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See announcement of his
appointment as Acting Director of Department of Health, June 19, 2002
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, March 25, 2002
|CONTACT: Tony Bullock
Mayor Appoints James Buford Acting Director at 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 February 5, 2002, Buford has been serving as the chief
operating officer for the DOH. On February 28, Dr. Ivan C.A. Walks, the
current DOH director, announced that he was resigning, effective May 1.
Prior to his appointment as the chief operating officer, Buford served
as the director for the Detroit Health Department in Detroit, Mich. In
that position, Buford provided leadership that guided the department
through the Michigan Department of Community Health's initial
accreditation process. He also 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
"I am pleased that Jim Buford was available to step in to lead the
Department of Health," said Mayor Williams. "He is a seasoned
manager and a qualified public health professional who will guide the
department as we begin the search for a replacement for Dr. Walks."
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. Additionally, from June 1983 through January 1985, Buford was
president of Buford and Associates, Inc., a Washington-based management
Mayor Williams expects to appoint a permanent director of the DOH in
the near future.
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JAMES A. BUFORD
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Address critical issues faced by organizations undergoing change with
expertise acquired from 25 years of solid experience as a senior manager
and chief executive officer of large complex organizations having
financial and management problems that require effective solutions.
Director, Detroit Health Department, Detroit, Michigan, June
1999–Present. Designed and implemented programs to promote health,
prevent disease, and protect the public's health — including personal
health, communicable disease, and environmental health programs.
Implemented special initiatives that focused on health disparities and
developed strategies that created greater access to public health and
primary care for the uninsured.
Management Consultant, University Research Corporation (URC), Bethesda,
Maryland, June 1994–June 1999. URC collaborates with government and
industry to provide communities, businesses, and individuals with training
and technical assistance in the areas of public health, human services,
human resource management, total quality management, and international
Management Consultant, Human Resources Administration (HRA), New York
City, New York, September 1992–March 1994. HRA is the largest municipal
social welfare agency in the country providing a range of entitlement,
child welfare, Medicaid, homeless, and adult and family services to
residents of New York City.
Executive Director, Division of Hospital Operations, April 1991–March
1992; Executive Director, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, New York,
Mary 1988–April 1991; Assistant Vice President, Office of Strategic Planning,
November 1986–April 1988, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
(HHC). HHC is the largest municipal health care system in the country and
consists of acute care hospitals, primary care centers, and long-term care
Director, Department of Urban Community Services (DUCS), City of Kansas
City, Missouri, February 1985–October 1986. DUCS provides a range of
social and human services, youth employment programs, job training and
employment, senior centers, and neighborhood improvement and development
services to residents of Kansas City.
President, Buford and Associates, Inc., Washington, D.C., June
1983–January 1985. A Washington-based management consulting firm
providing solutions to a wide range of public health, health care, human
services, and general management problems for clients in the public and
Director, Department of Human Services (DHS), District of Columbia
Government, Washington, D.C., April 1980–May 1983. DHS provides for the
health and welfare of individuals through the delivery of public and
mental health services, primary care, social services, and Medicaid —
health care financing and substance abuse services.
Regional Health Administrator, Department of Health and Human Services,
Region VI, Dallas, Texas, September 1979–March 1980; and
Administrator/Project Manager, Saint Elizabeths Hospital (SEH) Initiative,
Washington, D.C., September 1977–August 1979. Responsible for policy
implementation and for directing and coordinating Federal health programs
in Region VI. Managing and facilitating the revitalization of SEH,
regaining its accreditation and implementing court-ordered
Director, Department of Health and Welfare (DHW), City of Newark,
Newark, New Jersey, September 1972–August 1977. Provided health and
welfare services to eligible residents of the city; including public
assistance, public health and primary care services, housing and code
enforcement, and substance abuse prevention and treatment services.
As Director of the Detroit Health Department (DHD), provided leadership
that guided the department through the Michigan Department of Community
Health's (MDCH) initial accreditation process.
- Designed and implemented a process that aligned department
operations with standards established by the MDCH — resulting in a
determination of accreditation with commendation.
- Established the Department's first Center of Excellence —
Laboratory Services. The Laboratory contains a specially equipped
bioterrorism section and serves as the reference lab for southeastern
- Facilitated the installation of a ScriptPro Automatic Pharmacy
Dispensing System to increase the efficiency of pharmacy operations.
