Catherine Waters Selected as Sally Bates Endowed Chair

Catherine Waters, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAHA, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Sally Bates Endowed Chair (Bates Chair) in Health Disparities.

The goal of the Bates Chair is to reduce health disparities in underserved and minority populations through research, teaching, and service. It will help shape the future of the School of Nursing by addressing the health care needs of all members of our society. Catherine’s appointment recognizes her lifelong commitment to those ideals through her work in community and public health nursing.

From left: Catherine Waters, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAHA, speaks with students Elizabeth Sin, Tristin Penland, Ellen Kynoch, and Laura Sheckler. Photographer: Elisabeth Fall.

Sally Bates Endowed Chair Headshot of Ernest (Ernie) Bates, MD

Neurosurgeon Ernest (Ernie) Bates, MD, established the Bates Chair out of his genuine respect and appreciation for the nurses he has worked with and in honor of his mother, Sally, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Reflecting on his mother, Bates affirms, “She was a remarkable lady. By day she was a janitor, but she really liked nursing, so she went to night school and got her credentials.” The UCSF Nursing Alumni Association Board and membership were so impressed with this Chair that they committed support through their funding mechanisms.

Commitment to Reducing Health Disparities

Catherine’s appointment as the inaugural Bates Chair recognizes her visionary achievements and her half-decade of service to the citizens of San Francisco. As Health Commissioner, Catherine advocated successfully for inclusion of and equitable disbursements to the only nurse-run clinic in the Community Clinic Consortium. The clinic is an innovative health access program and provider for Healthy San Francisco, and Catherine achieved unprecedented results, which were honored with the city’s Resolution No. 13-3.

Catherine also has received numerous accolades for distinction in teaching and mentoring, including the Women of Excellence Award from the Ivy AKAdemy Foundation of San Francisco, which the group bestowed upon Catherine for extraordinary mentoring of underrepresented populations. She has provided leadership to the School as Chair of the Faculty, and President of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, in addition to many other academic and research roles.

Her contributions to reducing health disparities are many and often emerge from sponsored scientific work in community-based participatory action research. Catherine may be best known for this research, which, she emphasizes, is conducted “with the community, not on the community.” In collaboration with local civic and social organizations, her projects – including NuFIT, HeartPEP, and Healthy Ordered Steps – have had an enormous and positive impact on the health of several underrepresented communities. Catherine’s current research explores how community and public health nurses can create an environment in which people from culturally diverse backgrounds can feel comfortable having end-of-life planning conversations.

Celebratory Reception

The Bates Chair recognizes Catherine’s devotion and outstanding contributions to public service aimed at achieving health parity and equity for individuals, families, communities, and society. The work inspires all of us to think globally and act locally.

Please join the community in congratulating Catherine at a reception on Wednesday, February 24 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the UCSF Kalmanovitz Library Lange Room.

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