Camara Phyllis Jones

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, Ph.D., is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation.

She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).

As a methodologist, she has developed new methods for comparing full distributions of data, rather than simply comparing means or proportions, in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions.

As a social epidemiologist, her work on "race"-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on "race" and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. She hopes through her work to initiate a national conversation on racism that will eventually lead to a National Campaign Against Racism.

Dr. Jones is currently a Senior Fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, an Adjunct Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine. She was an Assistant Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health from 1994 to 2000 before being recruited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Medical Officer in 2000.*

Her awards include:

  • the 2011 John Snow Award from the American Public Health Association and the Royal Society for Public Health,
  • the 2009 Hildrus A. Poindexter Award from the Black Caucus of Health Workers, and
  • the inaugural 2003 David Satcher Award from the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Health Promotion and Public Health Education.

Dr. Jones is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and has completed service on the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association, the Board of Directors of the American College of Epidemiology, and the Board of Directors of the National Black Women’s Health Project.

Dr. Jones received her B.A. in molecular biology from Wellesley College, her M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine, and both her Master’s of Public Health and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She also completed residency training in both General Preventive Medicine (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health) and Family Practice (Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Hospital).

* Dr. Jones is on detail from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Satcher Health Leadership Institute effective November 2013.

Note: Dr. Jones is speaking in her personal capacity. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the United States government.

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Of interest to: all health professions, incl. public health, social and behavioral sciences, policy, law, education, for example.

Supported by: Akron-Region Interprofessional AHEC and The University of Akron College of Health Professions.