The Great 48, 2023

From athletes and educators to artists and entrepreneurs, these superlative Valley dwellers are raising the proverbial bar.

Jo Jones

It’s not hyperbole to say Jo Jones is a trailblazer in Arizona health care. In 2016, the mother of five established the state’s first-ever center for substance-exposed newborns: Jacob’s Hope, named after Jones’ late son, whom she and her husband adopted at three days old after Jacob was born to a mother using crystal meth – he passed away at age 25. Licensed through the Arizona Department of Health Services, the center not only offers interim care and treatment for substance-exposed newborns, but expectant mothers can also find help. “Our organization faces the opioid epidemic head on, reducing stigma and ensuring that expectant moms with a substance-use disorder get the care and support they need while being treated with dignity and respect,” Jones explains. A typical day for Jones and her staff at the 24-hour center might include holding babies, calling insurance companies or checking on moms. It’s an all-hands-on-deck enterprise and one that’s critical to the community. “When I dream big, it’s a world where centers like Jacob’s Hope no longer need to exist because substance-use is no longer an issue,” Jones says.


Has two tattoos. “One on my forearm has my son Jacob’s name with an Iron Cross and feather. The one on my back shoulder has all five of my children’s names inside a heart.”

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