Independence Health Director Larry Jones will represent the city on a national health board.

Jones, director since December 2001, has been elected to a two-year term on the board of directors for the National Association of County & City Health Officials, a national organization representing the nearly 3,000 local health departments across the country.

Jones’ appointment was announced earlier this month by the national organization that provides resources, tools and assistance to local health departments in the areas of community, environmental and public health and public health preparedness.

“It will be my pleasure to serve on the board and represent Independence,” Jones said at a City Council meeting this month. “We have a lot to be proud of.”

In a statement released after the announcement, City Manager Robert Heacock said he wasn’t surprised by Jones’ appointment, stating Jones has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life through public health in the state, region and city. 

“He is an extraordinary advocate for public health,” Heacock said. “The city of Independence is fortunate to have a person of his caliber and dedication working for us.”

Last fall, Jones was recognized for distinguished service by the Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies and the Missouri Public Health Association when they presented him with the W. Scott Johnson Award, the most prestigious award presented by the Missouri Public Health Association to an individual for distinguished service in the field of public health in Missouri.

The award is given in commemoration of the skills, integrity, devotion to duty, and constructive leadership which characterized the life of W. Scott Johnson.

Recognizing Jones’ appointment to the NACCHO board, Independence Mayor Don Reimal said: “this is quite an honor for Independence and quite an honor for (Jones). He’ll do a great job representing Independence.”