The city of Kansas City, MO named the new person who will take over leadership of the Kansas City Health Department (KCHD).

Marvia Jones, who previously served as the violence prevention and policy manager for the KCHD, will replace Rex Archer, who retired in August. Jones will be the first Black woman in the position. 

Jones has been working in the field of public health for 15 years with a special interest in violence prevention and health policy, both of which she focused on during her time at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While at the CDC, she evaluated the effectiveness of prevention tools provided to state and local health departments. In the policy office, she developed recommendations for public health best practices, such as the credentialing of community health workers. 

Originally from Florida, Jones has lived in Kansas City for 12 years, except for the two years she spent in Atlanta completing her CDC fellowship.  

“My vision for the department is to continue to develop innovative and responsive strategies for public health needs that center the many different communities we serve, even if this means taking a look outside of traditional measures,” said Jones. “Community engagement is integral to public health because it demonstrates to residents that they have value, and that their voice is respected. Community engagement centralizes residents as partners.” 

Jones earned both her Master of Public Health and her Ph.D from the University of Kansas. 

“Dr. Marvia Jones is the right person to lead Kansas City’s Health Department as we continue our work to build a city for the future: a city committed to equitable healthcare delivery, violence-free neighborhoods, and healthy homes for Kansas City families in all zip codes,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, we have seen the leadership role the Kansas City Health Department plays in regional policymaking in both Missouri and Kansas, and I am certain Kansas City and our region will look to Dr. Jones as we continue our work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Jones assumes her new duties on Feb. 14. 

Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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