Christian Doctor's Digest

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Christian Doctor's Digest - March 2018

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens’ focus is on the new Health and Human Services Division on Conscience and Religious Freedom. He interviews Roger Severino, the Director for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Sara Hellwege, who filed a federal lawsuit in 2014 on the basis of discrimination due to her religious and moral convictions. Plus, check out an excerpt from this year’s devotional speaker at the 2018 CMDA National Convention.

In This Edition
  • Roger Severino — Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Sara Hellwege, MSN, CNM — Certified Nurse Midwife who filed a federal lawsuit in 2014 on the basis of discrimination due to her religious and moral convictions
  • Dr. John Barnett — Devotional Speaker at the 2018 CMDA National Convention

Roger Severino

Individual Interview Location: 3:04

Roger Severino is the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He previously served as Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. Before joining Heritage in 2015, Mr. Severino was a trial attorney for seven years in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division where he enforced the Fair Housing Act, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and Title II and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has litigated cases under sex, race, national origin, religion, disability, and familial status discrimination. Mr. Severino was previously chief operations officer and legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Mr. Severino holds a JD from Harvard Law School, received a master’s degree in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Southern California.

Related Resources
Watch the HHS Announcement Here
Freedom2Care
Faith Steps by Jonathan Imbody
Christian Culture & Controversy by Tom H. West, MD


Sara Hellwege, MSN, CNM

Individual Interview Location: 12:22

Sara Hellwege is a Certified Nurse Midwife who filed a federal lawsuit in 2014 on the basis of discrimination due to her religious and moral convictions and involvement in the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Since that time, the case has settled; however, Sara is a passionate advocate for conscience/religious protections for healthcare professionals. She recently began her own company focusing on holistic care, including health promotion and spiritual encouragement of women and their families. Previously, she worked in private practice and was a preceptor for medical and nurse practitioner students. In 2010, she married David, a registered nurse, and they have one child. In her spare time, Sara is the Chair/President of the Coalition of Christian Nurse Practitioners, which is a newly formed specialty section of CMDA, and volunteers with her local pregnancy crisis center. 

Related Resources
Watch Sara's Testimony at the HHS Announcement (27:27)
The Doctor’s Bible
Medical Ethics: A Primer for Students by Robert Orr, MD, CM, and Fred Chay, DMin, PhD
Just Add Water Volume 2.3 with John Patrick, MD


Dr. John Barnett

Individual Interview Location: 29:56

Dr. Barnett has been teaching the Word of God for 30+ years. Born and raised in Michigan, John has studied at Michigan State University, Bob Jones University (BS, BA, MA, MDiv), The Master's Seminary (faculty and ThM work), Dallas Theological Seminary (Dr. of Biblical Ministry) and with Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri Fellowship. John shares his life with Bonnie, his beloved wife, and their eight wonderful children. As a home educating family, John and Bonnie teach children and teens with enthusiasm and love. In the last 30 years of uninterrupted ministry, John has served congregations in Michigan, Georgia, Rhode Island, California, Oklahoma and Michigan. Since 1978, John has led dozens of study tours, retreats, travels and pilgrimages, and he has taught on site in 21 countries and on five continents. John's messages reflect the background of the Scripture from the ancient biblical world, the history of the church and the daily life in far corners of the planet. His Discover the Book Ministry provides electronic copies of John’s audio, video and text studies free of charge to pastors, missionaries and other believers. 

Related Resources
Leadership Proverbs by David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics), and Bert Jones
Servant Leadership by David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics), and Bert Jones
Whispers: A Daily Devotional for Healthcare Professionals and Their Patients by Al Weir, MD