The annual Compassion and the Art of Medicine series hosted by Baylor College of Medicine begins Friday, Aug. 19.

The series is free and open to the public although seating is limited. All presentations begin at noon, followed by a question-and-answer session at 1 p.m.

BCM's department of family and community medicine presents the series with a grant from The Community Hospital Foundation, Inc.

The 2011 series includes:

-2011 Matthew Carter Memorial Lecture – "Maintaining Momentum in Medicine" – Dr. Joslyn Fisher, associate professor of medicine and ethics at BCM (Aug. 19, Cullen Auditorium, Noon-1 p.m.)

Fisher graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a certificate in community health. After spending a year in India, she completed her medical school and residency training at BCM and received a Master's of Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. With her passion for women's health issues, she founded the Harris County Hospital District's VIVA clinic, which serves survivors of intimate partner violence. Fisher also co-founded the Texas Medical Center Women's Health Network, a nonprofit organization that fosters collaborations to advance women's health.

The Matthew Carter Memorial Lecture was established in memory of a first-year Baylor medical student killed in September 2000. The lecture carries on his message of compassion and caring to successive generations of medical students and health professionals. The annual lecture features individuals in the health care field who dedicate their careers to helping the less fortunate of the world.

-"Global Child Health: The Interface of Ingenuity, Commitment and Compassion" – Dr. Mark Kline (Aug. 26, Cullen Auditorium, Noon-1 p.m.)

Certified in both pediatrics and infectious disease, Kline is the J.S. Abercrombie Professor and Chairman of the department of pediatrics at BCM and Physician-in-Chief at Texas Children's Hospital. Kline has been treating children with HIV/AIDS since the late 1980s. As president of the Baylor International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children's Hospital, Kline oversees an ambitious program that encompasses HIV/AIDS care and treatment and health professional education and training programs in 20 African countries, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine and China. Kline will discuss disparities and barriers in access to lifesaving health care for children residing in developing countries.

-"The Light Within" – Dr. Lois Ramondetta (Sept. 23, Cullen Auditorium. Noon-1 p.m.)

An attending physician and associate professor of gynecologic oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Ramondetta believes that women physicians have changed the way we view the doctor-patient relationship. Her book, "The Light Within: The Extraordinary Friendship of a Doctor and Patient Brought Together by Cancer," chronicles her relationship with Deborah Rose Sills, a patient with ovarian cancer.

-"The Wisdom of Wit" – Megan Cole (Sept. 30, Cullen Auditorium, Noon-1 p.m.)

Megan Cole has had a long acting career on the professional stage, including guest-star appearances on "Seinfeld," "ER," "The Practice," various "Star Treks" and many others. She originated the leading role in Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama WIT in 1995, for which she received the L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Performance. She also tours with "The Wisdom of WIT," her solo version of the play.

Cole has been artist-in-residence at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, giving workshops on "Emphatic Physician/Patient Communication" and "Literature and the Art of Medicine." She now takes these workshops to health care and end-of-life care venues across the country, where she also gives public talks on the human face of medicine.

-"The Boy on the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son" – Ian Brown (Oct. 7, McMillian Auditorium,12:30-1:30 p.m.)

Co-sponsored with the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics.

Brown is a Canadian journalist, author and winner of several national magazine and newspaper awards. He has worked as a TV and radio host in Ontario. Brown has published several books including "The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son," which deals with his son Walker's rare genetic disorder, Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome. He has received British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Charles Taylor Award Prize, which recognizes excellence in non-fiction.

-"Living with Multiple Sclerosis" – J. DeLynn Hill (Oct. 14, McMillian Auditorium, 12:30-1:30 p.m.)

Hill completed her undergraduate degree in civil engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and her law degree at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly thereafter. She has worked with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, the United States Department of Justice and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. As her MS symptoms rapidly progressed including becoming wheelchair bound and legally blind, she has been unable to continue work in her chosen field, but has become active in many disability causes.

-"All People Really Care About is Being Cared About: The Power of Empathy in Cancer Medicine" – Dr. Daniel Epner (Nov. 4, Cullen Auditorium, Noon-1 p.m.)

Epner is a medical oncologist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He graduated from BCM in 1986 and completed his medical oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in 1994. He began his career as a basic biomedical scientist whose goal was to "cure cancer." After practicing oncology for several years, he began to focus more on healing illness rather than curing disease. He has come to appreciate the power of caring and compassion in medicine and now realizes that allowing patients to truly be heard is often more therapeutic than even the most powerful chemotherapy. He spends most of his time discussing end of life, prognosis and other sensitive topics with cancer patients and teaching others how to engage successfully in such conversations.

-"Health Care for the Homeless" – Dr. Yasmeen Quadri and Dr. Nageeb Abdalla (Nov. 11, Cullen Auditorium, Noon-1 p.m.)

Quadri has served as assistant professor with the department of family and community medicine at BCM for the past 11 years. She has a clinical practice at Casa De Amigos Community Health Center where she previously served as medical director for six years. She currently serves as the assistant director for the Harris County Hospital District's Health Care for the Homeless Program. She participates as a facilitator in the Patient, Physician and Society Course at BCM and is a member of Baylor's mentoring program.

Abdalla was born in a small village in Garagos, Upper Egypt. He has been the medical director of the Harris County Hospital District's Health Care for the Homeless Program since 2003 and an associate professor with the department of family and community medicine at BCM. He served as the medical director of the Northwest Community Health Center from 1998 to 2003 and has participated in several medical mission trips to Kenya, Egypt, Honduras and Matamoros.