Top 100 Women of Impact: Jerrilyn Jones, MD, MPH

Jerrilyn Jones, MD, MPH

Associate Director for Science, Office of Preparedness & Emergency Response Systems, Arkansas Department of Health
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, UAMS

About me: I am a wife, mother, physician and public health champion. I count it a privilege to work in the health care industry where I treat both individual patients and communities at large. As an attending physician at UAMS, I help shepherd the next generation of emergency medicine leaders while caring for those in need. As associate director for science at the Arkansas Department of Health, I evaluate and address health care disparities on a systemic level with the goal of generating policies that protect and improve the health and well-being of all Arkansans. My experiences as a war veteran and frontline operative during disasters in Boston and Baltimore solidified my passion for responding to real-world emergencies, educating students and communities and striving to positively influence change.

Lives/Works in: Little Rock

Best Career Advice: It’s OK to feel disappointment, anger, frustration and sadness along your career path. It is not OK to stay there. Give yourself a set time to grieve, then make a decision to move on. 

Lesson Learned the Hard Way: Empathy does not require you to assume other people’s burdens. It is not your job to “fix” anyone. You don’t have the power to fix anyone. It’s easy to overlook this in close relationships, but when you forget it, you begin to lose parts of yourself.

Proudest Moment of Impact: I witnessed the power behind the mantra “you can’t be what you can’t see” when my eldest daughter, then a toddler, told her uncle he was not a doctor because he was a boy. “Boys can’t be doctors. Only girls can.” All she knew were female physicians — her mother, her pediatrician, her “aunties.” What an empowering bubble of existence! It excites me when I welcome other girls from the community into that same bubble.

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

Related Articles