The Senate of Lakehead University approved the creation of the Centre for Health Care Ethics (CHCE) in October of 1998. The Centre evolved out of the volunteer organization known as Thunder Bay Bioethics Interest Group (TB-BIG) that had been initiated in March 1996 by Dr. J. Kotalik.

Since then, the CHCE has hosted hundreds of panel presentations, lectures, debates, and workshops for its members and the general public. Forums for local, regional and international speakers have featured participants such as Abbyann Lynch, Peter Singer, Margaret Somerville and Cynda Rushton. The CHCE continues to expand its educational components to meet the needs of four major groups: post-secondary students and academics; local/regional health care institutions and professionals; and, the citizens of Northwestern Ontario. Further, the CHCE explores opportunities to build capacity for ethics among its institutional members and engages in a variety of research endeavours.