Richard Jones, a seasoned healthcare executive, spoke to students on Thursday, Nov. 19, as the second of this year’s guests of the Distinguished Speaker Series at Florida College. Jones led the daily chapel devotion and addressed upper-division students in the business administration and pre-professional health programs during a special luncheon while he was on campus.

Jones is the president, CEO and chairman of Essence Healthcare, one of the nation’s first accountable delivery systems and a consistently high-rated Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) health plan, currently nationally recognized as a five-star health plan. He is a certified public accountant, and his experience includes all aspects of business. Jones has extensive leadership and operations experience in health plans and has spent much of the last decade enabling physicians and providers to function as accountable care and population health organizations, transforming healthcare delivery systems from volume to value reimbursement.

Jones and his wife, Carol (Allen) Jones (A.A. ’81), have been married for 29 years, and they have four children. Their daughter, Emily (Jones) Black (A.A. ’09), graduated from Florida College in 2009. Jones has served the Northwest church of Christ as an elder since 2006, and he served as a deacon from 2001 to 2006.

As a Christian in the healthcare industry, Jones provided Florida College students with valuable insight into the challenges of his profession as well as the necessary skills to be successful.

Florida College regularly invites guest speakers, like Richard Jones, to visit campus for the Distinguished Speaker Series in order to provide students with opportunities to learn from others who are positive role models and successful in their chosen fields.