Pinch, Winifred J. Ellenchild 1938-

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PINCH, Winifred J. Ellenchild 1938-

PERSONAL: Born October 18, 1938, in Hershey, PA; daughter of Harry Fashnacht (a clerk) and Ellen Jane (a factory worker) Lentz; married Lewis William Pinch (a pediatric surgeon), August 29, 1959; children: Karen Louise Pinch Hentz, Heather Jane Pinch Conway, Nathan William. Ethnicity: "German descent." Education: Attended Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing, 1959; Temple University, B.S., 1963; State University of New York at Buffalo, M.Ed., 1973; attended Harvard University, 1979–80; Boston University, Ed.D., 1983; Creighton University, M.S., 1985. Politics: "Independent." Religion: Presbyterian.

ADDRESSES: Home—6415 Sagarmatha Plaza, Omaha, NE 68152. Office—Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Nurse, educator, and bioethicist. Taylor Hospital, Ridley Park, PA, staff nurse, 1959–60; Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, PA, staff nurse, 1961–62; Merritt Hospital School of Nursing, Oakland, CA, instructor, 1966–67; Christian Hospital, Gorveh, Kurdistan, Iran, staff nurse, assistant director, 1967–70; Providence Hospital, Anchorage, AK, staff nurse, 1971; St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH, assistant professor, 1974–82; Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, NE, assistant professor, 1982–85; Creighton University, Omaha, NE, associate professor, 1985–93, professor of nursing, 1993–, affiliate of Center for Health Policy and Ethics, 1989–.


I'm Just Your Mother: Ethical Dilemmas in the NICU; The Parents' Perspective (videotape), Creighton University (Omaha, NE), 1990.

When the Bough Breaks: Parental Perceptions of Ethical Decision-making in NICU, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 2002.

Contributor to journals, including Nursing Forum, AAOHN Journal, Nursing Ethics, Nursing and Health Care, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Geriatric Nursing, Health Values: Achieving High Level Wellness, Nursing Outlook, and Nurse Educator.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Case Studies in Perinatology: The Ethical Perspective.

SIDELIGHTS: Winifred J. Ellenchild Pinch told CA: "I have had a longstanding passion for writing. I remember my attempts to create stories as I worked on a badge during my days as a Girl Scout. Professionally, I have always viewed myself as an educator, and writing is one way to educate. Initially I wrote to share my insights and experiences related to teaching in my discipline of nursing. As I explored bioethics and ethical decision-making in health care, I also recognized the significance of theories of moral development for nursing. Intellectually challenged by feminist writers, I began to weave these various concepts into my perspective of nursing as I wrote. I feel tremendously privileged to have benefited from the work of Carol Gilligan. Her scholarly endeavors motivated me to ask questions about the practice of nursing and the perspective of its professionals as they encountered moral dilemmas.

"However, much to my delight, the emphasis in professional nursing moved away from research that was centered on the nurse to patient-focused research. In complying with that trend, my research combined my interest in context and personal experience (influenced by Gilligan's methodology) and moved to examining health-care experiences from the patient's perspective. My writing over this entire span of time, in professional journals and other similar venues, reflects my understanding of patient stories within the overarching themes of bioethics and feminism. Moral orientation was addressed within ethical decision-making in health care. I believed by collecting and examining the narratives of patients, others would better understand themselves and their own experiences.

"So much of my professional career has been the result of serendipity. I began my doctoral program without a commitment to any particular area of study. An announcement about fellowships in bioethics on the faculty bulletin board led me to make bioethics a central theme in my work and writing. Becoming part of the Center for Health Policy and Ethics was a dream come true after an unexpected move to Omaha, Nebraska, and an invitation to join the faculty in the School of Nursing at Creighton University. I wrote about whatever piqued my teaching interests or provided me with an opportunity to understand a particular facet of health care. The stories of the parents of high-risk newborns in my community health practice were an early attraction that eventually extended across almost two decades. An investigation of the effect of a diagnosis of HIV\AIDS on women and their newborns created a subsequent interest. Attempting to understand elders' perceptions of ethical decision-making in health care developed into another project. Putting together the various themes in caregivers' experiences with persons who have Alzheimer's disease was a more recent enterprise. Within each of these endeavors, I have always tried to remember to consider the woman's perspective: does gender make a difference?"