Wednesday, May 10, 2006

publicizing nonprofit credibility checks

We've been watching major nonprofits take a variey of stances when it comes to sharing publicly the steps they're taking to correct credibility problems, and the latest example is covered in today's New York Times: The Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit center for research and treatment, where the board of trustees has taken on new roles in examining conflicts of interest that arise when physicians at the clinic have relationships with industry entities, such as drug and medical device manufacturers. The move comes after a year of public controversy, during which even the clinic's chief executive disclosed (and then severed) ties to for-profit companies. The clinic has not yet decided to make available to patients and the public information about potential conflicts. David J. Rothman,a medical ethicist at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, who advocates such public disclosure, notes in the article, "If they make that information public, they will set a precedent that is very difficult to resist." What's your nonprofit's policy on disclosing potential conflicts? We can help you strategize and plan for such an event. Contact Denise Graveline at

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