Dr. James Joseph O’Connell is one of the founding physicians and president of the Boston Health Care of the Homeless Program and director of the Homeless Families Program. Besides being the president of the BHCHP, James is a practicing physician at one of the program’s many clinics throughout Boston. He has also taught medicine at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Boston University. He also holds seats on many health care boards and is a prolific author of books and journal articles.
James’s father’s family hails from the Dingle Bay in County Kerry while his mother’s family comes from Cork. Both sides immigrated after the Great Famine to Newport, RI, where he was born and raised and still thinks of as home.
James graduated Salutatorian in 1970 from the University of Notre Dame, and earned an M.A. in theology at St. John’s College, Cambridge, England in 1972. He then went on to study medicine at Harvard Medical School. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, he was recently awarded the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, an award for which past recipients include Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.