Don Jonas — Community Health: On Life and Meaning

Don JonasDon Jonas is executive director of Care Ring, which provides primary care to persons with modest means. He previously served as executive director of the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation and as Senior Vice-President of Community Philanthropy at Foundation For The Carolinas. Don has written extensively on public policy, including the aging of our labor force and the future of America’s health care system. He is a 2005 recipient of the Charlotte Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award, he is a German Marshall Fund Fellow, and he serves on a number of boards in the Charlotte region, including UNC Charlotte’s Institute for Social Capital. Don received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. from Appalachian State University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Kentucky.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in community health, medicaid transformation, human capital and singing in a band. 

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • Don describes Care Ring and its mission of providing health care to persons with limited resources.

  • He explains the Physician’s Reach Out and Nurse Family Partnership programs, how Care Ring is funded and whether Care Ring has the funds it needs.

  • He tells the story of Maribelle Connerat, the founder of Care Ring.

  • Don addresses medicaid transformation in North Carolina, social determinants of health, and how they are leading Care Ring in new directions.

  • He describes his Ph.D. dissertation on telecommunications and the work he did on the book Workforce 2000 and Workforce 2020.

  • Don shares how his interest in human capital and health care developed.

  • He reflects on the influence of Joe Martin, a community leader and executive at Bank of America.

  • Don talks about being the lead singer of a band, what he wishes he had more time to do, and why his band is called The Fidgets, and what the lyrics of his songs are all about.

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