Erica Jones ’98
Erica Jones ’98, took a somewhat winding route to her role as Director of Infection Prevention at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. Her course began as a child sitting in the back of a classroom in the Grace Jacobs building while her mother attended classes during her post graduate studies. As a second generation Coppinite, Erica attended Coppin to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “My mom graduated in 1980 with a BS in Elementary Education. Seeing your parent work hard to further their education kind of leaves a lasting impression,” Erica recalled. Her desire was to be a teacher because of her mother and because of her love for children.”
Once in high school Erica decided to become a nurse. “When I learned Coppin had an excellent nursing program, I applied and was accepted.” After graduation, Erica joined Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital’s nursing staff. Erica parlayed her nursing background into infection control. Twelve years ago, she volunteered to help in the Infection Control Department. She discovered the importance of data collection, surveillance and education in the prevention and control of illnesses. “I actually enjoyed working in the IC department,” said Erica. “Shortly after, the position became available. I interviewed for the job and was hired into the role permanently. Because I was so inexperienced, the hospital partnered me with some great mentors. They trained me and helped me prepare to become certified in Infection Control and Epidemiology.”
Erica was previously the Infection Prevention Coordinator for the hospital. In March of this year, she was promoted to Director of Infection Prevention. Erica is the current president for the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the Association for Practitioners in Infection Prevention (APIC). She recently presented the basics of infection prevention to 300 educators, nurses and staff at the back to school training for the Maryland School for the Blind. “I shared the importance of hand washing, how infections are transmitted and how to prevent the spread of infection among the students and staff.”
Knowing that she is making the world a safer place, one patient at a time, brings Erica great joy. “Every now and then, I’ll see a patient that I took care of or helped along the way. It’s amazing to know I played a role in helping them to heal and get better. There have been some tough days during the pandemic, but on those days, I remind myself that I’m doing my part to make the world a safer place. And that’s what keeps me moving forward.”
Erica is still passionate about teaching. In her current position, Erica can combine her love for children and instruction. “I get to work with children and I get to teach.” She is also focused on introducing the various career options and prospects in healthcare to students. “If you are willing to learn and grow, the opportunities are almost limitless. Get out there, gain experience and find a career path that fits. Careers in healthcare can be challenging but they are rewarding in ways you never imagined,” she shared.