Committees

PHA is led by a committee structure drawing pro-life leaders from all spheres of the pro-life movement.  Below are listed the members of the Working Committee and the Advisory Committee:

 

Working Committee Members

James Hentges, Chairman, OCDS,

James Hentges, is the Director of Administration and Accounting for Pro-Life Action Ministries and Chairman of the Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance, a program of Human Life Alliance, of which he is also a board member.. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University at Mankato with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. His background includes extensive experience in the administration of both for profit and non-profit organizations.

Karl Benzio, M.D.,

Christian Psychiatrist, writer, speaker, media guest expert, social issue activist, and the founder and clinical director of Lighthouse Network. Dr. Benzio brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s storms. <more>

Mary Flores

Mary is the Educational Outreach Coordinator for American Life League, the nation’s largest grassroots pro-life educational organization. She works directly with American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which strives to build a culture of life by helping students understand the value of every human being and by inspiring a new generation of young people who will defend preborn children, respect all human beings from creation to death, and speak the truth with confidence in defense of the innocent. <more>

Julie Grimstad, LPN, Life is Worth Living, Inc. Founder / Executive Director, St. John’s Befrienders Founder

Julie Grimstad is the executive director of Life is Worth Living, Inc; past chair of the Pro-life Healthcare Alliance; founder and coordinator of St. John’s Befrienders (an outreach program to nursing home residents and homebound elderly); and serves on the Human Life Alliance board of advisors. A speaker and writer, she is a member of the PHA Speakers’ Bureau, editor of the PHA Monthly e-newsletter, and editor and contributing writer to Imposed Death: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide and Informed: A guide for critical medical decisions, both HLA educational publications. Julie served as director of the Center for the Rights of the Terminally Ill, Inc. from 1985 through 2003. Her earlier experiences include being a licensed practical nurse caring for the elderly and disabled in an extended care unit of a Catholic hospital and involvement in numerous pro-life, pro-family organizations and activities. Julie resides in Bedford, TX with her husband William and is the mother of five living children and two in heaven, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of two.

Mary Kellett, Exec. Dir., Prenatal Partners for Life

Mary Kellett is the executive director of Prenatal Partners for Life, a group of concerned parents (most of whom have or had a special needs child), medical professionals, legal professionals and clergy whose aim is to support, inform and encourage expectant or new parents.<more>

Ann L Olson, BS, El. Ed. Education Dir., Human Life Alliance

Ann Olson is Education Director for Human Life Alliance. Ann is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in English. Ann has a long history as a volunteer in various pro-life ministries. She co-founded a crisis pregnancy counseling center, a ministry that provides clothing, baby furnishings and cribs and car seats for infants, and a women’s support group that teaches parenting and life skill classes to parents, is current president of Chisago Lakes LifeCare Center, Past President of a local right-to-life organization and sits on the Advisory Board for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-Saint Paul Respect Life Office. Ann joined HLA in the fall of 2008 upon retiring, after 38 years, from the telecommunication field

Jo Tolck, Retired Exec. Dir., Human Life Alliance

Jo Tolck is the Executive Director of Human Life Alliance, an international pro-life organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a volunteer in the pro-life movement prior to Roe v. Wade, she worked with a variety of organizations that offer counseling to pregnant women, assist families in need with clothing, furniture, prenatal care and generate educational materials. Ms. Tolck was a co-founder of the Northside Life Care Center and joined Human Life Alliance in 2001 after her 18th year in the field of vocational rehabilitation.

Advisory Committee Members

Father Derek Sakowski, Chaplain, S.T.D. (Dr of Sacred Theology)

Fr. Derek Sakowski is a priest for the Diocese of La Crosse, ordained by Cardinal Raymond Burke (then bishop of the diocese) on June 28, 2003. He completed his philosophy studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning his B.A. in 1998 and a Licentiate in Philosophy in 1999. He completed his theology studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, OH), earning an M.A. in 2002 and an M.Div. in 2003. <more>

William Beckman, retired Exec. Dir, Illinois Right to Life Committee

William Beckman is retired executive director at Illinois Right to Life Committee (IRLC) in Chicago. In that role he covered and researched topics on a wide variety of life issues including abortion, contraception, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, assisted suicide, euthanasia, hospice, brain death, and other end-of-life issues. He maintained an extensive web site to make that information available to the public.<more>

Judie Brown, Pres., American Life League

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation’s largest grassroots pro-life educational organization. ALL started in 1979 and has grown from a kitchen table operation to a national organization with more than 120 associate groups throughout the nation. <more>

Sara Buscher, Esq.

