Dr. Kathleen Powderly Elected a Fellow at The Hastings Center

Oct 27, 2016

Brooklyn, NY – Kathleen Powderly, PhD, CNM, director of the John Conley Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has been elected a fellow of The Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institute whose mission is to address fundamental ethical issues in health, health care, life-sciences research, and the environment affecting individuals, communities, and societies. The first organization of its kind, The Hastings Center was instrumental in establishing bioethics as a field of study.

Michael Lucchesi, MD, officer in charge of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, said, “I congratulate Dr. Powderly on receiving this great honor in the field of bioethics. Our campus thanks her for her tireless efforts on behalf of our students, trainees, faculty, and patients."

Dr. Powderly said, “I am very honored to join this prestigious group of friends and colleagues. I would like to thank everyone at Downstate for supporting my work. I am especially grateful to Dr. Monika Conley, president of the John Conley Foundation for Ethics and Philosophy in Medicine, whose generous support has allowed us to promote a deeper understanding of bioethics for our students, residents, and faculty.”

Hastings Center fellows are an elected group of individuals of outstanding accomplishment, whose work has informed scholarship and/or public understanding of complex ethical issues. Their common distinguishing feature is uncommon insight and impact in areas of critical concern to the Center – how best to understand and manage the inevitable values questions, moral uncertainties, and societal effects that arise as a consequence of advances in the life sciences, the need to improve health and health care for people of all ages, and mitigation of human impact on the natural world.

Dr. Powderly joined the Downstate faculty in 1989, shortly after the Division of Humanities in Medicine was founded. Dr. Powderly holds faculty appointments in Downstate’s College of Medicine (obstetrics/gynecology) and in the College of Nursing. She is a nurse-midwife by background and holds a BS in nursing (Niagara University), an MSN in maternal and newborn nursing/nurse-midwifery (Yale University), and an MPhil and PhD in sociomedical sciences (social science and public health; Columbia University). She is a clinical ethicist and the ethics consultant to University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) and Kings County Hospital Center (KCHC).

Dr. Powderly is vice chair of the Ethics Committee at UHB/KCHC and has served as a vice chair of the Ethics Council of NYC Health+Hospitals. She is also a member of the Institutional Review Board of Public Health Solutions and the Ethics Committee of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She formerly served on the Ethics Committee of the SUNY University Faculty Senate and the Clinical Ethics Consultation Affairs standing committee of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, and recently served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors.

Dr. Powderly is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and has been an adjunct associate at The Hastings Center. In addition to committee activities at Downstate, Dr. Powderly has served as the secretary of the Executive Committee of the Faculty and Professional Staff of Downstate’s College of Medicine since 2006, and as a sub-committee chair coordinating historical symposia and content for Downstate’s sesquicentennial celebration. She has been principal investigator for grants from the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Historic Publications and Records Administration.



About SUNY Downstate Medical Center

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively.

SUNY Downstate ranks twelfth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.