The Late Dr. Loretta Jones
As a “Community Gatekeeper,” Dr. Loretta Jones dedicated her life towards the hope and healing of community. Her career as a civil rights activist, health policy advocate, and social architect spanned more than 40 years. In her dedication to level the playing field for all people, Dr. Jones continued her unyielding commitment as a change agent against disparities in human health, development, and opportunity until her death in 2018. Dr. Jones was known internationally for her work in addressing health disparities and health equity. She was an inspiration and mentor to many working to improve depression outreach and care through community-academic partnerships. Dr. Jones pioneered Community Partnered Participatory Research (CPPR), a community-academic research model for connecting academic medical center researchers to community. Prior to this, researchers would do what she called “helicoptering”. They would come in to communities of color with their research projects, collect their data and leave, never to be heard from again. CPPR calls for transparency, accountability, and equal power-sharing between academics and communities to conduct research that is meaningful to and for the community.