Dr. Sheehan named new Clinical Chair of Ethics Committee

Psychiatrist Meghan Sheehan, MD, said she’s honored to have been named Clinical Chair of the Ethics Committee at Nebraska Medicine.

“Medical ethics is a longstanding passion of mine. I enjoy the collaboration of a diverse group of colleagues, including ethicists, lawyers, administrators, patient advocates, and healthcare professionals in this important and challenging work,”

Dr. Sheehan arrived at UNMC last summer after working and training at UNC Health Care. While as a psychiatry resident and consult/liaison fellow at UNC, Dr. Sheehan worked within the Ethics Committee and the Complex Care Committee.

“I was inspired early on by two of my mentors at UNC, Gary Gala, MD, a trauma surgeon turned C/L psychiatrist and ethicist, who is now the Vice-Chair of Psychiatry and Co-Chair of the Ethics Committee at UNC. As well as, Arlene Davis, JD, BS, an attorney and the director of the Clinical Ethics Services at UNC,” Dr. Sheehan said.

Dr. Sheehan will work with Jacob Dahlke, the current Chair of the Ethics Committee. Dr. Sheehan calls Dahlke, “UNMC’s talented clinical ethicist.” Dr. Sheehan will be serving as Co-Chair with Carlie Leslie, RN. Leslie will act as Administrative Chair of the Ethics Committee.

“We will continue to work closely together with Jacob and the committee members to serve the needs of UNMC and Nebraska Medicine on every level, from direct patient care to the development of institution-wide policy,” Dr. Sheehan said.

As an assistant professor and C/L psychiatrist, Dr. Sheehan has become well-acquainted with complex ethical challenges.

“This is a natural role for a C/L psychiatrist, and I am glad that Meghan will be representing our department in this important position,” said Dr. Howard Liu, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry.

Additionally, Dr. Sheehan will be working with outpatients in reproductive psychiatry and psycho-oncology.

Joining the ethics committee during the COVID-19 pandemic adds additional ethic challenges.

“We will continue to try to meet those challenges as leaders of healthcare ethics at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine,” said Dr. Sheehan. “While this crisis is the predominant priority of the healthcare system and Ethics Committee, the imperative to meet the needs of UNMC and Nebraska Medicine as a clinical, educational, organizational, research, and business entity remains. In addition to these services, one of my personal goals as the Clinical Chair is to bolster the committee’s educational service and further develop the Ethics Grand Rounds and the Schwartz Rounds.”

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