Loretta Jones, associate director of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, died November 22, 2018. She was 77 years old. Jones received The UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor, in 2017. She was a passionate health policy advocate, who, for four decades committed her life to eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care outcomes. She is best known for co-developing methods that gave underserved communities a greater role in planning and implementing academic research. She, with Kenneth Wells, MD, MPH, in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, published the model in 2007 in JAMA. In doing so, she demonstrated a tenet of her model — that community members co-author research publications alongside academics.
A foster child herself, Jones was foster mother to more than 20 children, including teen mothers with their babies and youth with mental disabilities. She was awarded two honorary doctorates, including one from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.