Healthcare and Human Dignity

Friday, June 12th 2020

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM


This webinar focuses on the individual and structural biases that affect the American healthcare system which have serious emotional and physical consequences that all too often go unseen. These biases are often rooted in power, class, racial, gender or sexual orientation prejudices, and as a result, the injured parties usually lack the resources needed to protect themselves. In Healthcare and Human Dignity by Frank M. McClellan, individual worth, equality, and autonomy emerge as the dominant values at stake in encounters with doctors, nurses, hospitals, and drug companies. Although the public is aware of legal battles over autonomy and dignity in the context of death, the everyday patient’s need for dignity has received scant attention. Thus, in this webinar law professor Frank McClellan, FIGHT Pediatrics Medical Director–Dr. Mario Cruz and FIGHT in-house counsel Deone Powell, Esquire will explore a collection of cases and individual experiences that bring these stories to life and establish beyond doubt that human dignity is of utmost priority in the everyday process of healthcare decision making.

*1.5 credits Continuing Legal Education credits are pending for this session.


  1. At the conclusion of this webinar, the attendee will be able to identify the individual and structural biases that impact the healthcare system and ways that FIGHT aims to combat them.
  2. At the conclusion of this webinar, the attendee will have a general understanding of how the courts define “human dignity” and ways in which the notion is reinforced by way of legal case law and through sound healthcare protocols.
  3. At the conclusion of this webinar, the attendee will be able to recognize ways in which principles of human dignity inform the FIGHT healthcare delivery model.


D. Deone Powell

Since 2017, Deone has served as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at Philadelphia FIGHT. As the inaugural GC/CLO, he is equal parts advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors, as well as, a cross-functional member of the leadership team.  His job is to identify enterprise risks and opportunities, and the frameworks that govern them in order to help senior stakeholders arrive at actionable, mission-driven conclusions. He is fascinated by true-crimes and is a member of an online community of amateur cold case crime-solver. Deone is  has written extensively on issues of legal ethics and diversity in the law.  He is a 2007 graduate of Temple Law and was a trial lawyer prior to his tenure at FIGHT.


Frank M. McClellan

Frank M. McClellan is Professor Emeritus at Temple Law and a founding Co‐Director of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice.  He has taught courses on bioethics, medical malpractice, law and medicine, and torts. In addition to his academic duties, McClellan has been committed to recognizing and educating others to recognize the health disparities that exist for low income people in all communities and to addressing the social determinants to health that prey on these people due to poverty. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and has long supported Philadelphia FIGHT through board service and collaboration.


Mario Cruz, MD

Medical Leadership, Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center
Medical Director

Dr. Cruz is regarded as one of the best pediatricians in Philadelphia. A board certified pediatrician, Dr. Cruz joined Philadelphia FIGHT as the Medical Director for our Pediatric and Adolescent Health Centerin 2017. He completed his undergraduate training in Biology and Psychology from Union College, his medical school training at Albany Medical College, his residency training at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and his Chief Residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. He joined Philadelphia FIGHT Pediatrics after 9 years as an academic pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where he led the medical training program as an Associate Residency Program Director. He also has experience working in private practice through Advocare.

Currently, Dr. Cruz is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, has additional training in Child Abuse Pediatrics through the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Child Abuse Preceptorship and has completed formal training in Educational Scholarship through the Academic Pediatric Association’s Educational Scholars Program.

Dr. Cruz has published and presented in the fields of curriculum development, mentorship, quality improvement and violence prevention. He was a key member of the St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children HIV Screening Work Group that increased the rate of routine adolescent HIV screening in the primary care clinic from less than 5% to greater than 95%. In addition he has educated hundreds of health care professionals, regionally and nationally, on the practical implementation of Intimate Partner Violence screening.

Dr. Cruz has received many awards for his leadership skills, humanistic traits, innovation and community service efforts. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching as well as the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award from Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2017 Dr. Cruz received the Community Advocate Award from the Lutheran Settlement House for his efforts to prevent childhood exposure to domestic violence. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

Dr. Cruz is a spanish-speaking pediatrician who enjoys working with children of all ages and has special expertise in managing families exposed to emotional trauma. Currently, Mario resides in Philadelphia with his wife (Patti) and two children (Dominic and Felix).

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Spotlight On

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD is Director of Adult Medicine at John Bell Health Center and Jonathan Lax Treatment Center of Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers. Dr. Gadegbeku is a Family Medicine Physician who specializes in primary care for all ages (from pediatrics to geriatrics)!

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Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr Cruz with PatientDr. Cruz is a board-certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development, and mentorship.

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