Clinical ethics department team

Meet the leaders and team members of the Clinical Ethics team at Children’s Minnesota:

Nneka Sederstrom - Clinical Ethics, headshot

Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM, Director

Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, originally from Florence Alabama, received her BA in Philosophy from the George Washington University in 2001. She began her career as a volunteer in the Center for Ethics at Medstar Washington Hospital Center that summer. She continued her academic career while working at the Center and received her MA in Philosophy in 2003. After beginning her PhD studies she was made Director of the Center for Ethics and Director of the Spiritual Care Department. She proceeded to hold these positions until she left to join Children’s Minnesota in March 2016. Her academic credentials include a PhD in Medical Sociology and MPH in Global Health Management.

She is a member of several professional societies and holds a leadership position in ACCP, SCCM, ASBH, and ASCO. She is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. She is widely published in the field of Clinical Ethics and speaks regularly at national and international meetings.

Nneka is married to Charlie Sederstrom (also at Children’s Minnesota) and they have a little boy named Grayson. She loves to bake, knit, and yell ‘Roll Tide!’

Michael Sprehe - Clinical ethics

Michael Sprehe, MD, MPH, Associate Medical Director

Michael Sprehe is a board certified pediatrician in the Hematology and Oncology department at Children’s. Although a long time Ethics Committee member, he joined the Clinical Ethics Department as the Associate Medical Director in January 2017.

Mike attended Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, graduating with his MD in 1996. He then performed his residency at Louisiana State and later completed a fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Mike lives with his wife, Didima, the Medical Director for the PICU at Gillette Children’s.

Joel Wu, visiting scholar, clinical ethics team

Joel Wu, JD, Clinical Ethics Fellow

Joel T. Wu has received an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, as well as an MA in bioethics and JD from the Case Western Reserve University. He has also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Program in Bioethics and Professionalism at the Mayo Clinic.

From 2010 to 2016, Wu conducted health policy research and development at either the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at the (formerly) Institute of Medicine, or at the Brookings Institution at the (formerly) Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. From 2015 to 2016, he traveled around the world, visiting over 30 countries. In 2017, he returned to Minnesota where continues to pursue work at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics.

Currently, he holds appointments as: a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the University Of Minnesota School Of Public, in the Division of Health Policy and Management where he co-teaches Public Health Law and Public Health Ethics; an Adjunct Professor at St. Catherine’s University where he teaches healthcare ethics, and; as contributing faculty at Walden University, where he also serves as a member of the Walden IRB. He joins Children’s MN as a visiting scholar for the ethics department, where he contributes as a member of the ethics committee, IRB, and editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Ethics.

Ethics committee leadership

Carolyn Serie - Clinical Ethics, head shot

Carolyn Serie, LICSW, Ethics Committee Co- Chair

Carolyn Serie currently holds the Co-Chair position of the Ethics Committee. Her education began when she received her Masters in Social Work from Augsburg College. She later completed the Executive Education and Leadership Development Program at the University of Minnesota. Carolyn joined Children’s MN in 2007 as a Social Worker then became the Supervisor. Now she is the Manager of the Clinical Social Work Department.

Her ethics experience began here at Children’s when she joined the Ethics Committee in 2010. Working as a Social Worker, she was faced with ethical decisions all the time. With her Masters Emphasis in Family Practice, looking at cases and policies and how it impacted families is what further sparked her interest in clinical ethics. Carolyn was the first from Children’s MN to complete the Bioethics Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Fun facts about Carolyn…. She is 21st cousins 5 times removed with Hillary Clinton and she was a hair model for Rocco Altobelli in her early 20’s. Carolyn lives in the Metro Area with her son, Payne who loves hockey and the 2nd grade, and their puppy.

Kris Catrine - Clinical Ethics, headshot

Kris Catrine, MD, Ethics Committee Co-Chair

Kris Catrine, MD is a board certified pediatrician with additional board certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She currently holds the Co-Chair position on the Ethics Committee.
Dr. Catrine specializes in pediatric pain & symptom management and palliative care with special interests in medical education and biomedical ethics. She completed medical school at the University of Minnesota and pediatric residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In addition, she received 2 additional years of pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training. She transitioned from fellowship training to a pediatric hospitalist position at the University of Wisconsin to pursue the development of a pediatric palliative care inpatient consultation service. She joined the Pain and Palliative Care department at Children’s Minnesota 2012. Dr Catrine has a longstanding interest in ethics, as it relates to pediatric end of life decision making.
Dr. Catrine is married and has two sons who are 10 and 13 years old. Fun facts about Kris… She and her husband own a Futsal League, the official form of indoor soccer, and she has ridden an ostrich.

Ethics committee members

Rev. Abby Davis, Chaplain
M.Div., Board Certified Chaplain
Spiritual Care
Children’s Minnesota

Alberto Orioles, MD
Pediatric Intensive Care Physician
Children’s Minnesota

Andre Nelson, MD
Retired Pediatrician
Children’s Minnesota

Brian Brooks, Chaplain
Manager Spiritual Care and Bereavement Services
Children’s Minnesota

Carrie Hughes
Parent Community Advocate

Cherie McGraw, RN
Cath Lab
Children’s Minnesota

Christine Ruscher, RN, BAN
Patient Care Supervisor, PICU
Children’s Minnesota

David Dassenko, MD
Medical Director, Cardiovascular Care Center, Anesthesia
Children’s Minnesota

Elisabeth Wells, MSW, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker
Children’s Minnesota

Hal Weldin, Chaplain
M.Div., Board Certified Chaplain
Spiritual Care
Children’s Minnesota

Jo Crosby, MSN, RNC, NNP, NE-BC
NICU Patient Care Manager
Children’s Minnesota

Joan Liaschenko, RN, PhD
Professor, Center for Bioethics and School of Nursing
University of Minnesota

Julie Herda, MN, RN, CPNP
Advanced Practice Nurse
Children’s Respiratory & Critical Care Specialists, P.A.

Katherine Kruse, MD
Pediatric Intensivist Children’s Minnesota

Lisa Skjefte
American Indian Community Liason
Children’s Minnesota

Maggie Cavanaugh RN, BSN, CCRN
Patient Care Supervisor, CVICU
Children’s Minnesota

Maurice Sholas, MD, PhD
Senior Medical Director, Rehab Services
Children’s Minnesota

Pain and Palliative Care
Children’s Minnesota

Meghan Braden, RN, MSN, CCRN
PICU Clinical Educator
Children’s Minnesota

Melanie Brown, MD
Associate Medical Director, Pain and Palliative Care Children’s Minnesota

Nikki Helland, MSW, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker
Children’s Minnesota

Paige Schram, Parent
Community Advocate

Phebe Haugen, JD
Emerita Professor of Law
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Rebecca Fredin, MSW, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker
Children’s Minnesota

Sheldon Berkowitz, MD
General Pediatric Physician
Children’s Minnesota

Susan Grefe, RN
Children’s Minnesota

Tessa Billman
Patient-Family Centered Care Coordinator
Children’s Minnesota

Theresa Huntley, MSW, LICSW
Social Worker, Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Program
Children’s Minnesota

Tracy Parks, RN
Staff Nurse, NICU
Children’s Minnesota

William Sveen, MD, MA
Pediatric Resident, PGY-2
University of Minnesota