Catherine Hawes, Ph.D., and Charles Phillips, Ph.D., M.P.H., a husband and wife team of researchers in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, will receive the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) Public Service Award at the opening ceremony of the NCCNHR meeting on October 16, 2005.
NCCNHR is the leading national citizen advocacy group working for improved quality in long-term care. In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, issues related to the quality of care for the frail elderly, especially those in nursing homes, have returned to the policy agenda. But quality of care in nursing homes and residential care has been the focus of this couple’s research for decades.
Drs. Hawes and Phillips are being recognized for their substantial contributions to the body of research regarding quality of care for the elderly, with special attention to long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Barbara Hengstebeck, President of NCCNHR, notes the uniqueness of the duo as well as their service, saying, “While recognizing that each of you has independently published research that has been invaluable to advocates, policy makers, and the press, we also want to honor your brilliant partnership.”
As longstanding advocates of quality care, Drs. Hawes and Phillips are leaders in the arena of long-term care issues. “For so many years, the diligence of your research, the constancy of your commitment to quality care, and the generosity of your willingness to share your knowledge have enriched our advocacy and public policy,” adds Ms. Hengstebeck.
The couple continues to contribute to the well-being of the elderly and infirm. Currently Dr. Hawes is studying elder abuse prevention in residential care facilities, while Dr. Phillips is ranking the quality of care in nursing homes so that it may be easily accessed and utilized by consumers. Both are planning to conduct a new study related to the quality of care during disasters, like the recent evacuations prior to Hurricane Rita. Dr. Hawes notes, “Quality of care and life are day-to-day issues for residents, while disasters are relatively rare events by comparison. However, knowing how to identify frail elders and their risk factors, and how to address or minimize those risks for vulnerable populations, should be an issue for emergency planners.”
Drs. Hawes and Phillips will be the keynote speakers at the opening session of the meeting, being held in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting marks the 30th anniversary of the NCCNHR.

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