Current Leader

Jenny Owens

Jenny Owens
Location: Baltimore, Maryland Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Economic Stability, Education, Health Care Access, IT/Technology, Public, Population and Community Health, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Low-Income Communities, Rural Communities
Executive Director
Hosts for Humanity

Dr. Jenny Owens is focused on the indirect costs of health care with an emphasis on housing, the user experience of patients and their families, financial toxicity, and academic leadership.

After Dr. Owens’ son was born with a rare health condition, she quickly discovered how fortunate they were to live in Baltimore, home to some of the best hospitals in the world. While her son underwent life-saving treatment, Jenny ran into many families who traveled great distances to gain access to health care. She learned that, struggling with the costs of housing on top of medical bills, they were stressed, isolated, and felt displaced from their communities. This experience was a painful illumination of how lack of housing could easily mean lack of health care. Dr. Owens now runs Hosts for Humanity—a social venture that provides housing in people’s spare bedrooms for families traveling for medical care. In addition, she’s on the faculty and an assistant dean at the University of Maryland Graduate School where she provides leadership for a portfolio of health-focused online degrees and runs the university’s innovation hub, the Grid. Jenny believes an environment designed to support health is a human right. She wants to create a stronger housing infrastructure for families traveling for medical care, and enhance health and well-being through social interaction and connectivity. She hopes that, in addition to supporting families with financial and emotional support, her work will encourage people to have faith in other people.

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