July 22, 2013

Dr. Best is the Best Volunteer!

 Dr. Jara Best is not only a fabulous pediatrician at Pediatric Consultants. She's also a great citizen and one of Memphis's top volunteers! She has received Volunteer Mid-South’s Spirit of Giving award for Adult Volunteer of the Year for her work with The Exchange Club Family Center. Dr. Best is a member of the center’s board and has served as a volunteer with the facility’s domestic violence programs for children and women, as well as the First STEPS (Skills to Ensure Parenting Success) program.

Dr. Best was recently profiled in the Memphis Daily News. She shared a little bit about her personal life, what makes volunteering at the Exchange Club so meaningful, and her favorite sports team! 

Best Honored for Exchange Club Family Center Work  
by Kate Simone 
Education and work experience: Graduated from Millington Central High School and Tennessee State University in Nashville. Completed medical school and residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. I have been with Pediatric Consultants P.C. since 2004.
Family: Husband, Kent Jones; and sons Aaron, age 14, Cameron, age 10, and Logan, age 6.
Favorite quote: “Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
Favorite movie: “The Help”
The sports team you root for: Memphis Grizzlies (We’ve been season ticket holders since Season 1). Go Grizz!!
What’s playing on your stereo right now? – John Legend, Beyonce and Maroon 5
Activities you enjoy outside of work: I love spending time with my family and friends, traveling and volunteering at The Exchange Club Family Center.
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could draw and paint. My father and all of his sisters are amazing artists, and I love looking at their artwork.
Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? My mother. After 46 years of nursing, she finally retired two years ago and still volunteers weekly at a homeless shelter here in Memphis.
How did you become involved with The Exchange Club Family Center? A close friend of mine was a victim of domestic violence, and she received services through The Exchange Club Family Center. While helping her through this difficult period, I was able to witness firsthand the awesome work being done at The Exchange Club Family Center for families affected by domestic violence as well as for teenage mothers and their children. I began volunteering at the center soon after that experience.
How has your medical training assisted your volunteer work? My medical training has taught me how to communicate with children of all ages as well as their parents.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishments are my three healthy, handsome and happy sons.
What do you most enjoy about your work with the Family Center? I enjoy helping the women in the Women’s Domestic Violence support group and the teenage mothers and their children in the First STEPS program successfully navigate through difficult and often scary life circumstances.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be?
Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.