Patty completed her undergraduate degree in English at Franklin College, Franklin, IN, a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA, and received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Indiana University. In addition to more than fifteen years of ethics committee and ethics consultation work, she has attended intensive ethics training sessions at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and at the University of Washington in Seattle. Patty has been an active member of the Ethics Committee since 1992, and has served on the Ethics Consultation Service since 1998. Her areas of expertise include ethics education, clinical ethics consultation, conflict mediation, psycho-social aspects of end-of-life care, and ethical decision making.
Prior to joining the Fairbanks Center in 2005, Patty spent 14 years as the clinical social worker for the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Indiana University Health- University Hospital. During that time she served over 1,000 BMT patients and families by providing psycho-social assessments, mediation and crisis intervention, individual and family counseling, continuing care planning, advocacy, and resource referral.
At the Fairbanks Center she is involved in all aspects of program planning and support, personnel management, and financial stewardship. She mentors ethics fellows and graduate student interns, coordinates the work of IU Health’s Ethics Consultation Service, and serves as an ethics liaison to several hospital committees.
Wocial LD, Hancock M, Bledsoe PD, Chamness AR, Helft PR. An evaluation of unit-based ethics conversations. JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, & Regulation. 2010 Apr-Jun;12(2):48-54.
Wocial L. Commentary: Courage is the only ethical choice. Nursing Outlook. 2009 Sep-Oct;57(5):294-5
Helft PR, Bledsoe PD, Hancock M, Wocial LD. Facilitated ethics conversations: a novel program for managing moral distress in bedside nursing staff. JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, & Regulation. 2009 Jan-Mar;11(1):27-33.
Choi EK, Fredland V, Zachodni C, Lammers E, Bledsoe P, Helft PR. A proposal for standardization of brain death criteria: Medicine, ethics, and the law. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 2008 Winter;36(4):824-36, 611.