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Mayor names new health director

(Published April 8, 2002)

James Buford, who became the Department of Health's chief operating officer in February, has been appointed acting DOH director to replace Dr. Ivan C.A. Walks.

Walks announced at the end of February that he plans to leave his city job on May 1.

"I am pleased that Jim Buford was available to step in to lead the Department of Health," Mayor Anthony A. Williams said in a written statement announcing Buford's appointment. "He is a seasoned manager and a qualified public health professional."

Williams said Buford will hold the position "as we begin the search for a replacement for Dr. Walks." The city's health director is traditionally a medical doctor, and Buford is not a physician.

Buford, who served as director of the D.C. Department of Human Services from April 1980 through May 1983 in Mayor Marion Barry's administration, returned to the District earlier this year after serving as director of the Detroit Health Department in Michigan.

While in Detroit, Buford established a specially equipped bioterrorism section that served as a reference laboratory for southeastern Michigan. He also saw the Detroit Health Depart-ment through its initial accreditation process with the Michigan Department of Community Health.

After leaving the D.C. government in 1983, Buford was president of Buford and Associates Inc., a D.C.-based management consulting firm.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator