Karen P. Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund and a prominent scholar on issues of health care access, cost and effectiveness, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by The Johns Hopkins University.
Davis, a former member of the Johns Hopkins faculty, was one of four persons to receive the degree of doctor of humane letters at May 24 commencement ceremonies marking the close of the university's 125th academic year.
The citation accompanying the award praised Davis "for tremendous contributions to health services research and the health policy debate."
"You have promoted the common good and sought ways to help us live healthy and productive lives, giving special attention to those -- here and around the world -- with serious, neglected problems," the citation said. "Throughout your career, your scholarship and leadership have been widely admired, as has your eloquence on issues of passionate concern to you."
Davis served in the Carter administration as a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and as the first woman to head a U.S. Public Health Service agency. She joined the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1981 and two years later, became chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. In 1992, she became executive vice president of The Commonwealth Fund, a foundation devoted to independent research on health and social policy issues. She was elected the fund's president in 1994.
Davis graduated from Rice University in 1965 and earned a Ph.D. in economics there in 1969. She has been a member since 1975 of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is a member of the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy.
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