Christopher E. De Bono

Vice President of Mission, Ethics, Spirituality & Indigenous Wellness

Christopher E. De Bono, PhD, was appointed Vice President of Mission, Ethics, Spirituality & Indigenous Wellness at Providence Health Care in 2016. He is a Roman Catholic pastoral/practical theologian with specialized clinical training in both Spiritual Care and Clinical/Organizational ethics.

Christopher’s clinical training in spiritual care/chaplaincy took place at the Ontario Correctional Institute (1997), the Hospital for Sick Kids (1997-98), and then home care (2001). In spiritual care, Christopher is certified at the gold standard “Specialist” level by the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care.

He has a history of over 15 years in frontline and management roles in acute, community and mental health care. He is passionate about program and quality development, and grew a spiritual care program by over 300% in a secular hospital at a time when most chaplaincy programs were being reduced.

In June of 2013, he completed a one year post-doctoral Fellowship in Clinical and Organizational Bioethics at the University of Toronto, in partnership with the Centre for Clinical Ethics (which manages ethics for Toronto’s three Catholic sponsored hospitals.) From 2014 to 2016, he was the clinical ethicist for the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (a provincially mandated home care broker).

In September 2012, he successfully defended his PhD in Pastoral Theology at St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. His doctoral work, supervised by Prof. Joe Schner SJ, and Prof. Anne Anderson CSJ, was on the origins and future of clinical chaplaincy in mental health care in the context of catholic sponsored health care. That PhD work was featured on the CBC radio show “Ideas” in 2013 because of its links to the late Fr. Henri Nouwen. 

Christopher also has a Masters of Divinity (from the Jesuit Regis College, University of Toronto) and a Bachelor of arts in Christianity & Culture/Philosophy (from the Basilian Fathers’ established St. Michael’s College, University of 

His research foci include ethics and mental health, the ethics of clients choosing to live at risk (forthcoming article in Fall 2016), the meaning of “professional” ethics in clinical practice, narrative practice, spirituality/religion in clinical care, and end of life care, especially grief counselling.

Christopher has expertise and a particular interest in the role and future of faith based (specifically Catholic) health and social services.

Since 2014, Christopher has taught clinical & professional ethics, social justice, and Catholic Biomedical ethics at the University of Toronto at the Masters and Undergraduate levels, as an Adjunct Faculty/Course instructor at both Emmanuel College and St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto.

On a more personal note, Christopher loves to sail, a passion he discovered while living on the shores of Georgian Bay. And he looks forward to discovering the big “salty” waters around Vancouver .