Bioethics has been front and center recently: The opioid crisis, Alzheimer’s care, COVID-19, organ transplants, telemedicine, vaccines, and countless other issues raise ethical dilemmas affecting our lives. With this heightened visibility, how can bioethics leaders impact the pivotal decisions that are being made about health, health care, and the life sciences today?
To help answer that question, The Greenwall Foundation has
established two overarching strategic priorities that will guide its activities
and amplify its impact in 2022 and beyond: shaping and supporting a broad,
inclusive bioethics and increasing bioethics’ impact on policymaking. With
these priorities as a guiding star, the Foundation will work to ensure that a
strong, informed, and equipped bioethics shows up to the table as decisions are
being made – a bioethics that welcomes and reflects many voices and is a key
partner in policy decisions affecting our health and well-being.
“By working to develop and nurture a broader, more inclusive field, we can better realize the potential of bioethics to engage a wide range of stakeholders on issues that affect all of us,” said Foundation President & CEO, Michelle Groman, JD. “We also want to meet policymakers where they are and to understand their needs, so we can help them make the most-informed decisions possible in our rapidly changing world,” she noted.
Priority 1: Shaping and supporting a broad, inclusive bioethics.
- The Foundation will support a “wide umbrella” of bioethics work, embracing diversity along several axes, including – but not limited to – racial and ethnic diversity, gender diversity, political diversity, institutional diversity, and disciplinary diversity. By inviting and welcoming into bioethics those who have otherwise been excluded or might not self-identify with the field, the Foundation aims to broaden the impact and reach of the field.
- “Bioethics is at its best when people with different perspectives come together to develop thoughtful solutions to pressing challenges,” said Board Chair, James Tulsky, MD. “The Foundation is in a unique position to reflect a broad understanding of bioethics topics and scholars in the work we fund and to amplify the voices of bioethics scholars who exist outside of traditional frameworks,” he added.
Priority 2: Increasing bioethics’ impact on policymaking.
- As underscored by the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical for bioethics to be at the table when public policy decisions are being made. The Foundation will fund critical research that informs policy and work to get actionable research in the hands of policymakers.
- “As we breach new territory in healthcare, science, and technology, we encounter exciting possibilities to advance our health and well-being; we also face complex ethical questions about how we ought to proceed,” said Ms. Groman. “Fortifying the relationship between bioethics and policy will help decision-makers navigate conflicting points of view and find the best way forward,” she continued.
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The Greenwall Foundation plans to pilot new initiatives
aligned with these strategic priorities in the coming months and years. To stay
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