Hughes, 25, a 2001 graduate of Manila High School and 2004 graduate of Arkansas State University (B.S., Management), received his Master of Public Health degree in December, with an emphasis in Health Policy and Management, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He was the 2008 recipient of the Fay W. Boozman Public Health and Community Service Award, in recognition of his commitment to improving public health in Arkansas. The award and the UAMS College of Public Health are named in honor of the late Dr. Fay Boozman, the Arkansas State Health Officer who was killed in a farming accident in 2005.
An appointee of former Governor Mike Huckabee, Hughes has served the past three years as a member of the State Board of Health. His advocacy related to immunization issues led to the creation of a Vaccine Study Group Subcommittee of the Board. Hughes credits his experience as a member of the study group, graduate school research and extensive policy background as earning him the position with ASTHO.
A brain cancer survivor, Hughes has also been active as a leadership advocate with the American Cancer Society. He lobbied members of Congress in September of last year regarding cancer research funding and tobacco regulation.
Hughes stated, "In this new position, I hope to impact policy in a way that enhances vaccine coverage throughout the United States, including Arkansas."
He will miss Arkansas and his work on the Board of Health and hopes to return to the state one day.
Hughes' future plans include the pursuit of a doctoral degree in public health. His wife Laura is currently a first grade teacher at Brady Elementary School in Little Rock. Mrs. Hughes will teach in the D.C. area.