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Imitating Chist

By Joan Koehne. Originally published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media

Photos by Beth Relyea Photography

As a college student studying mathematics, James Joyce completed a 54-day Rosary Novena that set the direction for his life. After earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, James changed his career path and attended Creighton University School of Medicine.

“Through the Rosary Novena, I discerned that God’s will for me was to be of service to others by practicing medicine,” he said. Dr. Joyce, a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, has been instrumental in advancing rural medicine, opening pregnancy resource centers, and providing healthcare to families in Wisconsin and Minnesota for over three decades. “Throughout my years as a family physician, I tried to remain true to my original calling by being a humble servant to others,” he said.

Dr. Joyce began obstetrics/gynecology residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee and transitioned to a Family Medicine residency through Waukesha Family Practice in Waukesha. Following his residency, Dr. Joyce opened Family Medical Center in Ivanhoe, Minnesota. Later,

he worked as a family medicine physician and provided obstetric care for 33 years in the Minnesota communities of Springfield, Sleepy Eye, and Glenwood.

Dr. Joyce enjoyed practicing medicine in rural communities, and he shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for medicine with obstetrics medical teams from rural community hospitals. He taught hundreds of healthcare providers how to maintain excellent care for mothers and babies in rural communities as an advisory faculty member in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics through the American Academy of Family Practice.

Additionally, he was blessed with the opportunity to help launch two pregnancy resource centers serving southern Minnesota, in Mankato and New Ulm. These pregnancy centers provide free pregnancy and STD testing as well as free ultrasound services for patients, life coaching for mothers and fathers, and a mother and baby boutique for resources in life-affirming decisions. As a member of the Catholic Medical Association, Dr. Joyce follows its guiding principle, “Inspiring physicians to imitate Jesus Christ.” He helped organize Catholic Medical Association guilds in the Diocese of New Ulm and the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota.

“Being a member of the Catholic Medical Association has been an excellent opportunity to join like-minded physicians in all specialities for collaborative efforts to raise the level of ethical medical practice on the local, state and national level,” he said.

In September 2022, Dr. Joyce joined the medical staff of St. Gianna Clinic. St. Gianna Clinic, 1716 Lawrence Drive, De Pere, provides healthcare for families, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The clinic treats people of all faiths and cultures, from conception to natural death.

The move to Wisconsin was one of many moves Dr. Joyce made in his lifetime. He was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona. Later, his family moved to Idaho and lived on a ranch. James volunteered in the emergency room in Boise, Idaho, an experience that introduced him to the medical profession.

“I liked knowing I was helping others,” he said, describing his volunteer work.

Dr. Joyce and his wife, Kathleen, have nine living children, three intercessors, and seven grandchildren. He and Kathleen enjoy riding their trike, kayaking, canoeing, bird watching, sailing, taking walks, and camping.

Dr. Joyce’s favorite scripture passage: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which includes the memorable words, “Love is patient, love is kind.” His favorite saint is St. Teresa of Avila.

“She was able to change an entire culture through her prayer life from her place in the world,” he said. From his place in the world – in his personal life and professional life at St. Gianna Clinic – Dr. Joyce promotes the principles of the Catholic faith. As a humble servant to others, he has provided healthcare to families in Wisconsin and Minnesota for over 30 years.

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