Caring. Compassionate. Giving. Dedicated. Leader. Activist. Busy. These are just a few words colleagues use to describe James M. Lally, DO, a practicing physician, director of a family medicine residency program, and dedicated volunteer as well as President and Chief Medical Officer of Chino Valley Medical Center (CVMC).
Dr. Lally’s route to medicine included 15 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces medic, where he earned 20 badges, commendations and awards, including the Legion of Merit and the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism. While a parachute accident ended his military career, he credits osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) for helping him regain mobility and recover from surgeries much quicker and with fewer complications.
His personal recovery with OMM is one reason Dr. Lally is so dedicated to training future generations of osteopathic physicians. During his tenure as Program Director, CVMC has created osteopathic fellowship programs in sports medicine, geriatric medicine, neuromusculoskelatal medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine, enhancing the region’s primary care physician workforce. Moreover, his fellow postdoctoral training colleagues call him the go-to person for counsel and practical wisdom, helping them and their residents with professional and personal challenges.
His leadership has transformed the CVMC. Once facing bankruptcy, the institution has since achieved Truven’s Top 100 hospital recognition for five years running and has been recognized as the #2 safest hospital in America, the third lowest in re-admissions, and a Women’s Choice winner in the area of Emergency Medicine.
Kathleen Creason, executive director of the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California, describes him as “highly ethical and very straightforward,” but above all, says that “every action he takes is in the best interest of the osteopathic profession.”
Active in his community, Dr. Lally is recognized as a doctor that leads by example and embodies the changes he hopes to see in the world. He developed and oversees two free community clinics for the medically underserved residents of Montclair and Chino. He sits on several community boards to advise on local health care issues. He works with the local school district, covering over 25,000 students, to ensure they receive annual physicals and have weekly home game coverage as well as a certified athletic trainer for each school.
This dedication to his local sports community is even more commendable knowing the extent of his influence in international sports medicine. Dr. Lally is the Chief Medical Officer for the International Shooting Sports Federation, making him responsible for the health of nearly 400 athletes participating in Olympic shooting sports, and is the only osteopathic physician on the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission. He is also a member of the YMCA Board of Directors.
“I went to help out, and as an Osteopathic physician I could provide manipulation and decrease the need for medications. I was asked to volunteer, and it has been a labor of love since,” he says.
The consummate clinician, educator, administrator, counselor, and mentor—James M. Lally, DO, is more than deserving of the American Osteopathic Foundation’s 2016 Physician of the Year Award.