Marshall medical resident to receive national research award for pediatrics work

Thursday, March 23, 2017
: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713 

Marshall medical resident to receive national research award for pediatrics work

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Rebecca “Becca” Hayes, M.D., a third-year internal medicine/pediatrics resident at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has been selected to receive a Society for Pediatric Research House Officer Research Award for her work on developing a validated measure for assessing fitness in young children.

“Dr. Hayes is a top-notch clinician and researcher whose interest in improving children’s health is a driving force,” said Susan L. Flesher, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at Marshall who nominated Hayes for the award. “Her earlier research, which sought to improve physical fitness of elementary school students, uncovered the need for a tool to measure fitness.  In her usual innovative style, she decided to develop one, which led to this novel method to measure and track fitness in children.”

The six-minute step test designed by Hayes and her team was validated for children 10 years and younger, and was compared to the “gold standard” for fitness, the maximal graded exercise treadmill test.  Hayes said the new test demonstrated excellent reliability and that the testing protocol is simple and requires minimum space and cost to administer and assess fitness.

“This project was an incredible collaboration among the departments of pediatrics, exercise science and physical therapy with the gracious support of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission,” Hayes said. “We hope that with this step test, educators and health care providers can monitor the aerobic fitness of children over time.”

Hayes, a 2014 Marshall School of Medicine graduate, will be recognized for her research at a meeting in May in San Francisco.  She is one of just three residents nationwide to receive the award.


Date Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2017