Hector Rodriguez, PhD, MPH Named 2011 Recipient of the Thompson Prize for Young Investigators

By Lacey Meckley, CAE posted 05-11-2011 08:23


In recognition of his significant contributions to research literature in the field of health services, Hector Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, of the University of California, Los Angeles, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators. The Prize was established to honor John D. Thompson, a professor of health administration, who set standards in teaching, commitment to learning, collegial relationships, and health services research, which are without peer. It is awarded to faculty from AUPHA members programs whose work, which may be in any of the several fields of disciplines, contributes to knowledge in health services. Dr. Rodriguez will be presented with the Prize at the AUPHA annual meeting this June in Charleston, SC.


Dr. Rodriguez was nominated by Frederick Zimmerman, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Services at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Dr. Rodriguez has established himself as an emerging national leader in the area of organizational influences on quality of care,” remarks Dr. Zimmerman, “and has made important contributions in two newer areas, all within the remarkably short time span of not quite 5 years since receiving his doctorate.”


Dr. Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of California, Los Angeles, a Faculty Associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Affiliate Investigator at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Health Services Research & Development (Dept. of VA HSR&D), Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior.  Prior to his appointment at UCLA, Rodriguez earned his BA in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego, an MPH in Health Policy in Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD in Health Policy/Medical Sociology from Harvard University. 


In his growing library of publications, Rodriguez has 25 refereed research articles, the majority of which have been published in first-tier publications, and three more articles currently under peer review. “Despite his heavy mentoring load, he is continuing to publish and research at a blistering rate,” says Zimmerman of Rodriguez. “The fact that Dr. Rodriguez has become such a highly valued mentor speaks directly to his intellectual leadership within the Department, which, along with his with grant funding and productivity, places him on a par with colleagues many years his senior.” Some of his active research projects include funding from the Department of VA HSR&D to examine the effect of care team functioning on the effective implementation of patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices and structures in the VA healthcare system and from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to compare the effectiveness of office-based medical assistant panel managers, and community-based health workers on improving diabetes care quality, patient self management, and patients' experiences of primary care. 


“I am honored to be selected as the recipient of the 2011 Thompson Prize,” says Dr. Rodriguez of his selection.  “I am grateful for important career guidance from my outstanding career mentors Dana Gelb Safran and Paul D. Cleary.  It is a very exciting time to engage in health care management and policy research.  We have a lot to learn and the stakes are high.” 


Nominations for the 2012 Thompson Prize will be solicited in the fall and winter for submissions by Spring 2012. In order to be eligible for the Prize, the nominee must be a faculty member at a Full Member Program of AUPHA, have been awarded a PhD no more than six years prior to consideration and have not yet achieved tenure. The Prize is intended to serve as a benchmark for pre-tenure work. For additional information, go to AUPHA’s website at www.aupha.org > Products & Services > Recognition and Prizes > Thompson Prize for Young Investigators.