Veronica E. Jones is the Chief Operating Officer for the National Abortion Federation (NAF), the professional association for abortion providers. NAF also runs the NAF Hotline Fund, a free hotline for patients in the US and Canada seeking abortion care and financial assistance.
When Veronica joined NAF in 2019, she made it her priority to improve call metrics on the NAF Hotline.
“Once callers were able to get through to staff on a hotline, they had a really positive experience working with considerate, compassionate individuals,” Veronica says.
However, before she took on this project, callers often had extended wait times to speak with a representative.
“It was a huge change management effort,” Veronica explained.
After implementing operational changes, callers are now either directly connected or wait just about 5 minutes to speak with a member of the multi-lingual hotline team.
This project gave Veronica the chance to see how her work directly impacts patients.
“I’m really happy that I have that opportunity and experience here at NAF,” Veronica shares.
Shaping Her Career Path
Veronica initially had plans to go to law school, but by the time she took the LSAT, she recognized this wasn’t the path for her.
Instead, she shifted her focus to healthcare and began her career as a marketing specialist for Penn Medicine.
“During my time in Marketing, what I found that I really enjoyed was the business operations for the department,” Veronica explained.
In search of an operations role, Veronica started working for another healthcare organization – the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), where she stayed for 13 years.
“When I left the organization, I was the Vice President of Operations and managed many of the operational functions for the organization,” she explained.
From there, Veronica moved to her current role with NAF. This ultimately allowed her to combine her passion for operations with her love of directly helping patients.
While she didn’t find her dream job right out of college, she knew that it was important to chase her goals. And she wants future change-makers to not be afraid to seek out the right opportunities.
“It might take you a little bit of time, but don’t feel like you’re stuck or committed to one thing, just because that’s where you started,” she advises.
Her Goals for NAF
Since working to improve access to the Hotline, Veronica has started to focus on her next set of goals for NAF, specifically helping the entire organization adopt a diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (DEIA) philosophy.
Serving as a Chief Operating Officer during the start of the pandemic also meant that Veronica had to figure out how her team could shift to remote work. While it was quite an undertaking, she’s helped modernize their operations and now they are in a position to hire professionals across the country.
“If people are passionate about abortion care, abortion rights and you’re in finance, you’re in HR, IT, please pursue opportunities with reproductive rights organizations. Because the infrastructure is the one thing that is kind of always put on the back burner,” she said. “And it’s so critical for us to be successful in what we do and to achieve our mission.”
Ultimately, along her professional journey, Veronica sought out opportunities to combine her skill set and passions – and her role with NAF has been a perfect fit.
“Since SB 8 was passed, we’ve been able to fund more than 10,000 abortions. So that’s the thing that gets me, you know, jumping out of bed each day to go to work to see that what we do can have a positive impact on individuals seeking abortion care and the providers that care for them.”