Jonida Duque is a fearless leader, but she never loses sight of her true motivation: helping every individual access quality health care. At Open Sky Community Services, Duque is innovating new methods of delivering quality health care to oppressed and marginalized populations.
She leads a team of 43, which serves more than 2,000 individuals. Duque is pragmatically attempting to restructure the healthcare system to make it more accessible to historically excluded groups. In the last three years, she helped build a community partner program supporting individuals, children and families with complex medical and behavioral health needs to have equitable care through care coordination. She pulls together a team every year for the Out of Darkness Walk, which raises awareness and funds for suicide prevention. Managing massive programs and teams doesn’t distract her from the individual, however. Jonida speaks fluent Albanian and some Spanish, so she is able to communicate with clients of varying backgrounds to ensure everyone’s needs are met. As a first generation immigrant herself, she uses her skills, identity, and experiences to build understanding of the experiences shaping different groups.
If you could time travel to any decade, what would you pick? 1980s – Although I was born in the ’80s, I did not get a chance to fully experience them. I have always been drawn to the music, movies, and style. I would love to see my parents, grandparents, and aunt when they were my age.
What Central Massachusetts community is best? Worcester of course! Worcester has activities and parks for kids, along with amazing restaurants, bars, and recreation.
Jonida B. Duque, 34
- Title: Director
- Company: Central Community Health Partnership, a program of Open Sky Community Services, in Worcester
- Residence: Worcester
- Birthplace: Tirana, Albania
- Colleges: Worcester State University, Westfield State University