KHC Member Spotlight: Reita Jones

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Reita Jones

Reita Jones
Kentucky Department for Public Health

Job Title: Diabetes Community Health Coordinator

Member of KHC for: More than 10 years

KHC Committee Participation: Conference Planning Committee, Executive Committee, Public Reporting Committee, Measurement Committeee

Through her work with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Reita helps facilitate, monitor, and evaluate population-focused initiatives implemented by a network of state, regional, and local public health professions who work with public, private, non-profit, and professional entities across the Commonwealth to implement quality evidence-based programs, practices, policies, and systems related to diabetes prevention (type 2) and control.

What are you currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community?

I am working with partners on a diabetes and hypertension quality improvement toolkit for primary care provider offices. Application of the toolkit concepts and ideas can help drive improvement for practices focused on optimizing diabetes or hypertension management and have chosen related measures for submission in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program.

Lowering cost is one of the three main priorities of the Triple Aim. What are the best strategies for addressing cost in our community?

I believe the community can move down the road to higher value as well as better health and better care by routinely incorporating certified diabetes educators (CDEs) on the health care team by way of community linkages or in the office part time. For a relatively low cost, CDEs are generally very skilled in patient engagement, self-management education/support, goal setting, and empowering patients with the knowledge/skills to better manage their diabetes and prevent costly complications. CDEs also make great care managers.

Why do you and your organization belong to the KHC? What do you find most valuable as a member?

I value the opportunity to network with and learn from local health care leaders as well as regional and national experts and innovators. I also appreciate opportunities for collaborative efforts to impact the Triple Aim in the community and the state particularly in the areas of diabetes and chronic disease.

Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the KHC is needed in the community?

The current weaknesses of our healthcare system and many health issues are quite complex. A multi-stakeholder coalition can serve as an important convener for communication, trust development, coordination, collaboration, and pooling of resources, knowledge and skills to address some of our common issues and significantly increase the likelihood of positive achievement.

What is your favorite quote?

“There are two ways of spreading light: be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.

I like to volunteer with faith-based ministries or do something active outside. I especially enjoy spending time with family and friends hiking, paddling a kayak, white water rafting, gardening, or cycling.

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