Media Contacts

Kathy Wilets

Director, Public Relations, University of Utah Health

Jul 01, 2021 1:30 PM

University of Utah Health and the University of Utah announce the establishment of the Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities (CHeEtAH). The new center marks an exciting expansion of a 30-year-old program in medical ethics and humanities in the U of U School of Medicine. The creation of CHeEtAH demonstrates the need for ethics, arts, and humanities scholarship related to health care has grown in the past decades, particularly during the ongoing pandemic and calls for greater health equity.

Now a center serving the university and the community at large, CHeEtAH will bring together existing campus resources in healthcare ethics, arts, and humanities, and provide opportunities for further development of this already impressive interdisciplinary group. CHeETAH’s internationally recognized faculty and staff hail from law, philosophy, rhetoric, literature, as well as multiple healthcare specialties. The new center will work towards partnerships that expand its impact and advance an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare.

“Ethics, arts, and humanities might not be the first aspects of healthcare that come to mind, but they are crucial, to students, providers, patients, and families,” said Gretchen Case, PhD, the inaugural CHeEtAH Director. “Healthcare is ultimately humans giving care to humans. Giving the best and most appropriate care requires understanding many human experiences and contexts, which is what ethics, arts, and humanities do best.”

“The current pandemic, as well as rapidly shifting political and cultural conditions, have only intensified the need for our group’s interdisciplinary work,” added Case.

CHeEtAH will support and provide education, clinical consultation, research and service in bioethics and health humanities -- core elements of contemporary healthcare and professional education. Medical providers who excel in health ethics, arts, and humanities are highly sought after in the job market.

Drawing upon the U of U’s strong history of scholarship, teaching, and service in bioethics, arts, and humanities, this new center will serve the university community, the wider region of the Mountain West served by U of U Health, and continue to engage in national conversations about health care.

Similar centers at peer institutions around the world have become integral parts of academic health centers. The Association of American Medical Colleges and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently have released key reports emphasizing the importance of incorporating arts and humanities into medical education.




CHEETAH bioethics health humanities