In 1968 Dr. J. Rhodes Haverty, a prominent pediatrician in Atlanta, was appointed the founding Dean and Professor of the College of Health Sciences at Georgia State University. From that position, he became a national leader in the processes of both accreditation and certification in the allied health professions in general, and in the emerging physician assistant profession in particular. He was a founding member of both the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs for the Assistant to the Primary Care Physician (now, ARC-PA), and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), becoming the second president of the latter in 1976. It was during his presidency of the NCCPA that the critical issues of recertification and specialty certification were addressed, and the Commission became financially viable without the necessity for external grant support.
Dr. Haverty was born in Atlanta in 1926, a third-generation native Georgian. He graduated high school from the Baylor Military School in Chattanooga, TN. He attended Princeton University, graduating in 1948, following a period of interruption to serve in the United States Navy in World War II. He then graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 1953. Following a pediatric residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, he became Chief Resident in Pediatrics at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He entered the practice of pediatrics in 1957, leaving to become Dean at Georgia State University a decade later.
While in private practice, Dr. Haverty was active in a number of organizations on the local and national stage. They included the Atlanta Clinical Society, the Medical Association of Atlanta, the Medical Association of Georgia, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association. He served as President of the Medical Association of Georgia.
As Dean, he joined the American Society of Allied health Professions, becoming President in 1974. He served on the Manpower Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Following his tenure as President of the NCCPA, Dr. Haverty was invited to become a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners, serving the NBME for eight years. His expertise in accreditation led to his appointment to the Board of the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He became a member, and subsequently, Chairman, of the AMA’s Committee on Allied health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA), the committee responsible for accreditation of most allied health education programs in the United States, and the parent organization of the physician assistant “Joint Review Committee.”
Other activities included service on the National Commission for the Study of Nursing and Nursing Education, and participation in several grant review committees of the National Institutes of Health. Finally he was appointed to the Board of the National Council on Postsecondary Accreditation and served as Chairman of its Committee on Recognition.
Dr. Haverty received numerous awards and expressions of recognition. Most notably, he is one of only three persons to be named an “Honorary Commissioner” by the NCCPA for his dedicated service during its formative years. He received an honorary doctorate from Georgia State University in 2004.
Dr. Haverty retired in 1991. He and his wife enjoyed cruising around the world, taking one or two such trips every year, sometimes for six to twelve weeks at a time. Dr. Haverty passed away on January 24, 2014.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by Thomas E. Piemme, MD and was submitted to the Society in May 2012. The photo of Dr. Haverty is courtesy of Stars of the South. This bio was edited in February 2014.