For Dr. Alan Jones, 2020 has been a year of incredible challenges and professional accolades.
Jones, a 1994 graduate of Millsaps College with a degree in biology, serves as chair and professor of the department of emergency medicine and clinical lead of the COVID-19 incident response team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), located directly across from the Millsaps campus.
Years of experience in emergency medicine have prepared Jones for his leadership role in managing through the coronavirus pandemic.
“As part of emergency medicine, we go through training related to disaster preparation and emergency responses,” Jones said. “This training centers around large-scale events that require altering normal mechanisms for treating patients and adapting to mass-casualty situations. Our biggest challenges right now relate to communication on multiple levels across a complex organization, and how we get everyone involved to think about what’s needed as a team to accomplish our goals.”
In the midst of managing UMMC’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Jones has also recently been recognized as the winner of the 2020 SEC Faculty Achievement Award for the University of Mississippi. Winners are chosen by a committee of provosts from the 14 universities in the Southeastern Conference.
“I was surprised to receive this award,” Jones said. “It’s a distinct honor.”
Asked about what advice he might offer today’s students at Millsaps, Jones noted how it’s important for human nature and our conditioning for self-preservation to change.
“When you sacrifice what you see as normal, sacrifices need to be made altruistically. You’re not sacrificing to keep yourself safe, you’re sacrificing for society in general.”