The Center for Bioethics and Health Policy (CBHP) was founded as a center for excellence at Augusta University in 2006. Its purpose is to help ensure the institution is well positioned to address the complex, diverse health challenges we all face in the 21st Century. Our affiliated faculty come from a wide range of disciplines across the health and social sciences, and the humanities and liberal arts. This breadth of expertise equips CBHP to address issues within and across clinical care and public health; and, importantly, to bring novel approaches and fresh perspectives to critical issues.
We appreciate that it is not only the skills and passion of our affiliated faculty and staff that are important in our endeavor to conduct research that positively impacts the health and wellbeing of our communities, locally and nationally. Impactful and respectful research requires engagement with and the participation of these communities. For this reason, we have introduced community engagement and advocacy as a priority area in our current strategic research plan (2021-2026).
Ethics and the Health Professions: Fundamental to the work of CBHP is its provision of ethical and policy support for the clinical services provided by the Augusta University Medical Center, including its Clinical Ethics service.
Current Focus: Includes the development of ethical and policy support to aid the working of interprofessional healthcare teams.
Public Health: Ethics and Policy:Many contemporary health challenges are public health issues. For example, the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders, childhood vaccination, obesity, Covid-19, and access to affordable health care all present issues that require a response that is community-based, and not only focused on individuals.
Current Focus: This includes the need to understand public anxieties about the impact of public health on individual freedoms; and the development of ethical and policy strategies to respond to such concerns.
Community Engagement, Social Justice and Advocacy: The health and wellbeing of our local communities is negatively impacted by multiple health challenges. These issues are often rooted in and exacerbated by pronounced racial disparities and suspicion/distrust of health services. These issues have deep historical roots. The CBHP takes seriously its responsibility to develop and lead a sustainable work program that listens to and secures the participation of members of its local communities.
Current Focus: The development of relationships and ethical tools needed to support community health advocates.