Rheumatologist R. Neal Boswell, M.D., Wins Statewide Hospital Hero Award

R. Neal Boswell, M.D., board-certified rheumatologist with Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Rheumatology, was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 10 in Atlanta. Dr. Boswell, who was one of only 10 individuals statewide to receive the award, was recognized for his work in establishing the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP), a clinic which has provided free health care to uninsured and underinsured patients in southeast Georgia for more than a decade.

Boswell has contributed many hours of volunteer service to CMAP since its inception. With his assistance, the nonprofit organization received its first grant of $100,000 and obtained a building from the local housing authority. Boswell continued to assist in the tireless search for more sources of funding. In 2011, CMAP became a part of Southeast Georgia Health System. Thanks to the dedication of Dr. Boswell and his colleagues, CMAP patients receive not only a base level of preventive care and disease management, but specialist care when required.

Throughout the years, Boswell has been an unwavering ambassador who has enlisted the assistance of numerous specialists who see CMAP patients for free in their own offices. He has also coordinated with the Health System and local surgeons to provide surgery to CMAP’s patients free of charge.

In addition to his expert leadership, Boswell has given copiously of his time and medical expertise. Prior to becoming part of the Health System, CMAP only employed nurses and support personnel full-time and relied entirely on volunteer physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to staff its medical clinics. Over the years, Boswell has consistently volunteered more than any other physician.

“Dr. Boswell’s unflagging dedication to CMAP shows his lifelong commitment to providing medical care to patients in need, wherever they may be,” said Gary R. Colberg, FACHE, president and CEO, Southeast Georgia Health System. “We, too, consider Dr. Boswell to be a true hero. Each and every day, he demonstrates the commitment to our community that defines everything we do.”

“Access to care is a challenge facing many communities,” said GHA President Earl V. Rogers. “Thanks to Dr. Boswell’s unwavering determination, many residents of southeast Georgia are able to receive necessary health care through CMAP. He is a most deserving recipient of this award.”

GHA’s Hospital Heroes Awards are presented every year to 10 individuals who display outstanding service to the health care field; in addition, one individual is presented with a Lifetime Achievement award, signifying at least 30 years of service.