David A. Jones Always Moving Forward
A memoir of friends, family and building Humana
Old Stone Press
The story of friends, family, hometown values – and an entrepreneur who changed American healthcare forever
In 1961, David Jones and another young lawyer borrowed $1,000 each to build a nursing home. That modest investment turned into Humana: first the largest nursing home company in the U.S., then the largest hospital corporation, and today one of the nation's largest health insurance companies, with 65,000 employees and a value of $65 billion.
“I've always believed there's nothing being done that can't be done better,” Jones writes in this engaging account of American entrepreneurship. He also advocates hiring ordinary people who learn fast and get things done, rather than relying on expert credentials.
But Always Moving Forward is about so much more:
- The controversy over for-profit medicine: Jones explains why he was “proudly not non-profit.”
- The artificial heart: The world watched as a Humana team implanted the Jarvik-7 into a man who lived 620 days.
- A sixteen-year-long humanitarian mission: After the collapse of the Berlin wall and Eastern European economies, President George H. W. Bush asked Jones to help rebuild the Romanian healthcare system, which had been devastated by war and a corrupt dictator.
- 9/11: Jones and 23 Humana executives were at Ground Zero when the planes hit. They tell the harrowing story.
- Life lessons learned: For example, “Family first” and “You don't have a clear idea unless it fits on the back of a business card.”
- Business failures as well as successes.
Jones also was a great philanthropist, although mostly anonymously. His final legacy is one of the largest metropolitan parks completed this century – a project led by him and one of his sons in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.