Symposium on the Ethics of Help

Ethics of Help header


When: June 8 & 9, 2017
Where: University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis Minnesota - Commons Hotel

The "Ethics of Help" symposium will explore the ethical complexities of volunteering in health care settings at home and abroad. From high school students to licensed health professionals, more and more people are engaging in philanthropic health care among vulnerable populations, usually in settings unfamiliar to them. They are well-intentioned individuals who give their time in hopes of making a difference to others, and possibly to explore or test their skills in new settings.

This symposium will bring together the champions and challengers of voluntarism in health care settings at home and abroad, opening up space for a challenging conversation: what inadvertent harms can occur even when one volunteers with the best of intentions? What can we as individuals, as members and leaders of organizations, institutions, and professional associations, do to understand better the inadvertent risks in volunteering in health care settings, and what strategies can we use to maximize the benefits for patients, communities, volunteers, and institutions everywhere?

Registration & Schedule for Ethics of Help Symposium

A featured speaking duo includes Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, MA, and John Crump, MB, ChB, DTM&H, from the Working Group on Ethics Guidelines for Global Health Training (WEIGHT), which developed a set of guidelines for institutions, trainees, and sponsors of field-based global health training on ethics and best practices in this setting.

special lecture graphicIf you are unable to attend the entire two-day Symposium, registration is available for the Crump and Sugarman Lecture separately, which includes a post-lecture reception. To register for only the Crump and Sugarman lecture, select the box labeled "Register for the June 8 Featured Lecture & Reception Only" on the left hand side of the registration page. Registration rates are $35 for students, and $50 for UMN Faculty and Staff.

Another important voice we will hear from is Dr. Jess Evert, MD, Executive Director for Child Family Health International, and faculty in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Addtionally, UMN's own Martha Johnson, Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad, will be joined by Don Amundson, UMN Senior Associate General Counsel to have an "Honest Conversation about Risk". The Symposium also includes breakout sessions featuring colleagues from around the country. Speaker bios, breakout session descriptions and schedule can be found on the registration website (see link above).

hosted by


We are grateful for our sponsors!

Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility

The Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility (CGHSR) is a Unit of the Academic Health Center (AHC) established to advance global health research and education. Our mission is to focus and strengthen the impact of the U of M's global land grant mission with regard to health issues at the interface of humans, animals and ecosystems. We accomplish this by facilitating trans-disciplinary partnerships and collaborations across the U of M and worldwide.

Danish Institute for Study Abroad

DIS is a non-profit study abroad foundation established in Denmark in 1959, with locations in Copenhagen and Stockholm. DIS provides pre-health and other semester, academic year, and summer programs taught in English, and offers high-impact learning experiences for upper-division undergraduate students from distinguished North American colleges and universities. The intellectually challenging curriculum is broad, cutting edge, and enriched by experiential learning components, including faculty-led study tours across Europe. It provides students with opportunities for meaningful cultural engagement and personal growth, which is further enriched through housing and extracurricular offerings.

Office of Public Engagement

The Office for Public Engagement (OPE) works with academic programs and engagement units on all five campuses to build capacity to produce high quality public engagement programs and initiatives. OPE also connects the public engagement agenda to the work of the University's various administrative units including faculty affairs, undergraduate education, graduate education, student affairs, equity and diversity, international programs, extension, and others.

SIT Logo

SIT Study Abroad offers more than 70 semester and summer programs for undergraduate students in Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, as well as comparative programs in multiple countries.

We take students beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom to analyze the critical global issues shaping local communities and the world. The hallmarks of our programs are experiential learning, intensive cultural immersion, meaningful community engagement, and field-based research.

CFHI logo

Child Family Health International (CFHI) is creating future global health leaders and advocates through experiences that inspire trainees to better understand poverty, complex health determinants, global burden of disease, and their role as professionals and global citizens. CFHI provides community-based Global Health Education Programs for students and institutions. Our unique model fosters reciprocal partnerships and empowerment in local communities, transforming perspectives about self, healing and global citizenship.

Around Town

If you are visiting Minneapolis for the Ethics of Help Symposium, be sure to take advantage of the abundance of summer activities around the Twin Cities. Here are a few we recommend:

Northern Spark Artwork

Northern Spark
June 10 - 11
Northern Spark is a free all-night art festival exploring the effects of climate change through participatory projects happening in neighborhoods along Metro Transit's Green Line.

Wesiman Art Museum

Weisman Art Museum
The museum's collection features early twentieth-century American artists, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Marsden Hartley, as well as a diverse selection of ceramics and contemporary art. A teaching museum for the University of Minnesota and the community, the Weisman provides a fresh, engaging arts experience through an array of programs and a changing schedule of exhibitions.

Science Museum of Minnesota
Sportsology - In this brand new addition to the exhibit galleries, every field, court, track, and gym becomes a science lab!

The Science Behind Pixar - This new, special exhibition gives you an unparalleled look at Pixar's filmmaking process and let's you explore the science and technology that brings to life the world's most beloved animated films and their memorable characters. The Science Museum of Minnesota is the first Midwest stop of this traveling exhibit—and it's only here for a limited time. Don't miss it - opens June 9!


GAPS Workshop & Toolkit

In the meantime, check out the GAPS Online Workshop for student-centered materials and the GAPS Toolkit for advisor-centered materials!

GAPS Online Workshop

GAPS Toolkit