Dr. Julia M. Jones was a leader in the field of public health, specializing in the treatment of tuberculosis from the mid-1930s until her death in 1973. She was head of the pulmonary disease section at New York's Harlem Hospital and a professor of clinical medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, treating some of the poorest people in the city who were particularly vulnerable to the disease.
Julia Jones graduated from Ohio State University and received her doctor of medicine from Duke University Medical School in 1935. She completed her internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and worked at sanatoriums in North Carolina and Michigan, where she also treated American Indian patients from surrounding areas, before becoming a resident physician at New York's Bellevue Hospital in 1942. As a member of the hospital's chest service from 1939 to 1968, she cared for patients with tuberculosis who could not afford treatment elsewhere.
During the course of her career, Dr. Jones pursued her own research and teaching, as well as seeing patients. Colleagues remember she took a special interest in helping and encouraging new doctors, and was instrumental in training a whole generation of pulmonologists. Dr. Anne Logan Davis, a physician and pulmonologist who trained under Dr. Jones, described her as loved and respected, as well as compassionate and resourceful in patient care.
Dr. Jones was director of the National Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases Association from 1966 to 1969 and was president of its New York branch, as well as president of the New York Trudeau Society and the Eastern Section of the American Thoracic Society. In 1966 she became the first woman to serve as vice president of the American Thoracic Society.
Dr. Jones received the Bruce Douglas Award from the Michigan Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association in 1968 and the American Thoracic Society's Trudeau Medal in 1973.