UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

June 24, 2014
Gary Davis | Regional Campus Dean | Medical School Duluth | 218 726-7572 |
Lori Melton | Communication Associate | External Affairs | 218 726-8830 |

Dr. James G. Boulger Honored as Rural Health Hero

DULUTH, MN – Honoring outstanding service to rural Minnesota communities, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Rural Health Association presented this year’s Rural Health Hero award to Dr. James G. Boulger at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference in Duluth.

Boulger is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth and director of the Center for Rural Mental Health Studies. A Duluth resident, he received the Rural Health Hero award for his more than four decades of educating and mentoring family medicine physicians, and for helping make the Duluth campus a national model for producing primary care doctors who choose to practice in rural areas.

“Minnesota has one of the best rural health systems in the country, and it is due to the commitment and passion of people like Jim Boulger,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger.

Boulger holds a doctorate in psychology and has taught at the medical school in Duluth since 1973. He has been instrumental in building the program to succeed in its mission to train students planning to practice family medicine in rural Minnesota and American Indian communities.

The Duluth campus now produces a greater percentage of rural physicians and family medicine physicians than any other medical school in the nation. In addition to directing the Center for Rural Mental Health Studies, Boulger also teaches in the Department of Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences.

The Minnesota Rural Health Conference presents the Rural Health Hero award each year. This year's conference, “Weaving the Threads of Rural Health,” was hosted by the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the Minnesota Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Resource Center. More information about the conference, visit

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