Getting to know Jim Dougal

There aren’t many hats Jim Dougal hasn’t worn in his career. And worn well, we might add. From his first passion, serving his community as a first responder, to his most recent experiences as a regional manager for Parkview Physicians Group – Colon and Rectal Surgery, Jim has shown up and put his best foot forward for the healthcare system day in and day out.

His energetic approach to his work and willingness to help make him a popular team mate. His dedication and optimism make Jim one of the bright, accomplished, praised People of Parkview.

Name: Jim Dougal

Title: PPG Regional Manager

Describe your education and career journey:
  • Joined my hometown fire department and EMS in Ohio right out of high school
  • Attended Tri-State College (Now Trine University) to study Engineering for a semester
  • Graduated Parkview-Methodist School of Nursing
  • Graduated from Purdue University at the IPFW campus with a BS degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision
  • Worked a year on the Van Wert City Fire Department as a firefighter/paramedic
  • Worked at Parkview Hospital (Randallia) for 17 years creating the Endoscopy Department and the Preadmission Department.  Worked in ICU and ER, and supervised Endoscopy, Cardiac Cath Lab and Preadmission Testing. 
    • Deputy Coroner, Allen County for two years.  I was the first person in Allen County to attend the Medico-Legal Death Investigators week-long course at the St. Louis School of Medicine
  • After taking a two-week break, for the next 15 years I worked at:
    • The Three Rivers Ambulance Authority as the Training Director and Assistant to the Medical Director
    • Nurse Liaison, Director of OP Therapy and Marketing Director at the Rehabilitation Hospital
    • Iron Dynamics in Butler – a subsidiary of Steel Dynamics – where I ended up operating the world’s largest rotary hearth furnace and helped produce the first DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) in the world.
    • Marketing and then operating an Occupational Health Clinic. Obtained certification in Hearing Testing and Pulmonary Function Testing
    • Marketing and administration of three physical therapy clinics in Fort Wayne
  • Returned to Parkview in April 2010 as the Practice Manager for PPG – Colon and Rectal Surgery, where I remain today. I have assisted with other specialties in the past eight years, including Podiatry, Community Orthopedics, Wound Care and Neurosurgery

What inspired you to pursue this profession?

As a volunteer medic out of high school, I wanted a way to serve others and found that through serving as a medic and becoming a nurse.

What is a typical day like for you?

Utter chaos! Each day I arrive at 6 a.m. and have a plan for things to accomplish, but working in a practice is an ever-changing world, requiring a manager to constantly prioritize things “on the run”.  The days pass by very quickly.

What are some of the unique challenges of your position?

The constant changes to healthcare in general. The constant change in regulatory requirements, insurance coverages and internal processes require the ability to adapt to constant change.

The most rewarding? 

Being able to guide and assist staff and physicians with what they need to be successful in their roles every day.

You’ve been with Parkview for some time. What do you think makes Parkview so special? 

With a variety of experiences, I have worked many places, and under many conditions. We should all be thankful for the culture at Parkview. Our organization embraces each of us as individuals and embraces such a diverse group of coworkers.

What excites you about the future? 

The future of Parkview Health. Those of us (the ranks are dwindling) who helped make Parkview great when it was just the Randallia campus helped to establish Parkview’s reputation and core values that served as a foundation for what we have today. The vision of the Board and senior leadership will help us continue this journey as a leader in healthcare.

Was there a moment in your career that stands out to you?

The most rewarding are all the times I was able to personally make a difference in someone’s life. There are so many, and I wish I had kept a journal of both patient and staff rewards. In regard to patients, it was the lives saved in the ER; A 40-year-old man with textbook heart attack symptoms but no history, who arrested 15 minutes after arrival and we had things in place for a successful resuscitation, or helping to stabilize the condition of lawyer and Civil Rights leader Vernon Jordan when he was shot and critically wounded in Fort Wayne. He went on to be one of President Bill Clinton’s advisors years later. I am also proud of the departments I had the privilege of creating and the staff I hired and managed.

What would you say to your 20-year-old self? 

First, invest financially for your future. When I was 20, we had very little opportunity or guidance. Second, regardless of the job, “own” it and perform to the top of your abilities so over the course of your career, you can look back and know that you left behind a better department or company than when you arrived.

What is your greatest passion outside of work? 

First is being a first responder/medic. There are hundreds of us in Allen County (and many at Parkview) and tens of thousands across the nation who will sacrifice our personal time to assist those in need, many times placing ourselves at risk, because we have something in our DNA that propels us to do so. 

Second is home improvement, gardening and yardwork. I grew up on a farm and hard work was instilled from an early age. It is very rewarding to see improvements as a result of efforts. My wife and I also share a passion for dogs. We have our 5th dog, Ozzie, a 90-pound golden retriever, who was preceded in our lives by a mutt named Lady, a golden named Abby, and a brother/sister duo of goldens named Tanner and Jade. We feel providing a loving home for a dog is paid a hundred-fold back to us in their love and devotion.

If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be and why?

“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande, MD. This book looks at how we try to intercede and manage end-of life medical conditions and how the motivation behind our actions may be misdirected at those left behind instead of those preparing to die. I couldn’t stop reading it. 

What would we find on your bucket list and what do you plan to check off next? 

Likely after retirement, I would love to go to various U.S. historic sites, the first being Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

My grandfather once said to me in my preteen years, “If you don’t take the time to do something right, when do you think there will be time to do something over?” Must have been what propelled me to become a bit of a perfectionist.

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