Community Honors Bioethicist Peter A. Clark, S.J.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2018) – Peter A. Clark, S.J., ’75, professor and director of the Institute of Clinical Bioethics (ICB), was awarded the Waldron Legacy Award at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital’s 100th Anniversary Gala on Friday, March 23. Fr. Clark will also be named as one of Main Line Today’s 2018 Healthcare Heroes on Wednesday, May 16.

“I am humbled to be recognized for advocating for the poor, the uninsured, the underinsured and the undocumented,” says Fr. Clark.

Since joining the SJU faculty in 1996, Fr. Clark’s scholarship has considered numerous contemporary issues in medical bioethics. He has authored more than 150 journal articles and several books in the field and has played an influential role in developing and updating health care ethics policies at health care organizations and ethics education for medical interns and residents at teaching hospitals. In collaboration with the Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia, where he is Chief Medical Bioethicist, Fr. Clark helped pioneer the Mercy Health Promoter model, a program that lowers health care costs and builds a community that educates immigrants about healthy lifestyles.

Chosen for the Waldron Legacy Award, named after Patricia Waldron, R.S.M., for his commitment to educating future generations of physicians and serving vulnerable populations, Fr. Clark’s system for teaching medical ethics to interns and residents at the four Mercy Health System hospitals exposes them to ethical, legal and social issues in real time in patient care settings.

“Over the last 21 years of service at Mercy, Fr. Clark has led the way for our hospital to reverently respond to the emerging issues and increasing ethical dilemmas in modern healthcare,” says Donna Watto, R.S.M., vice president of mission integration at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, who presented Fr. Clark with the award. “His response has always been creative and forward thinking.”

The University opened the ICB in 2006 to promote the study and practice of medical bioethics through research, academic programs and courses and consultation. Current initiatives of the ICB include “Frames to Go!” a project that sends donated, used eyeglasses to countries such as Uganda and Nicaragua, and “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” which provides prenatal vitamins, as well as baby supplies like diapers and bibs for Philadelphia area pregnant women in need. The ICB also supports research of supervised, safe injection sites to prevent overdoses and the construction of water filters for the growing filtration problem.

Main Line Today’s Healthcare Heroes are individuals and organizations that make a difference in the health of their communities. The 2018 honorees will be announced in the May issue of Main Line Today and honored at a luncheon. Tickets for the ceremony can be purchased online.


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni — over 68,000 strong — provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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