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Jeanie Boulet was a physician's assistant at County General. She originally had a recurring role during the first season, but she became a main character by the 2nd season.
Her character is revealed to be HIV-positive by the 3rd season. Jeanie leaves the show in the sixth season, but she makes an appearance in the show's 14th season. She was portrayed by Gloria Reuben from 1995 to 1999. Jeanie is the one of the only regular characters in American television history to contract HIV without being killed off by the writers.
Jeanie was first introduced as the physical therapist hired by Dr. Peter Benton to take care for his ill mother, who later passes away.
It is revealed that Jeanie is married to Al, who works as a construction worker. She and Peter started a romantic relationship with each other, but things fizzled when she could not make a decision about her marriage. She reappeared as a series regular a few episodes later as the new physician's assistant in the ER.
Toward the end of the season, her husband Al was admitted to the hospital and it was discovered that he had contracted HIV. Jeanie and Al had been separated since the beginning of the season, but he may have contracted the virus years earlier as he had slept with other women during the time they were married. Jeanie tells Peter and convinces him to get tested for HIV.
In the 3rd season premiere, it's revealed that Peter tested negative for HIV, but Jeanie tested positive. Peter questioned whether Jeanie should still be working in the ER, but he later accepted that she would be able to take appropriate precautions and supported her decision to remain at County.
Jeanie develops a strong friendship with Kerry Weaver. Jeanie had initially been afraid that Kerry might terminate her position at County if she found out about Jeanie's HIV status. This turned out not to be the case, and Kerry laid out restrictions under which Jeanie would be allowed to continue treating patients while HIV-positive.
Jeanie also embarked on her first romantic relationship since her HIV diagnosis, with a doctor from Infectious Diseases named Greg Fischer. However, during this time she also rekindles her relationship with Al and eventually Dr. Fischer breaks up with her upon finding out about the reunion. Jeanie and Al move back in together and they renew their relationship.
Kerry was forced to fire Jeanie for budgetary reasons, but Jeanie accused her of trying to fire her over her HIV status because Jeanie was forced to break one of her workplace restrictions in order to save a trauma patient's life and threatened to sue the hospital for discrimination. In order to avoid the lawsuit, Dr. Anspaugh gave Jeanie her job back, and she & Kerry settled their differences with each other.
While Al is injured in an accident at his construction site, he is forced to reveal his HIV status which eventually costs him his job. Al gets a new job in Atlanta and asks Jeanie to move with him, but Jeanie turns him down, and their relationship ends once again.
Jeanie becomes a part-time caretaker for Dr. Anspaugh's son, Scott, who was sick with lymphoma. She and Scott develop a close friendship with each other which sadly comes to an end after Scott loses his battle with cancer. Jeanie attends his funeral and sings his favorite song there.
Jeanie starts working full-time in Dr. Doug Ross' pediatric clinic. She starts a relationship with a police officer named Reggie Moore. In the episode "The Storm (Part One)," Jeanie is seriously injured in a car accident with Doug as he drives to the scene of a school bus accident. Jeanie suffers a concussion, but it is later discovered that an abnormal CT of her liver shows fluid which leads to her diagnosis that she has Hepatitis C.
Peter and Jeanie seem to back on good terms with each other. Peter is at Jeanie's side while she's in the hospital for her Hepatitis C and Jeanie helps Peter cope with the fact that his son, Reese is deaf.
In the season premiere, Jeanie treats an HIV-positive baby named Carlos after he and his mother were brought into the ER. The mother dies of complications from AIDS and Jeanie seeks to adopt Carlos. In the episode "Last Rites," Reggie asks Jeanie to marry him which she accepts. Reggie and Jeanie marry in the episode "Greene With Envy" and is pleased when she is able to foster Baby Carlos as well.
Jeanie misses work because she's taking care of Carlos. In the episode "Peace of the Wild Things," Jeanie tells Kerry that she's leaving County in order to spend time with Carlos and Reggie. Kerry tells her that anytime Jeanie wants to come back, she can, but Jeanie never returns to work at County.
In the episode "Status Quo," Jeanie returns to County ER after Carlos is injured during gym class at school. Carlos' head CT shows a growth on his brain which means that his condition has progressed into AIDS. Jeanie didn't find any of her old colleagues she knew working at County anymore and was only identified by Nurses Haleh Adams and Chuny Marquez.
After initially having difficulty adjusting to the changes in her former workplace, Jeanie permitted full treatment and came to support the decisions of the new staff of the ER including new attending Dr. Gregory Pratt with whom she initially had difficulty agreeing. It was partly because of her return and inspiration that Dr. Pratt was convinced to continue his job at County.
In this episode, it's revealed that Jeanie and Reggie have undergone a separation and have joint custody of their son. Jeanie also remains a counselor for young people with HIV. Her clinics (one on the North side of Chicago) and another on the South side of Chicago have become her personal mission and her time-consuming commitment to them contributed to the end of her marriage.
Jeanie reveals to Pratt that Carlos helps to drive her and her cause to help others with HIV and that she doesn't know how she will cope if he were to die. She also reveals that her ex-husband Al died two years earlier from his HIV/AIDS condition, severely emaciated to a weight of only 78 pounds and apparently demented as he was unable to even recognize her.
- Al Boulet (first ex-husband; deceased)
- Reggie Moore (second ex-husband; separated)
- Carlos Moore (adopted son)
Medical Titles at County GeneralEdit
- Part-Time Physical Therapist (1994-1995)
- Physician Assistant (1995-1999)