The UK College of Medicine Office of Medical Education has selected Kimberly Jones, MD, associate professor of child neurology, as its new assistant dean for student affairs focusing on the advancement of learning communities.

The UK College of Medicine’s learning communities are small cohorts of students who are grouped with faculty to develop longitudinal relationships during medical school. With the goal of putting students first, this system was established in 2019 to provide professional development and career advising opportunities, social connectedness, and wellness. There are currently 10 houses across all UK College of Medicine campuses.

Dr. Jones will provide a creative and adaptable vision for learning communities while developing a comprehensive, longitudinal curriculum. She will also provide continuous mentorship for all house faculty advisors and student house leaders and ensure that the foundational tenets of the learning underlie all programming and activities.

Dr. Jones has been involved with the house system since its beginning, serving as a faculty advisor for the Haflinger House. She brings a wealth of experience in instruction, mentorship, and curriculum through her more than 10 years as director of the UK College of Medicine’s child neurology residency program.

As program director, Dr. Jones was vital in advancing educational opportunities for child neurology residents and fellows at UK. She spearheaded improvements to the rotation schedule, developed 11 new rotation options for residents, and established a child neurology conference to bring external speakers to the University.

In recognition of her teaching and clinical activities, Dr. Jones has received numerous national, regional, and local awards. She was presented the AB Baker Excellence in Education Award from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in 2018 and was one of 30 selected nationwide for the AAN Program Director Leadership Academy in 2017. In 2021, she was presented the UK HealthCare Blue Jacket Award for positively impacting patient experience. 

Dr. Jones completed her undergraduate degree at Transylvania University followed by medical school at the University of Louisville. She completed her child neurology residency at the University of Kentucky, where she served as chief resident in her fifth year.

As assistant dean for student affairs, Dr. Jones said she wants to focus on enhancing social connection, professional development, and wellness for medical students at the UK College of Medicine.

“Next steps include helping faculty leaders develop as career mentors and wellness coaches, getting involved at the national level to learn from other medical schools, keeping students engaged,” and much more, she said.

Learning communities were overseen by Andrew Hoellein, MD, MS, professor of medicine, before the assistant dean for student affairs – learning communities was established in 2021. TJ Lile, MD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics, was the first faculty member to serve in this new role.

Dr. Jones’s title went into effect July 1.