A look back on Tom Vaughn’s career as he prepares to retire

Published on June 16, 2022

Tom Vaughn, associate professor of health management and policy, is set to retire on July 1, 2022, after 27 years of exceptional service to the University of Iowa.

Vaughn received an MHSA and a PhD in health services organization and policy from the University of Michigan. He joined the University of Iowa in 1995 as an associate in the Graduate Program in Hospital and Health Administration (now the Department of Health Management and Policy in the UI College of Public Health). He was named assistant professor in 1996 and associate professor in 2003. He also holds an appointment in the UI College of Nursing and previously held an appointment with the VA Medical Center in Iowa City.

A portrait of Thomas Vaughn of the Department of Health Management and Policy in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

His research interests include health services organization and policy, leadership and quality of care, and organizational factors associated with effectiveness. He was one of the lead researchers of the team that developed the Hospital Leadership and Quality Assessment Tool (HLQAT), which is a survey instrument designed to assist hospitals to identify leadership strengths and structures and processes that support desired quality improvement activities.

He was an investigator on two research projects with the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), one a technical assistance grant looking the impact of the Affordable Care Act on rural health care delivery and the second an examination of accountable care organizations serving rural communities. He also served as an investigator on an AHRQ-funded project to determine whether pre-planning for TeamSTEPPS can improve implementation effectiveness. 

Vaughn has taught numerous courses, and he directed the college’s Master of Health Administration degree program from 2005 to 2016, playing a vital role in preparing students for the workforce.

He is a member of many professional organizations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Public Health Association, and Academy of Management. He has held leadership positions with the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, including serving as chair from 2014 to 2015.

At the University of Iowa, Vaughn has made important contributions to faculty governance, collegiate committee leadership, and service to the academic community. He has served two terms on the UI Faculty Senate, and has held each of the four officer roles, including serving as president from 2016 to 2017. He has served and held leadership roles on numerous senate and university committees, including the Strategic Plan Development Group.

He has contributed to a variety of collegiate committees and has played a pivotal role on the College of Public Health Faculty Council, serving as a member for seven years and chair for four of those years. From 2018 to 2020, he served as interim associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Public Health. In 2019, he was awarded the University of Iowa’s Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service.

“Tom’s research, teaching, and service have contributed significantly to the success of our department, college, and the university,” says Keith Mueller, professor and head of the Department of Health Management and Policy. “His leadership has had an important influence on shaping the student and faculty experience at Iowa. We are thankful for his years of dedication, thoughtfulness, and good humor, and we wish him the best as he transitions to professor emeritus.”