Sara Buscher is an Attorney and Certified Public Accountant who has served the elderly and people with disabilities throughout her professional career. She has managed benefit programs for public and university employees and served on a governor’s task force on health care cost-containment. As a regular columnist on healthcare decision-making in the State Bar of Wisconsin’s ElderLaw News, she wrote articles about end of life decision-making.<more>

Ralph A. Capone, MD, FACP,

Ralph A. Capone, MD (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) is board-certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Internal Medicine, is the medical director at the Jewish Association on Aging, Sivitz Hospice. He also serves as medical director of the palliative care consultation service, UPMC McKeesport Hospital. <more>

Elizabeth Graham, Director, Texas Right to Life

Elizabeth Graham was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from Rockhurst College there with degrees in philosophy and sociology. In 1994, Elizabeth moved to Houston, TX to pursue graduate studies in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. <more>

Cristen Krebs, DNP,ANP-BC, Catholic Hospice Founder / Executive Director

Cristen Krebs is a graduate of Robert Morris University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program with over twenty two years of commitment to care of individuals living with advanced and terminal illnesses. Certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Krebs has twenty five years of nursing experience and has worked in both in-patient oncology and out- patient palliative/hospice care settings. Focusing on providing patients with relief from the physical symptoms and stressors a terminal illness brings, Dr. Krebs strives to improve the quality of life for both the patient and family members. <more>

Gracie Ortiz, MSW, LCSW, Program Dir of Senior Services for Catholic Charities. in the diocese of Arlington,Virginia

Gracie Ortiz is the program director of senior services for Catholic Charities in the diocese of Arlington,Virginia. Her past work experience includes serving as an eldercare consultant in Washington, DC, coordinator of elderly programs at the Housing Opportunities Commission in Maryland, program director of Hogar Hispano in Virginia, social services director of a nursing home in Texas, and care manager at the Prince William county Area Agency on Aging. <more>

Mark Pickup, Exec.Dir. Human Life Matters

Mark Pickup has written the Human Life Matters blog for several years, and has spoken at inumerable conferences of advocacy of pro-Life issues and the sanctity of human life spanning 30 years. He co-founded a Canadian crisis pregnancy centre in the mid-1980s that has served thousands of women in crisis pregnancies, helping them find life afffirming options for themselves and their babies. The centre has also reached out to post-abortive women in need of spiritual and emotional healing. <more>

Alex Schadenberg, Exec. Dir. Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, International Chair of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition works to preserve and enforce legal prohibitions and ethical guidelines prohibiting “mercy killing.” They also work to increase public awareness of truly ethical hospice/palliative care. To promote improvement in the quality and availability of hospice/palliative care, and effective methods of controlling pain and suffering. To develop and build compassionate care community services as alternatives to “Mercy Killing.” To educate the public on the harm and risks associated with the promotion of euthanasia and assisted suicide through the use of pamphlets, information seminars, media campaigns and research articles. To co-ordinate and disseminate research and information on issues related to euthanasia, assisted suicide. To represent the vulnerable and where appropriate, advocate before the courts on issues related to euthanasia and assisted suicide.<more>

Nancy Valko, RN ALNC.

Nancy Valko has been a registered nurse since 1969 and is currently the spokesperson for the National Association of Prolife Nurses ( www.nursesforlife.org ). She has also been a past President of Missouri Nurses for Life and past co-chair of the St. Louis Archdiocesan Respect Life Committee. In 2015, she was a recipient of the People of Life award from the US Catholic Conference of Bishops. <more>