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Joy Jones

Graziadio Business School | MBA 2018, PKE 139
UCLA, Greater L.A. Veteran's Administration Medical Center, L.A. County Office of Diversion and Reentry
Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Whole Village Health, Whole Village Health

After completing the Presidents and Key Executives program and her medical residency simultaneously, Joy Jones traveled to Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Egypt as a part of the Family Medicine Global Health Fellowship.

Joy Jones

What does being an honoree of the Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare campaign mean to you?

I am so deeply honored to receive this recognition from Pepperdine, especially during this time. My job as a physician has taken on new meaning in light of the current pandemic. I have realized the great honor and risk involved in this work. This year has been particularly harrowing as the vast majority of my patients reside on the fringes of society. They are the homeless, the ex-convicts, the mentally ill, the traumatized, the chronically ill. The current destabilization we are all feeling, seems to be more pronounced in these communities. Although it can be emotionally taxing work, there is nothing else I would rather do. I am so elated to have been distinguished in this way from my Pepperdine family.

Describe your road to success.

I was born in East LA and reared in Southwest LA to a small Caribbean-American family. My father immigrated to the US from Trinidad to complete his training as a physician, and it was his influence that inspired me to pursue medicine. My mother was a nurse by day, and quirky entrepreneur by night. I was told that my job was to be the best student I could be. Perhaps I took that advice a bit too literal because I have literally been in school (or some type of training) since I was in kindergarten. The reality is, I love to learn and find ways to apply new knowledge to problems I see around me. When not in school, I launched a career as a musical artist/composer and was able to produce several musical projects before finding my way to medicine. At present, I am board certified in Family Medicine physician and am completing Psychiatry residency training at UCLA.

I have a master's in Medical Anthropology from the University of London, a master's of Public Health from Loma Linda University, a master's of Business Administration from Pepperdine, and most recently completed six months of Tropical Medicine training in East Africa through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Throughout my medical career, global wellness has always been my focus. I have been an emergency volunteer in Ghanaian refugee camps, HIV case manager in South LA, and family physician in Nicaragua. I consider it my mission to help people around the world become more healthy, happy and whole. This passion has led to the development of my latest venture, Whole Village Health. This is a global wellness firm which uses technology, art, social media, and health education to address wellness and health-equity issues in vulnerable communities. I am hoping that this is only the beginning of my story as there is so much more I hope to do.

Who has helped you achieve success in your career?

There have been countless people who have helped me throughout the journey to my current place in life. I fiercely believe that my life is divinely choreographed. I count no opportunity, meeting, or person that crosses my path as coincidence. For this reason, when I consider the contributors to my success, I cannot just mention my parents, teacher and mentors. I think of a medical school janitor who would allow me to work in the lab after closing hours. I think of my patients whose struggle with HIV and Meth addiction reminds me that we are all fighting unseen battles and to extend the grace to myself. I think of the many people that came before me, who looked just like me and had similar dreams, but were never allowed to manifest them. I am a composite of all of these individuals, and many more. Beyond all of the people I have mentioned, it is God who has been my waymaker, cheerleader, encourager, uplifter, protector, and everything else I could ever want, or need.

Describe a lesson you've learned from a challenging time in your career or life.

After the sudden death of my father, I was plunged into a particularly dark period in my life. He had been my stability throughout my life, and as a newly minted adult, my footing was unsure. This was before I started my medical training, and I found myself wandering aimlessly. I had a steady income and could put on a "good face" in public, but I was functionally-depressed. I was existing and going through the motions with no aim, no purpose and no motivation. I'm grateful that I can look back on that time in retrospect. I'm humbled that I can share this story with people currently going through similar situations to let them know there is a way through. It may require reaching out for help, some therapy, some time off-work, or even medication, but it is possible to pass through to the other side. This experience is part of the reason I am so passionate about helping others find ways to optimize their physical and emotional health.

How do you prepare for a busy day?

I start by giving thanks for a new day. I read a devotional book or listen to a motivational talk. I take a few moments to visualize my day and imagine it going well. I also create some contingency plans, just in case things don't go as planned. I think about if I can dance at some point during the day. Then I say aloud "5-4-3-2-1 blast-off" and launch myself out of bed.

"I fiercely believe that my life is divinely choreographed. I count no opportunity, meeting, or person that crosses my path as coincidence."

Joy Jones (MBA '18, PKE 139)

What's next for you?

I am so excited about the future and what lies ahead. I believe in the quantum physics concept which postulates a particle can exist in the past, future and present simultaneously. If that is true for a particle, it may be true for me as well. This means that I am continuously healing my past, celebrating my present and manifesting my future. At present, my focus is building Whole Village Health into the dynamic global wellness entity. I believe it has the potential to be a source of help and healing for people from all walks of life. I am currently pivoting into more telemedicine, which has broadened my reach. I am investing in cutting-edge methods that can be used to infuse healing into everyday life. I am looking into film as a vehicle for discussing sensitive issues surrounding mental health. I am looking into creating more music that may bring some solace during these uncertain times. Lastly, I am always finding new ways to help people become more healthy, happy, and whole.

What is your mantra or favorite quote?

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and give you a future." - Jeremiah 29:11