plague the planet has faced in more than century and resolve, not only to heal our wounds but prevent such future devastation?

Dr. Kerzin holds a deep commitment to the poor and those who live on the edges of life. He trained as a physician in the allopathic model of western medicine and embraces the concept that altruism can and should be a primary driver in caring for both patient and self. His commitment to humility in the healing arts teaches that resiliency and mindfulness can become paths in moving beyond fear and anxiety – reducing and eliminating “fear dragons” by embracing them in order to overcome them.


International Impact


Dr. Kerzin has provided Ethical Leadership Corporate Training Programs to develop and cultivate skill development for healthcare professions, particularly through compassion, mindfulness and resiliency. He holds Affiliate Professor positions at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and the University of Pittsburgh, and is a Visiting Professor at Central University of Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), an Honorary Professor at the Mongolian National University of Medical Science, and a former Assistant Professor. of Medicine at the University of Washington. He is also a fellow at the Mind and Life Institute and consults for the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig on compassion training.

Vision to Action Award

About Dr. Steven Stites

Nearly every day since the pandemic began, the University of Kansas Health System has provided daily updates on how COVID-19 is impacting the region’s healthcare system and community. Leading those updates with special guests have been Chief Medical Officer Steven Stites, MD, and Dana Hawkinson, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

The Vision to Action Award is the highest recognition awarded by the Center and reserved for those who have demonstrated through their leadership, vision and commitment the highest ethical standards of conduct driven by shared values and virtues.

In accepting the award, Dr. Stites stipulates that he does so on behalf of patients, families, advocates of science, healthcare professionals, essential workers and public health officials responding to COVID across the region.


KU Leadership

Dr. Stites specializes in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and serves a dual role as Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs and Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs for The University of Kansas Hospital Authority.

As Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, he works to fully integrate clinical departments into a wider-reaching health system and to ensure a strong strategic plan for educating future physicians and growing the academic strength of clinical programs. As Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs, Dr. Stites has responsibilities especially in the area of clinical programs and practice development, as well as strategic planning and education.

Under his leadership, the Department of Internal Medicine saw significant growth. Six Internal Medicine divisions — pulmonary medicine, nephrology, cardiology, oncology, endocrinology and gastroenterology — earned top 50 U.S. News and World Report rankings in 2013. The medical intensive care unit is one of the country’s best, with a Beacon Award to its name.

Special Interests

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Stites directs KU Medical Center’s Cystic Fibrosis Center, having founded the adult CF program in 1994. It’s now one of the larger adult programs in the United States, with more than 150 patients.

His areas of research include investigating different methods of airway clearance for adult CF patients and how these affect the distribution of inhaled medicines. He has also written at length on the ways and means of developing mission-based funding for academic departments: the Educational Value Unit (EVU) system — specifically aligning salary support for faculty with each individual’s educational responsibilities — which he published in 2005, has been adopted by several other institutions.

Honorary Co-Chairs

Deborah Sosland-Edelman and Alan Edelman Debbie is the Executive Director of the Sosland Foundation, where she administers grants to social welfare, education, health-related, civic, cultural arts and Jewish organizations in the Kansas City area. She earned her doctoral degree in developmental and child psychology from the University of Kansas and her undergraduate degree from Smith College. Alan is the former Director of Engagement and Leadership Development for the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. He earned his Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Kansas. In addition to serving on the board of the Center for Practical Bioethics, Alan’s volunteer efforts focus on inter-faith and multi-cultural programming, including guest theologian for many churches, universities and seminaries. Combined, Alan and Debbie serve or have served on more than 35 local, regional, national and international boards and committees. They are the proud parents of three children and two grandchildren.


Advancing Ethics Education and Justice for All

  • Patients and families facing serious illness
  • Advocates for racial and vaccine equity
  • Health professionals and students
  • Hospital and provider ethics committees

Past Events

Inviting dinner table set.

Please join us on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at The Abbott in KCMO. Keynote Speaker is Daniela Lamas, MD.

The front of the Fire House KC event building.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Join us for a “fireside chat” and mingle with the expert leaders of services to help healthcare organizations integrate ethics into all facets of their organizations.

Talias Voice logo and a collage of pictures of Talia.

Thursday, September 21, 2023
You can hear me, but are you listening? Listening to the Patient’s Voice

Dr. Jeff Goldenberg and Naomi Kirtner, are the parents of Talia Goldenberg, who died tragically at age 23 following spinal surgery. Talia, her physician father and her mother pleaded with doctors and medical staff, urging them to recognize that Talia couldn’t breathe. Talia’s parents have a powerful story to share.

Advance Care Planning Training — Open to Everyone
Thursday, April 27, 2023, 12 noon – 1 PM CT
Thursday, May 25, 2023, 12 noon – 1 PM CT

An inspirational morning exploring how listening to stories and creating art depicting the wishes of elders can open new pathways to connection, reconciliation and peace.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Continental Breakfast 8:30-9:00 AM
Symposium 9:00 AM – Noon

Thursday, November 3, 2022

In this free webinar, we invite new and current users to learn about the new TPOPP/POLST Clinical Guide and form.

Advance Care Planning Training
Open to Everyone

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Thursday, September 8, 2022

In this free webinar, we invite you to participate in a conversation with Dr. Sanne Magnan about what you can do to address the social determinants of health and to advance health equity in your communities.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Nurse leaders will address the nursing crisis using ethics to understand what is going on and what might be a fitting response. Join us in-person for the reception and lecture or virtually for the lecture. Registration is free.

An exhibition celebrating the wishes of elders and protecting the interests of those whose voices have not been heard or heeded.

May 12, 2022
Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
2012 Baltimore

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