Currently, Jackie is a senior program manager for ACOs (Affordable Care Organizations) at Blue Shield in Southern California and a Adjunct Professor teaching Public Health Law at Touro University. She has been committed to transforming & training for public health professionals in California, Hawaii and the US Pacific Islands as the founding Senior Program Manager of the California Pacific Health Training Center at the University of California at Berkeley, CA (CALPACT). Jackie has energized the training landscape for public health professionals by using new technologies including social media, podcasts, webinars, radio broadcasts and online courses. upon receiving a 5 year grant, Jackie created the innovative strategic plan and built organization that uses new media to provide training to previously under served populations of public health professionals. CALPACT clients include over 200 Organizations ranging from fire departments to kaiser Permanente to promotoras (community health workers) who receive training in Spanish through CALPACT.
Jackie was instrumental in improving hospital management practices (including reducing patient wait time by 50%) in all 13 public hospitals in Ethiopia as a Clinton Foundation Hospital Management Initiative Fellow. She worked with hospital management teams and the Ministry of Health to identify problems and implement new systems for infection control, nursing standards, hospital budgeting and sustainable financing.
Jackie interests extend beyond health care into entrepreneurial pursuits (currently the founder of two companies), a fitness company - FixUpMyBody and a online fashion textile company Ruth Omosunbo. Practicing law for several years, and community involvement as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters bay Area Junior Board and a program member of Emerge California, a political candidate training program for Democratic women. She is a member of the One World Project's Committee - a organization that helps small non - profits that help children all over the world, along with running her own political blog called the Politico Princess where she discusses political issues in the bay area and beyond.
R. Tell us what is the current state of the, World Health Care Organization?
JO. I worry about organizations like the WHCO around the world generally, and how people take it for granted the work these organizations do; events like the mysterious child deaths in Cambodia should bring to the world's attention the need to focus on world health health and prevention.
R. What inspired you to become a global activist?
JO. This may sound cheesy, but its my family for sure, especially my mom, my grandparents, my aunts, and uncles. They are all global activists, to the up tenth degree. I grew up around people who were always involved and concerned with helping humanity - whether it was passing out government cheese at church, demonstrating to end apartheid in South Africa or lively global dinnertime conversations with a plethora of electric and diverse individuals. Being the change that I would see in the world has always been paramount to me; in fact.
R. What are some of the challengers that you face as an entrepreneur in terms of inspiration and motivation?
JO. I love being an entrepreneur. My biggest "problem"is that I am truly inspired by the world - I literally find inspiration/motivation in everything; which at times can seem a little overwhelming, but I thrive in environments like that...Otherwise I get bored. I once took a true colors personality assessment and it determined that i am absolutely and completely an adventurous orange. I have a "just do it" action oriented attitude. I live in there here and now, am creative, and a risk taker. I am however fortunate enough to know that I have I have to surround myself with other personality types that harness, channel and prioritize my creative force.
R. What have been the main achievements of your organizations so far?
JO. The main achievements of my own personal companies is that they exist and are creating change in the world. My fitness company - FixUpMyBody.com is changing the way women around the world view their fitness goals and promoting a positive self image for women and girls. My business Ruth Omosunbo is connecting people in the US with fabulous batik, textile and other artists from the world consequently enriching the lives of both.
R. Health Care has always been a Hot/Sensitive topic here in the USA. How would you compare or rate America's health care system to those of other western nations and beyond?
JO. OMG! Hot/sensitive is right...you are trying to get me labeled a socialist...LOL! I think most Americans are grossly misinformed about health care systems in other west nations, particularly systems that have national health care. I also think that most Americans misremember or fail to remember the importance of preventive medicine and primary care's role in keeping both individuals and populations healthy. Universal affordable and accessible health care is an ABSOLUTE necessity an a human right (PERIOD).
R. What does a day in the life of Jackie O look like?
JO. Ha! Organized chaos...Usually my day always starts at around 5 or 6am with a workout - it can either be a run, Pilate's, or a trip to the gym then home to shower, get dressed and eat some super healthy breakfast, followed by checking emails. I usually have tons of mid morning meetings either at the office or away from the office. Lunch is usually my time to reconnect with one of my friends. I look at lunch as being almost a sacred time to refocus my mind and body by connecting with friends. Time with my friends is so very important to me. I almost always have some sort of event to attend - sometimes its a board meeting for Brava Women's Center for the Arts or Ladies San Francisco - networking group for SF women (I am a founding member of the SF chapter). I am also a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, so I live to spend time each week, with my little who is absolutely amazing. We act silly and goofy and usually always do something outside. I've recently signed on to participate in the 2013 The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Woman of the year Campaign. I am busy assembling my team for this campaign which begins next year!
R. When traveling the globe, what artists or band is at the TOP of your iPhone list that chills you out?
JO. Hmmmmmm. Chill out music...I'm really liking tUnE-yArDsright now...I discovered them in Iceland and have been a fan ever since.
Last but not Least...
R. Jawaharlal Nehru (India's formal President) once gave a speech in Calcutta (September 1928) on social equality, "The avatars of today are great ideas which come to reform the world. And the idea of the day is social equality." What do you make of such a statement and how is that relevant NOW?
JO. WOW! This statement is ABSOLUTELY relevant now - in fact it may be even more relevant now. I live in one of the most socially innovative meccas of the world and so I truly appreciate and respect those words. In fact I live by the Michael Eric Dyson quote "Charity is no substitute for justice. If we never challenge a social order that allows some to accumulate wealth - even if they decide to help the less fortunate - while others are short- changed, then even acts of kindness end up supporting unjust arrangements. We must never ignore the injustices that make charity necessary, or the inequalities that make it possible.
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