Mercy Names New Hospice Medical Director
February 23, 2011
Mercy Medical has named James L. Ruble, M.D. as the Medical Director for its hospice program. Ruble, a palliative care specialist, joined Mercy as of February 2011. Ruble’s palliative care background includes residency training in Family Medicine at Wake Forest University and treating over 1500 Palliative Care and Hospice patients over the last 5 years. He became board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care in 2007.
Ruble said he has worked primarily in hospice for the last 5 years working for for-profit Hospices. He said that what attracts him to Mercy Hospice is that it is all about the patient. “Mercy’s hospice is very patient-centered. They don’t answer to shareholders, only to doing the right thing for the patient,” said Ruble. He went on to say that spiritual care is a very important part of any hospice program and a requirement. “At Mercy the spiritual care is second nature as it is throughout the organization, not just in hospice. It is not part of the program that was just tacked on to fill a requirement, but more so a natural part of who Mercy is,” stated Ruble.
Ruble has a passion for hospice care, especially now that at-home, face-to-face visits are required for all hospice agency medical directors. He said, “I love making home visits. There is something remarkable about seeing a patient in their home; you see so much more of what that patient needs when they are at home.” He went on to say that symptom management for those that are terminally ill is vital. “Knowing how to control the symptoms of the dying person is not everyone’s specialty, but it is most certainly a need. Hospice patients deserve to have their pain and symptoms adequately and well managed. Seeing them in the home will help me do that.” Ruble has committed to seeing all of Mercy’s hospice patients at least once a month in their home and providing meticulous symptom control and therefore helping them to feel better.
Dr. Ruble lives in Mobile and he and his wife enjoy travelling. They have been to 40 countries. He is also an avid reader and an elder at Grace Community Church in Mobile. But he admits that spending time with his 8-year old daughter comes first in his life.
Mercy Medical pioneered hospice in South Alabama and has served Mobile and Baldwin Counties since 1979. Mercy Medical also provides skilled nursing, acute rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care and independent living retirement. For more information visit www.mercymedical.com.