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Mayor Appoints James Buford Acting Director of Department of Health
June 19, 2002




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See announcement of his appointment as Acting Director of Department of Health, March 25, 2002

The John A. Wilson Building - 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - Washington, DC 20004


Wednesday, June 19, 2002
CONTACT: Tony Bullock
(202) 727-6846

Mayor Appoints James Buford Acting Director of Department of Health

(Washington, DC) Mayor Anthony A. Williams announced today that he has appointed James Buford the acting director of the DC Department of Health (DOH). Since May 2nd, Buford has served as the interim director of the agency. For the three months prior to the interim appointment, Buford served as the chief operating office for DOH.

"Jim Buford has done an excellent job leading the Department of Health the past two months," said Mayor Williams. "His more than 30 years as a public health leader will enable the Department of Health to continue to strengthen health services for our residents."

From June 1999 through January 2002, Buford served as the director for the Detroit Health Department in Detroit, Michigan. In that position, Buford established the department's first Center of Excellence - Laboratory Services, which contains a specially equipped bioterrorism section and serves as the reference lab for southeastern Michigan. He also established a state-of-the-art oral health clinic to provide greater access to dental services for the uninsured.

Buford is not a stranger to the District government. From April 1980 through May 1983, Buford served as the director of the DC Department of Human Services. During his tenure, a major departmental reorganization was accomplished to manage and deliver services more effectively and efficiently.

Buford has extensive urban health and welfare experience. He worked with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation from November 1986 to March 1992 in a variety of executive positions, including executive director, Division of Hospital Operations, and executive director of Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York. He also served as director of the Department of Urban Community Services in Kansas City, Missouri, and director of the Department of Health and Welfare in Newark, New Jersey.

Mr. Buford will assume the position of Acting Director effective immediately. His appointment is subject to Council confirmation.

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Acting Director
D.C. Department of Health

Mr. James A. Buford joined the District of Columbia Department of Health in February 2002 as Chief Operating Officer. Mayor Anthony A. Williams named him Interim Director on March 25, 2002. He has served as Interim Director since May 2, 2002.

Before joining the Williams Administration in 2002, Mr. Buford served as Director of the Detroit Health Department, Detroit, Michigan, from 1999 until 2002. In this position he designed and implemented programs to promote health, prevent disease, and protect the public's health-including personal health and environmental health programs. He implemented special initiatives that focused on health disparities and developed strategies that created greater access to public health and primary care services for the uninsured.

For the past thirty years, Mr. Buford has undertaken major assignments in the public sector as a senior manager and chief executive officer of a variety of urban health and human services organizations. Mr. Buford's professional assignments have included terms as the Executive Director of Kings County Hospital in New York City; Director of the Urban Community Services Department in Kansas City, Missouri; several positions with the D.C. Department of Human Services, including agency director and project manager at Saint Elizabeths; and Director of the Department of Health and Welfare in Newark, NJ.

Mr. Buford received a Master of Public Health degree in Medical Care Organization and Administration from the University of Michigan in 1972. He also received a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from Central Missouri State University in 1965 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tennessee State University.. He completed additional graduate work at Kansas State University, William Jewell College, and Harvard University.

Mr. Buford has held leadership positions and been active in professional and civic associations including the American Public Health Association, National Association of Health Service Executives, and American Management Association. Mr. Buford is a former science teacher and has a lifetime teaching certificate in the state of Missouri.

Mr. Buford resides in Ward 2 of the District of Columbia.

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