Keeping the Legacy Alive

Photo credit: Kim Christensen/Special to the Houston Chronicle

To the editor,

This week, we mourn the loss of Dr. Edith Irby Jones, who died at the age of 91. She was a champion of human rights in the field of medicine, primarily promoting access to care for the poor. Her recognition of those individuals in the community who did not have access to healthcare became her mantra in righting this wrong.

Dr. Jones made history during the 1960s by achieving many firsts in national level leadership roles, medical school pursuits and in being a prominent physician in the Houston Community. She viewed challenges as opportunities, and embraced them readily.

Dr. Jones, like our AARP Founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, took risks when advocating for health policies and practices, ensuring that health care for those unable to afford it would be as easily accessible as those who could. She was a woman who exhibited boundless enthusiasm for the welfare of the medically underserved in the City of Houston’s Third Ward area.

Amidst the passing of a civil rights champion, it is our responsibility to keep her legacy alive, echoing her dedication to health care, advocacy and service to one another in our day-to-day lives.

By Charlene James