Their heroic work in America and throughout the world is saving lives

BISMARCK, ND — Respecting and valuing all human life as God intended are the core of what Arina Grossu and Kelly Suter do each day in their careers. While one is helping shape public policy on Capitol Hill, the other is helping mankind on the frontlines of crises around the world.

Arina Grossu

Arina Grossu

Grossu’s and Suter’s daily witness to what Pope Saint John Paul II called the “culture of death” not only helped provide a firsthand account of current bioethics issues, but also the extraordinary essay content needed for this prestigious scholarship. The essays, along with a minimum 3.0 GPA, earned each a $1,500 scholarship from among 23 students enrolled in University of Mary’s Master of Science in Bioethics program — one of only two offered in the United States.

This inaugural bioethics cohort at Mary will graduate in April 2017 and consists of professionals in fields such as healthcare, public policy, law, coaching and the priesthood. Because of its popularity, the University of Mary had to create a waiting list for next year.

Grossu speaking following the victory for Hobby Lobby and religious freedom

Grossu speaking following the victory for Hobby Lobby and religious freedom

“I speak, write about, and represent human dignity issues ranging from conception to natural death in the public square,” said Grossu, the director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council. “My areas of expertise are abortion, women’s health, bioethics, pornography, sex trafficking and assisted suicide.”

Grossu featured on EWTN with host Brian Patrick

Grossu featured on EWTN with host Brian Patrick

Grossu has been featured on CNN, ABC, NBC, EWTN and CBN, in USA Today, The Hill, Fox News, National Review and many others. She has lectured at the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women and her articles can be found at www.frc.org.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to use my knowledge and training to help shape public policy,” said the 33-year old Grossu from Washington DC. “Scientific and medical technologies can be ethical, unethical, or neutral. It is important to distinguish the bioethical implications of technologies: do they uphold the dignity of human life and improve it, or do they use or destroy human life? Science and medicine must be always at the service of human life and must use only ethical means to achieve its purpose.”

Kelly Suter

Kelly Suter

Suter, who was recently featured in nurse.com and Vogue, is the Senior Nurse of Medical Planning and Preparedness and an experienced disaster relief nurse on the Emergency Response Team of International Medical Corps (IMC). She is always on standby to deploy to a crisis as a nurse team leader or a field site manager.

 “My most recent deployments include the war in South Sudan, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone, an earthquake in Nepal and Ebola preparedness in Guinea Bissau,” said Suter, a native of Petoskey, MI, and senior nurse on her emergency response team. “The line between right and wrong is often blurred and difficult for even the most stringent moralist to distinguish. I have the responsibility to understand what is moral and ethical. Relief work often places health care workers in high stress situations, with few resources and limited support. During those times, it can be especially difficult to distinguish what is ethical from what is unethical. More than once I have had to help a fellow healthcare worker understand why hastening the death of a suffering and near-death patient is not an act of compassion — even in the midst of war, disaster or crisis.”

Suter getting ready to enter the hot zone in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak

Suter getting ready to enter the hot zone in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak

Last year, in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Suter, 30, documented her thoughts in an impressive weekly diary on the (IMC) website. “It didn’t take long to learn that fear is actually a friend here in West Africa, as it leads to vigilance,” she wrote. “That fear, combined with the inability to let your guard down for even a moment, is like carrying a gorilla on your back all day.”

Suter putting IV in sick man they happened upon after earthquake in Nepal

Suter putting IV in sick man they happened upon after earthquake in Nepal

When 60 Minutes reporter Lara Logan interviewed Suter in Liberia, Suter admitted there are good days and bad days.

In her Catholic upbringing, as the second oldest in a large family with five other siblings, caring for others comes naturally. She remembers picking out toys for underprivileged children, packaging Christmas boxes for kids in Africa, visiting nursing homes, and raking leaves for elderly neighbors. Suter’s caring for others became very personal when her youngest sibling was born with Down syndrome.

“The first time I had to defend my little brother because of his disabilities, I was 8, I was determined and I was terrified to oppose an adult,” said Suter, a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier in Petosky. “That was the first time I saw a human being decide another life was of less value than their own and I was determined to never allow that to happen again.”

Two of Suter's patients being discharged after surviving Ebola in Liberia

Two of Suter’s patients being discharged after surviving Ebola in Liberia

Suter and Grossu have both witnessed humanity at its worst and finest. Still, their Catholic faith is strong and their spirit is selfless.

“Even though I know that I could get sick, and that I could be one of them that doesn’t survive, I’m OK with that because I’d rather be here helping than home and safe,” Suter told 60 Minutes.

Grossu speaking at the Protect Women, Protect Life rally

Grossu speaking at the Protect Women, Protect Life rally

I am committed to standing up for the most vulnerable people in our society,” said Grossu, who’s been involved in standing up for women and their preborn babies since high school. “As Pope Saint John Paul II said so eloquently, ‘A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members: and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.’”

Suter’s essay “Euthanasia and the Compassionate Care of the Critically Ill,” and Grossu’s “The Medical and Ethical Consequences of the Three-Parent Embryo Creation,” are powerful testimony to the need to engage with modern-day bioethics issues in the light of truth. Both believe the University of Mary’s strong Catholic identity and its partnership with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), mean that the scholarship they received will deepen their knowledge of bioethical issues at a world-class level.

People interested in the University of Mary bioethics program should contact the Director of Bioethics, Dr. Karen Rohr, at kmrohr@umary.edu or (701) 355-8113.