Employee Spotlight: Dr. James Boal

Name: Dr. James Boal, Medical Director

How long have you worked here?
16 years and six days.

What made you decide to work here?
When I was in medical school and residency I had an interest in hospice, which I had developed by spending time with Dr. John Finn in hospice care at Hospice of Michigan. I came to Angela Hospice as part of a rotation for one of my senior year residencies and he mentioned that they paid a substantial amount for doctors on an hourly basis, so I did moonlighting here my senior year.

This was 2000 and that year the entire medical community underwent a financial change where hospitals stopped employing doctors. So lots of opportunities had disappeared and dried up. Sister Giovanni was very generous and turned my moonlighting position into a full-time job. And I never left.

How had you heard of Angela Hospice?
I had actually worked with Hospice of Michigan a lot and for this particular rotation I was required to go to a hospice and I thought I would try a different one. So this was just the next one I saw on the list.

Dr. Boal received his 15-years of service pin last year.
Pictured with Angela Hospice Director of Social Work
and Bereavement Services Rebecca DeRaud, and
President/CEO Margot Parr.
What’s a typical day like for you?
For me – when I’m not doing administrative tasks – I spend the middle of my day over at St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital doing palliative care, servicing hospice patients there and also palliative care patients. That’s my main clinical job, but I’m also in charge of all the other physicians and nurse practitioners here so there’s a lot of management as well. Also, I sort through more difficult patient situations that come up in our home care and Care Center.

What is your favorite part about working at Angela Hospice?
The opportunity I have to help people at the end of their life.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at Angela Hospice?
I can’t think of one. There are just a string of patients…we’ve taken care of over 33,000 patients since we got our new computer system…but there are certain patients that certainly have stronger memories and attachments, usually people I had the chance to spend a little bit more time with and work with on a long-term basis. So I can’t think of one but just lots of different patient interactions. It’s a people job. You get to work with good people.

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