For Immediate Release: August 29, 2007
Susan Besio, PhD
Director of Health Care Reform Implementation
Vermont Agency of Administration
BURLINGTON – Dr. Craig A. Jones, a 2006 recipient of the Outstanding Physician Award by the Medical Board of California, started work for the State of Vermont on Aug. 20 as the first director of the Blueprint for Health.
The Blueprint for Health, launched by Gov. Jim Douglas in 2003, is a statewide system of care to address chronic conditions. The Blueprint is a public-private partnership that includes state government, health insurance plans, business and community leaders, health care providers and consumers.
Dr. Jones will report to Susan Besio, PhD, Director of Health Care Reform Implementation at the Agency of Administration, and will work in collaboration with the Commissioner of Health.
The Blueprint Director position resides in the Agency of Administration because of its important role in health care reform across all stakeholders in Vermont, and the Governor’s strong interest in the success of the initiative.
Dr. Jones will maintain offices in Montpelier and at the Health Department in Burlington.
Dr. Jones, 48, the former director of the Los Angeles County Pediatric Asthma Disease Program, developed an asthma clinic on wheels that brought free treatment and medicine to disadvantaged children in more than 120 schools in and around Los Angeles. The Breathmobile program is credited with significantly lowering emergency room visits and absenteeism from area schools.
Dr. Jones, an allergist and immunologist, is experienced in developing chronic care clinics designed to overcome barriers to care and improve the overall health of a population.
“The Blueprint for Health is an ambitious, innovative program established to improve the health of an entire state,” said Dr. Jones. “There is really nothing like this program currently underway anywhere else in the nation, and I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the initiative and build on the strong foundation already set in place by the Blueprint team.”
Chronic conditions are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Vermont. The cost of treating chronically ill patients accounts for 75 percent of health spending in Vermont (over $3 billion per year).
“Dr. Jones has experience with developing programs that improve healthy outcomes and lowers overall costs,” said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN. “His direct, clinical experience with chronic care will be a great addition to this initiative and our drive to completely reform the health care system here in Vermont.”
Prior to his current position, Dr. Jones was an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and director of the Division of Allergy/Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center.