October 27, 2020 News & Features » Cover Story

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Eleanor Jones, 39 

Director, Honoring Choices Virginia

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Scott Elmquist

Honoring Choices Virginia is a not-for-profit group that encourages and empowers people to take ownership of their medical planning, know their rights, and involve their families in decision-making. It was established by the Richmond Academy of Medicine, Bon Secours, HCA and VCU Health. Its director, Richmond native Eleanor Jones, focuses on two primary goals. The first is resource development – working with health facilities and establishing conversations about partnering opportunities. The second is serving as a bridge between civic groups, professional organizations, churches, temples and other places of worship.

“It is not only helping individuals to make their choices, but to honor their wishes,” she says. “Advance care planning is about life, not about death.” The current COVID-19 situation accentuates two things, she says: “First, [the virus] can happen to anyone, and second, it highlights health disparities. It brings the conversation to all, not just to some people.” Jones, who was reared in the Museum District with 13 siblings, traveled and worked in Malta and Moscow before returning to her hometown where she worked with the Community Foundation before joining Honoring Choice. She and her husband, who have a child, are expecting a second in February. 

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