Federal health scientist to fill new Howe Chair

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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has named Ronda G. Hughes, senior health scientist at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to fill the newly established Howe Chair for Healthcare Transformation.

The endowed chair was funded by the Aurora Health Care Foundation to honor G. Edwin Howe, founder of Aurora Health Care. Howe retired in 2007 as president and chief executive officer. Aurora's goal in establishing the chair is to work in partnership with UWM to develop specialized expertise in the field of healthcare transformation. The focus will be on developing and testing healthcare innovations and helping move them into routine practice.

"Dr. Hughes' distinguished record and depth of expertise at the federal level will put the UWM-Aurora partnership on a fast track as a leading research center for the study of healthcare innovation and adoption," said UWM Provost Rita Cheng in announcing the appointment.

Hughes has extensive experience in healthcare policy, research and its links to practice. Prior to joining the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, she was a senior health analyst and data analysis coordinator for the Health Resources and Services Administration's Bureau of Primary Care. She earned her doctorate in health policy and health services research from Johns Hopkins University, and her B.S. in nursing from Boston University.

Hughes is a national leader and researcher in improving healthcare quality and patient safety. She is the author of numerous publications, including a 2008 book, "Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses," which has been used by over 1.5 million nurses worldwide. She started at UWM in January. Her appointment is jointly to the College of Nursing and the School of Public Health.

Issued by Kathy Quirk, kquirk@uwm.edu. 414-229-3144

10/1/2009