Myra Christopher has been president and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics since its inception in 1985. In addition to providing oversight to the Center, from 1998 to 2003 she served as national program officer of The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for Community-State Partnerships to Improve End-of Life Care, which was housed at the Center. These roles have allowed Ms. Christopher to continue her lifelong mission to improve care for seriously ill people and their families. She consulted with the Joint Commission 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 has collaborated with the National Association of Attorneys General to establish palliative care as a consumer protection issue. Since the late 1990s, Ms. Christopher has expanded the scope of her work to include the undertreatment of chronic pain and has worked with the American Pain Foundation, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pain Medicine, Federation of State Medical Boards, Drug Enforcement Administration, and others to improve care for people living with chronic pain. Currently she is co-directing The Transformation Project: A New Initiative to Improve Advanced Illness Care. She is also principal investigator for the Pain Action Initiative: A National Strategy (PAINS). This project will assess capacity and readiness nationwide to develop a coordinated plan for improving care for the millions of Americans who struggle with chronic pain. In 2001, Ms. Christopher was named Kathleen M. Floey Chair in Pain and Palliative care at the Center for Practical Bioethics.
John Farrar, M.D., Ph.D., is associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His research expertise is related to pain, including the use of new pain medications, brain function in people with pain, complementary and alternative therapies, and new methodologies for understanding how patients report their pain in clinical trials. His current research includes ongoing studies of acupuncture for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis patients and chronic fatigue in cancer patients, brain imaging of patients with pain, and studies of pain related to cancer treatment. Dr. Farrar focuses clinically on all aspects of pain and symptom therapy in cancer patients as a member of the Symptom and Palliative Care Team and as a collaborator in the development of a multidisciplinary program for the evaluation and treatment of patients with pain.
Kenneth A. Follett, M.D., Ph.D., is Nancy A. Keegan and Donald R. Voelte, Jr., chair of neurosurgery, professor and chief of the Division of Neurosurgery, interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, and program director for the neurological surgery residency training program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). In addition to his clinical, academic, and educational responsibilities in the Division of Neurosurgery, Dr. Follett is a faculty member