HEC Forum

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 211–227

Beyond Trail Blazing: A Roadmap for New Healthcare Ethics Leaders (and the People Who Hire Them)



This article is intended to serve as a roadmap to help new healthcare ethics leaders establish or renew an ethics program in a healthcare organization. The authors share a systemic step-by-step process for navigating this early career passage. In this paper, we describe five critical success strategies and provide explanations and concrete tools to help get you on the road to success as quickly and painlessly as possible. We will discuss how to define your role; diagnose your organization’s needs; build important relationships; and develop a strategic plan for starting or revitalizing an ethics program. We also review some of the more personal challenges that may be encountered along the way, and identify social supports and self-care strategies. The advice we provide grows out of reflections on our collective experience as new ethics leaders in three Ontario healthcare organizations.


Ethics leadership Healthcare ethics roles Healthcare ethics program Ethics planning 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of BioethicsQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Kingston General HospitalKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Hamilton Health SciencesHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  5. 5.London Health Sciences CentreLondonCanada

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