Jill Donnelly: Aspiring for Equitable Health Care in Los Angeles
- Jill Donnelly (MPH ’14) graduated from the Department of Health Policy and Management in 2014, and currently works as a project manager in the Department of Medical Management at LA Care Health Plan, an independent local public agency created by the State of California to provide health coverage to low-income Los Angeles County residents.
- In her position at LA Care Health Plan, Donnelly coordinates projects pertaining to utilization management of LA Care members that consist of more than one million MediCal recipients. Her role contributes in ensuring consistent delivery of appropriate and quality health care services to LA Care Health Plan members.
- She began working part-time for LA Care Health Plan as a student, completed her summer internship with the organization between her first and second year at FSPH, and immediately started working full-time as a project manager upon graduation.
- Donnelly became interested in public health as she worked in Medicare advocacy when she lived in New York and took an introduction to public health course at UCLA Extension when she moved to Los Angeles. Previously, she was involved in the arts, doing sketch and improvisational comedy before she decided to pursue her master’s in public health.
- Although comedy and public health are two fields that seem quite unrelated, Donnelly utilizes many fundamentals of comedy in her current work. For example, she uses the “Yes and” concept, a principle rule of comedy improv and acting, in her work by applying the practice of accepting the reality or premise created by her colleagues or other working professionals and begins a collaborative process to build ideas. Similarly in comedy improv, this rule is used for stories to be built where actors agree to the basic situation and set-up before the story is to be developed.
- Donnelly and her team play a crucial role in the evaluation of appropriateness, medical necessity, and efficiency of the use of health care services, procedures, and facilities.
- Donnelly is happy to be working for an organization that upholds a mission she is committed to: “To provide access to quality health care for Los Angeles County’s vulnerable and low-income communities and residents and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose.”
- As a public health professional, she aims to create more equitable and accessible health care so that every individual has an equal opportunity to good health.