New director of Student Health Services brings holistic view, systems approach to role

It was not how Edward Jones II, the new director of Student Health Services in the Division of Student Affairs, wanted to introduce himself to colleagues on campus. But the work comes with being a public health official.

Jones had worked at Grand Valley all of four days before he called a meeting and then a week later led discussion of how to handle cases of the monkeypox virus (MPV) on campus, should the need arise.

"It was not the ideal way to meet people on campus but necessary at the time," Jones said. "As I suspected, I found the team had good systems and practices in place from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic."

Edward Jones II in shirt and jacket standing outside the Fieldhouse, with hand in pocket
Most recently, Edward Jones II served as site manager for the Cherry Health- Wyoming Community Health Center.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts

Most recently a site manager for the Cherry Health- Wyoming Community Health Center, Jones brings deep experience in health care administration to this new role that provides leadership and oversight of all student health services, from immunization recommendations to preparedness to supervision of the Campus Health Center, and serves as advisor to senior leadership on student and public health issues. 

Moving to higher education, Jones said, provides him an opportunity to give back while making a systematic impact on college-age individuals. He has trained in several continual improvement processes and said those systems allow for holistic approaches to health care.

"Socioeconomic issues have such a big impact on student health. I did not have a great experience entering college, so I did my education while I was serving in the military," Jones said. "This opportunity allows me to give back to college-going populations. My No. 1 focus is student safety, and that's not safety only during a pandemic. I want them to feel safe here."

Prior to working at Cherry Health, Jones was an administrator for Illuminate HC and led a 93-bed long-term care facility in Muskegon with 115 employees. While serving in the U.S. Navy, he worked as a mental health clinic manager and outpatient supervisor. His first role in the Navy was as a combat medic.

Jones earned a master of business administration degree from Western Michigan University and a bachelor's degree in health care administration from Charter Oaks State College. He is also the membership co-chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids.

The GVSU Health Hub is a new website that details Grand Valley's health centers on the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses, and shares health and well-being resources for the Grand Valley community.

Jones has coordinated a Community Health Advisory Team of university employees and a representative from Trinity Health, which operates the Campus Health Center on the Allendale Campus. CHAT members will serve as advisors to Jones. In a public health emergency, like COVID-19, their roles will become more functional, he said.


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