Co-Director, Center for Patient Partnerships
Jill is Co-Director of the Center for Patient Partnerships, an interdisciplinary program striving to make health care work for each and all through education, advocacy and reserach. Her approach to health advocacy is informed by direct experiences advocating, through legislative and organizational change, for patients facing barriers to health care access. In her role as the Center's Co-Director, Jill leads educational, service learning and patient advocacy activities as well as shares in the Center's overall administration and fundraisng efforts.
Jill's path to the Center includes professional and personal experiences in patient and systems advocacy, non-profit management and teaching. After receiving a Master's degree in Social Work from UW-Madison, Jill worked as a lobbyist and legislative strategist for a state-wide non- profit advocacy organization, where she also coordinated community engagement and educational programs and served in the organization's leadership. As executive director of a local non-profit focused on urban agriculture and community gardening, Jill raised awareness of the local food movement and saw first-hand its power to impact health. This experience led her to work in the community health field. As manager of community programs for a local health care cooperative, Jill advocated for health equity and supported patients navigating the health care system. Her work focused particularly on access to healthcare for those facing barriers including linguistic isolation, lack of insurance and poverty.
Throughout her career Jill has taught courses in social and health policy, community engagement, social determinants of health and methods of social work practice. She has supervised countless students in field education and service learning, finding joy from helping learners connect their downstream work with individuals to upsteram solutions.
She was first introduced to advocacy by her mother who demonstrated a powerful example fighting for the rights of people with developmental disabilities. A half century ago Ohio did not provide the opportunities for her son to live a healthy and productive life in his community so Jill's mother started community-based programs and fought for legislative change.
Currently, Jill serves on the board of directors of REAP Food Group, a non-profit organization that develops links between local growers and eaters. In her spare time Jill enjoys gardening, pottery and baking fancy cakes- basically anything that lets her get her hands dirty. She lives in Madison with her partner, her two college-aged adult children and their two dogs and three backyard chickens.