Catherine Hawes, Ph.D., professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, is one of six faculty members to receive the prestigious Regents Professor Award. In fact, during the past six consecutive years, TAMHSC-School of Public Health faculty have  received this distinguished award, including Larry Gamm, Ph.D.; K.C. Donnelly, Ph.D.; Charles Phillips, Ph.D.; Marcia Ory, Ph.D.; and Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D.

Dr. Catherine Hawes

Established in 1996, the Regents Professor Award is bestowed annually by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in recognition of awardees’ exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas. Since its adoption, 144 faculty members from universities, agencies and the Texas A&M Health Science Center across the A&M System have been recognized with the award.

Dr. Hawes is an internationally recognized expert in long-term care, with particular attention to quality of care. Her numerous awards and accolades are testament to her devotion to the quality of care for the elderly and infirm.

Most recently, Dr. Hawes addressed “Nursing Homes and the Affordable Care Act: A Cease Fire in the Ongoing Struggle Over Quality Reform” in the April 2012 edition of Journal of Aging & Social Policy (JASP). The entire issue of JASP was devoted to articles evaluating different aspects of the Affordable Care Act, and the editors invited expert researchers to provide related articles.

Dr. Hawes has provided expert testimony several times to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Senate Finance Committee; conducted congressional staff briefings; and testified to the state legislatures of Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Nursing Home Regulation – whose recommendations were adopted by Congress as the nursing home reforms contained in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 – and was appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2004 to serve on the Nursing Facility Quality Assurance Team and make recommendations for improving nursing home quality in the state.

Dr. Hawes also has been recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a leading scholar in her field, among the top one-half of one percent of all published researchers worldwide in each of 21 categories “who have demonstrated great influence in their field” and “made fundamental contributions to the advancement of science” as measured by citations to their work. She also led a team of researchers who developed an assessment system used in all U.S. nursing homes to develop resident’s care plans and evaluate the quality of care. This tool has been translated into 22 languages and is now used in 19 other countries.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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