Director, Health Informatics Department, BioHealth Informatics

Josette Jones, RN, PhD joined the Indiana University, Indianapolis in August 2002 with 50-50 joint tenure-track appointment between the School of Nursing and the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) (formerly School of Informatics). In 2007, her appointment was changed to a 90 percent appointment with the School of Informatics, in order to respond to the demands of the fast-growing health informatics program and to better align her teaching and research efforts. During her tenure, she has focused on preparing students with the new skills and competencies needed by health informatics professionals of the 21st century, as envisioned by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) initiative. These competencies include patient-centered care, work in interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice and the ability to use informatics to improve the delivery and quality of care. Recognizing that these competencies are both interdependent and essential for creating an environment to provide safer, higher-quality health care, developing these competencies has been an integral part of my teaching, research and service.

Since her appointment at Indiana University, she was instrumental in the development and design of the graduate curricula in nursing and health informatics. She was also instrumental in developing a certificate program in nursing informatics (School of Nursing) and five graduate certificates in health information technology (HIT) (SoIC). Her teaching demonstrates excellence in several ways, including: leadership in curriculum and program development; development of new models for teaching; interdisciplinary collaboration; course development and pedagogy; significant mentoring and research supervision leading to student success; positive student evaluations; positive peer review of teaching, publications/presentations bearing on teaching; and significant service in support of educational excellence. She has single-handedly improved the curricula and set the direction for health informatics education at SoIC, by closely monitoring the vast gamut of changes that are continue to happen in the field. Her excellence in teaching was noted at national level: she was appointed as an accreditation reviewer by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) for emerging health informatics. In addition,in November 2015, Josette Jones was appointed to the AMIA-CAHIIM committee to set the standards for health informatics education.

Dr. Jones’s commitment to her students, to Indiana University and to the average citizen of Indiana goes above and beyond her formal role as director of the health informatics program. Dr. Jones is an enabler, a champion to her students and her department. She spends considerable time and effort getting to understand students’ strengths, weaknesses, skills and competencies, and provide them mentorship accordingly. She celebrates a student’s accomplishment, yet is also alert to when a student stumbles, helps him/her back onto his/her feet, and then retreats to a safe distance to encourage to move on. Her skill in encouraging students to mature, to realize their full potential as professionals or future academicians is truly phenomenal. There are many alumni of the health informatics program, who are leaders in the field (in both industry and academia) and continue to come to Dr. Jones for friendly advice and career direction.

She is tireless in her commitment to help others to succeed, be it via mentoring students or junior faculty, making connections between researchers who are part of her extensive net of collaborators, or working with local institutions to provide research and practice experience. The success of her students and faculty, the growth of the department, the recognition of the school and university are the drivers of her work. Her colleagues and students have often reported that her warmth and amicable personality is among the most cherished things at the BioHealth Informatics department.

Collaboration with local, national and international businesses through course work and research, not only created strong community engagement but also offered substantive components for interactive learning through critical thinking and reflection-in-action surrounding past and present information technology applications for health care delivery. Students have greatly benefited through these collaborations, as they use the real-world settings in their Capstone projects and PhD dissertation. She expects students to engage in the development and implementation of clinical applications in real life and conduct translational research in health informatics. The success of the approach is illustrated by the fact that several student projects have been implemented, some organizations are returning every semester with project for almost a decade.

She has a long history of leadership and service in professional organizations. From 2004 to 2006, she served as Chair of the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) Nursing Informatics section. Under her leadership, the MNRS –Nursing Informatics Research Section was incorporated into the Alliance for Nursing Informatics, which now represents a unified voice for nursing informatics worldwide ( also volunteers on the Nursing Informatics Taskforce of the Health Information Systems Society (HIMSS) and serve as Eligibility Counselor for Nurse Leaders at the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Nursing Honor Society. In addition, she actively participated in the review of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Scope & Standards of Nursing Informatics Practice (published in 2008). She was recognized for her leadership and collaboration in the T.I.G.E.R. initiative, the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Health Informatics (SIGHIT, the SOIC and recently by the Alliance for Nursing Informatics for her commitment and leadership in facilitation junior faculty in nursing and health informatics. All of the above mentioned attributes triangulates perfectly with the teaching, research and service missions of the Indiana University.