- Facilitated the design and establishment of a new
“state-of-the-art” oral health clinic to provide greater access to
dental services for the uninsured.
- Developed a plan that strategically supports community-based health
care providers with laboratory and pharmacy services while integrating
core public health services with primary care services.
As Director of Health and Welfare for the City of Newark, New Jersey,
managed a primary health care network operating under a variety of
- Privatized the management of a community health center as an
extension of the outpatient department of a local hospital/medical
- Purchased a small hospital and converted it to operate as a
community health center in an underserved area of the city — with
direct city management.
- Constructed a new primary care center and privatized the medical
service component through an arrangement with a Medical Group
- Financially stabilized the operations of several non-profit
community health centers with State Aid Funds to complete a network of
centers necessary to make services available and accessible to the
city's medically indigent residents.
- Health and social services were delivered during a period of fiscal
austerity and consistent with a financial plan that controlled
As Project Manager responsible for facilitating the revitalization of
St. Elizabeths Hospital accomplishing the following goals:
- A strategy to regain the hospital's accreditation was implemented in
1977 and successfully accomplished in 1979.
- Initiated discussions that resulted in the transfer of the J.B.
Johnson Nursing Home from DHUD to DHHS. The nursing home was
transferred to the District Government to assist with the
implementation of a court order to place SEH patients in
- Privatized the medical/surgical component of SEH through an
agreement with the Georgetown Medical Center.
- Implemented an institution-wide patient assessment plan to determine
the level of care required for all patients with a view toward
placement in the most appropriate setting — community based or
- Reopened discussions with officials of the District Government to
establish the parameters for the eventual transfer of SEH from the
Federal Government to the District of Columbia Government.
As Director of Human Services for the District of Columbia Government,
a major departmental reorganization was accomplished to manage and deliver
services more effectively and efficiently.
- Completed FY 1981 with an appropriated surplus of $500,000 by
recovering $10 million in charges to the Federal Government, $15
million prior year overpayments for Medicaid services, and implemented
management initiatives that saved $8 million — all to cover a prior
year deficit of $33 million.
- Commissioned a study that resulted in a “Maxicap Hospital
Agreement” between DHS and D.C. hospital providers. The agreement
focused on a strategy for containing the rate of growth in the
- Increased the management efficiency of essential administrative
support functions located in several locations by collocating these
services centrally to achieve greater control, accessibility,
communication, performance, and productivity.
- Automated Vendor Payment System was instituted to pay vendors on a
timely basis by computing and automatically paying average monthly
payments based on prior billings and management instructions.
- Implemented a management system for court orders that ensured an
orderly administration of judicial decrees and full compliance by DHS.
As Executive Director of Kings County Hospital Center, undertook major
corrective action strategies while preparing for the construction of a
billion dollar replacement hospital.
- Implemented major improvements in the operation of the largest and
busiest hospital emergency room in New York City.
- Constructed an Urgent Care Center to reduce congestion in the
emergency room by shifting those patients requiring treatment in a
- Implemented a Quality Assurance Initiative targeted at developing a
professional program of continuing quality and resource management.
Focused this initiative, in part, on concurrent and retrospective
monitoring and accountability for problem follow-up and resolution.
- Implemented major management and service delivery enhancements designed
to change the culture and structure of the organization —
established clear patterns of accountability and strategies to enhance
leadership and management effectiveness.
Master of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1972.
Focus: Medical Care Organization and Administration
Master of Science, Central Missouri State University, 1965
Focus: Educational Administration
Bachelor of Science, Tennessee State University, 1957
Harvard University, Institute on Health Policy, Planning and Regulation,
Kansas State University, Science Institute, National Science
William Jewell College, Science Institute, National Science Foundation,
American Public Health Association
American Management Association
National Association of Health Service Executives
National Public Hospital Association
Publications and papers presented at such forums as: American Health
Congress, American Public Health Association, Princeton University
Minority Conference, American Orthopsychiatric Association Annual Meeting,
New Jersey State Legislators
Federal Civil Service Rating: Executive Service Level IV (1978)
District of Columbia Civil Service Rating: DS-18 (1980)
James A. Buford
1800 Campau Farms Circle
Detroit, Michigan 48207
(313) 259-2191 (H)
(313) 876-4301 (O)