Dr. Thea James
Thea James, MD, is vice president of mission, executive director of the Health Equity Accelerator, and associate chief medical officer at Boston Medical Center. She is an associate professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program at BMC. Dr. James is a founding member of the National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Advocacy Programs. In 2011 she was appointed to Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.
As vice president of mission Dr. James works with caregivers throughout BMC. Additionally, she has primary responsibility for coordinating and maximizing BMC’s relationships and strategic alliances with a wide range of local, state and national organizations encompassing multisector industries, community agencies, housing advocates, and others that partner with BMC to meet the full spectrum of patients needs. The goal is to foster innovative and effective new models of care that are essential for patients and communities to thrive, and to alter quality of life course trajectory. Integrating upstream interventions into BMC’s clinical care models is critical to achieve equity and health in the broadest sense.
Dr. James served on the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine 2009-2012, where she served as chair of the Licensing Committee. She is 2008 awardee of Boston Public Health Commission’s Mulligan Award for public service, and a 2012 recipient of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Role Model Award. She received The Boston Business Journal Healthcare Hero award in 2012 and 2015. She was 2014 recipient of the Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Award. The Boston Chamber of commerce awarded Dr. James with the Pinnacle Award in 2015, which honors women in business and the professions. She was a 2019 Massachusetts Public Health Association Health Equity Champion. In 2020 Dr. James received the American College of Emergency Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, in 2020, The History Project presented her with a History Maker Award. Dr. James recently received the inaugural 2020 Thea James Social Emergency Medicine Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Dr. James’ passion is in public health, both domestically and globally. For many years she and colleagues worked with local partners in Haiti, and Africa to implement sustainable health care models and ultrasound training. As a member of Equal Health Board of Directors, she was a visiting professor for the first class of emergency medicine residents in Haiti at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, created by Partners in Health.
Dr. James served as a supervising medical officer on the Boston Disaster Medical Assistance Team (MA-1 DMAT), under the Department of Health and Human Services. She has deployed to post 9/11 in NYC, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, Iran after the 2003 earthquake, and Port-Au-Prince Haiti the day after the earthquake of 2010.
A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, James trained in emergency medicine at Boston City Hospital, where she was a chief resident.