Coming Full Circle: Chief Resident to Chief Medical Officer

Mar 26, 2024 | Team Member Spotlights

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As the first resident to start and graduate from the LSU Rural Family Medicine Program at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, Brian Galofaro, MD, was also the program’s first chief resident and is now the hospital’s chief medical officer.

The residency program began in 2007 at what was then Bogalusa Medical Center, and in the 10 years since the hospital has been known as Our Lady of the Angels, the program has grown and flourished.

“It’s full circle for me,” says Dr. Galofaro, a dedicated family medicine doctor who also serves as associate medical director for the health system’s Northshore region and as medical director of the physician assistant program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU).

Championing Rural Healthcare

Dr. Galofaro’s career path speaks volumes about the transformative power of the residency program in addressing the critical shortage of healthcare professionals in underserved, rural areas. By dedicating himself to the community where he received his training, Dr. Galofaro ensures quality medical services remain accessible to those who need them most.

“I trained here, learned how to be a doctor here, met my wife here,” he says. “My youngest daughter was born in this hospital. Our Lady of the Angels is a very special place for me.” These personal connections underscore his deep-rooted commitment to the Washington Parish community and its healthcare needs.

After residency, Dr. Galofaro stayed on as an attending physician for several years, guiding subsequent generations of doctors. After some time in private practice, he returned to Angels as chief medical officer in 2017.

The Impact of the Residency Program

The LSU Rural Family Medicine Residency Program has been instrumental in addressing the critical shortage of primary care providers in Louisiana.

“We really have a factory for top-quality rural family doctors here,” Dr. Galofaro says, highlighting the program’s success in retaining graduates within Louisiana, with many choosing to practice at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital itself. This retention enhances healthcare access and fosters a strong sense of community and provides continuity of care.

“When I started here as an intern, I think there were three, maybe four, full-time primary care providers practicing, and today if you count our residents, we have 34 primary care providers in Bogalusa,” Dr. Galofaro says. “That’s pretty remarkable in a small community like this, and it’s really been life changing for this community.”

In addition to enhancing primary care access, the hospital has been able to , such as urology, orthopedics, surgery and obstetrics/gynecology.

“What we’ve done here in this rural community with the resources we have is second to none,” Dr. Galofaro says.

Envisioning Accessible, High-quality Healthcare

During Dr. Galofaro’s tenure, Our Lady of the Angels Hospital has achieved remarkable milestones, becoming a hub of comprehensive healthcare. Recognition from organizations like Leapfrog for patient safety and quality of care reflects the hospital’s commitment to excellence. Angels is also one of only eight hospitals designated Birth Ready+ in the state, a distinction it has held for three consecutive years.

Dr. Galofaro sees the hospital as a model for rural healthcare, showcasing what dedication, teamwork and community support can achieve.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, Dr. Galofaro remains focused on the future. His vision includes further expansion of primary care services, addition of specialty care and positioning Our Lady of the Angels Hospital as a beacon of quality rural healthcare. With a dedicated team and unwavering support, the hospital can inspire similar transformations across the country.

Our Lady of the Angels Health and our health system remain committed to serving the Washington Parish community. Learn more about our graduate medical education programs across our health system.

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