Dr. Jessica Bailey always knew she wanted to be in health care, but education wasn't originally in her career plans.
Honored as Alumnus of the Year during SHRP Alumni Day Friday, the dean of the School of Health Related Professions and chair of health administration at UMMC started out as a UMMC Health Information Management graduate in 1980.
Her path took her back to UMMC when Becky Yates, former chair of HIM, called her about a position.
“Of course, I thought of her,” said Yates. “I was thrilled she would even be interested.”
Bailey started as an assistant professor of Health Informatics and Information Management in SHRP in July 2003. After almost four years in SHRP, she moved into the role of director of education for the Department of Medicine and then director of education for the Graduate Medical Education office.
While working with the Department of Medicine, Bailey developed and supervised a program that placed medical students and residents with clinics in rural parts of Mississippi. Fourth-year medical students and residents would work in these clinics for a month and keep a detailed journal on their experiences.
“Students would come here for school, and their primary training was in this metropolitan area. They weren't getting a picture of what rural medicine was like,” said Bailey. “It was such a rich experience. All students who did it came back enlightened.”