Founder of ECU’s family medicine division honored for lifelong dedication
Plaque for the newly named James G. “Jim” Jones Chair’s Suite of East Carolina University Department of Family Medicine Kudos to Jones and the vast list of titles he is known for.
put forward. champion. Family doctor. Visionary. Mentor. counselor. friend.
Praise for Jones, Founder of ECU’s Family Medicine Division Brody College of Medicineand his life’s work was brief and emphasized when his impact on ECU and healthcare in North Carolina was celebrated at a luncheon with state leaders in healthcare and higher education on Jan. 27. .
Native American Honor Awarded
A proclamation from the University of East Carolina, the Town of Pembroke, the Robson County Commission, and the Lambie Nation of North Carolina honors the extraordinary achievements of Jones, founder of ECU’s Division of Family Medicine .
On behalf of the Lambie, UNC Pembroke President Robin Gary Cummings presented Jones with the proclamation.
“In Native American cultures, the eagle flies so high that it is considered the creature closest to the Creator,” Cummings said. “The eagle is strength, wisdom, and courage. When a person is given the wings of an eagle, he is supreme.”
Cummings was aware that most North Carolina leaders in Jones’ position would be awarded the Long Leaf Pine Medal, the state’s highest civilian honor, but he had previously received the award. I did not award it because it was
Thousands of North Carolinians have benefited from Jones’ influence on family medicine. was treated by a doctor trained in Thanks to the foundation he laid, he will be cared for by family doctors for generations. Mr. Cummings said Mr. Jones lived up to the biblical dictum: “Much is given, much is asked of me.”
“I think Jim Jones has lived under the shadow of this admonition all his life,” Cummings said. “Is there any other word that better sums up Jim’s life, his personality, and his accomplishments?”
— Patricia Earnhardt Tyndall
Jones said he wished there was a word beyond love to express his feelings for his colleagues and friends who gathered in his honor. It was a day when guests leaned into Jones’ every word, but others also praised him, thanked him, and praised him. These honors were awarded in an auditorium used daily to educate future physicians.
In recognition of Jones’ illustrious career, friends and colleagues have raised over $333,000 to establish Dr. James G. Jones as Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine at ECU Brody College of Medicine. ECU from North Carolina Award a professorship that ensures Jones’ legacy lives on for generations to come.
ECU Rector Philip Rogers shared the university’s mission and core commitment to student success, public service, and community transformation.
“The words have meaning. They’re rooted in our DNA,” Rogers said. “I can’t think of anyone better than Dr. Jones to make ECU’s mission a reality.”
During his tenure as Legislative Liaison and Chief of Staff for the ECU, Rogers experienced Jones’ influence firsthand when the need for a family medical center was brought to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Another wise man said, “I know this guy, Jim Jones, who can make this happen.” And he did, folks,” Rogers said. “We are in this room today as a result of his vision and his leadership in developing this $36.8 million state-of-the-art home health center.”
The ECU is able to fulfill its mission, Rogers said, thanks to progress on the shoulders of people like Jones who laid the foundation for what we are today.
Rogers said, “We would like to say again how grateful and proud we are to call you a friend.
Sherry Alexander, chairman of the Family Medicine Department, welcomed Jones and his guests to the House of Family Medicine.
“This beautiful facility was envisioned and championed by Dr. Jim Jones,” she said. “It’s been great to have the opportunity to work here every day, and I’m very honored to be able to serve in the same role as Dr. Jones.”
Alexander said the family medicine department has become an invaluable asset to ECU and Eastern North Carolina. noted his determination to do all the work behind the scenes.
“I am happy to report that ECU family medicine is thriving,” said Alexander. “Since the inception of the program envisioned by Dr. Jones, we have trained more than 400 family physician residents. and Dr. Jones owes your vision and the advocacy that we have built upon your work.”
Alexander said ECU consistently has the highest percentage of graduates choosing family medicine in North Carolina and ranks among the top 10 schools nationwide for the percentage of students enrolled in family medicine programs.
Jones’ work to establish medical schools to train more family physicians began 50 years ago when he was president of the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians and a practicing physician in Jacksonville. Bill Friday, president of the UNC system, asked him to set up a family clinic at ECU.
UNC-Pembroke Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings, a friend, colleague and co-chair of the Jones Fund Planning Committee, described Jones as proof that circumstances don’t dictate where life goes. They only tell you where you started.
When Jones was five years old, his parents left him and he was raised by his grandparents in rural Robson County. Cummings describes a quote Jones’ grandmother often used:
A member of the Lambie tribe, Jones went on to become a prominent alumnus of Wake Forest University, the first Native American to graduate from Bowman Gray College of Medicine, and the first clinical chairman of an American medical school. I have. usa. After his internship at Grady Hospital and Camp in Atlanta and his US Navy training in Lejeune, Jones established a thriving medical practice in Jacksonville.
Cummings said Jones dreamed of following in the footsteps of Albert Schweitzer and becoming a medical missionary in Africa. Instead, when it wasn’t commonplace, “he became the biggest advocate for family medicine in our country,” Cummings said. I had the NC General Assembly consider rural health care in North Carolina.”
Cummings read messages from letters sent by Governor Roy Cooper and former Governor Jim Hunt, acknowledging Jones as a giant in medicine.
“We sincerely thank you for your dedication to bringing healthcare to the poor and rural North Carolina,” Cooper’s letter said.
Hunt wrote of his high regard for Jones: A very humble man, Jim is a true North Carolina treasure. ”
Jacksonville native Howard Stein first met Jones in 1963 as a 10-year-old patient at Jones’ new clinic. Stein lovingly described the friendship that became her 60-year love affair between Jones and his family.
“I remember my father saying he couldn’t imagine someone meeting Dr. Jones and not liking him,” Stein said. “He’s a man of great character. He’s everything you could want in a man from start to finish.”
“I was lucky in every way,” added Stein. “He was my doctor, my mentor, my grief counselor, my spiritual advisor in my time of need. Most of all, he was my friend.”
fulfilled its mission
Jones turned to his friend’s room and began to recognize their work in family medicine. He believed that was the reason for his success and the honors given to his name.
“I’m amazed at what’s happened here,” Jones said. “I am humbled and very, very deeply grateful.”
Practitioners became teachers again when Jones delivered a masterclass explaining how a poor Lambie boy from Robson County became a doctor, found his calling, and transformed home medicine in North Carolina.
Jones had long said that the extreme eastern and western parts of our state were hinterlands neglected by academia. was persuaded to believe that they would not train family doctors.
When Jones was first called to meet with the president on Friday, it was an effort to get Jones to backtrack on his idea of training family physicians. He led his NC Academy of Family Physicians and unanimously supported his ECU efforts to open a medical school and educate state leaders about the need for local doctors.
“We knew that if we didn’t train our doctors, we wouldn’t have people to care for our patients in rural areas,” Jones said. “It turns out that most of the incumbents have had family doctors. We want you to have a little booth right outside your office so they know who you are.
Jones loves being a practitioner, and when he came to ECU and was asked to lead family medicine, he focused his efforts on finding someone else to fill the role.
“I didn’t want to be honest with you,” said Jones. “I agreed to come for two years. I remained 20.”
Jones said he initially thought he was destined to become a missionary. He believes his time as founder of ECU Home Medicine was God’s way of using his services.
“I found my destiny. I don’t think my place of service was in Africa,” said Jones. “My mission was to create a doctor in rural North Carolina.”
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