Undergrad: Syracuse University (Chemistry)
Medical School: Columbia University
Residency: University of California, San Diego
Dr. James Dunford is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Emergency Medicine, having served as master clinician, flight physician, researcher and mentor. After joining the DEM in 1980, Jim established the Division of EMS acting as its Base Station Director (1984-1993), Medical Director of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (1986-2018), Life Flight Medical Director (1993-95) and City of San Diego EMS Medical Director (1997-2018). Jim also founded and directed the UCSD Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program (1988-91). In 1996, he won the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine National Faculty CPC Competition. Jim has been a serial innovator. As President of the Board of the San Diego AHA, he led the development of San Diego’s regional systems of care for cardiac arrest (San Diego Project Heart Beat), heart attack (STEMI) and stroke. In 2000, he partnered with the San Diego Police Department to develop the San Diego Serial Inebriate Program (SIP), a national model that directs chronic homeless alcoholics to treatment. His SIP research received the 2007 U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Research Award. In 2008 Jim created the San Diego Resource Access Program (RAP) to address the City’s most frequent 911 users. In partnership with the United Way, Project 25 demonstrated the economic and medical advantages of “Housing First”. Jim champions bidirectional EMS-health information exchange (HIE) nationally, and in collaboration with 211 San Diego co-founded the San Diego Community Information Exchange (CIE) to address the unmet social determinants of health of the vulnerable. Jim’s research interests range from NIH trials addressing the prehospital management of cardiac arrest, major trauma, acute stroke and STEMI to the safety of community paramedicine. He is an appointed California EMS Commissioner, serves on the Board of 211 San Diego and consults for the National Quality Forum and SAMHSA. Jim has been repeatedly recognized for community service including receipt of the UCSD Chancellor’s Award, the Michael Copass Award (U.S. Metropolitan Medical Directors), the UCSD Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, the AHA Western States Outstanding Physician and Pioneer Awards, the EMS Innovator Award, the American College of Emergency Physicians Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award, the James O. Page Award and the San Diego Medical Society Top Doc in Emergency Medicine Award. Jim continues to teach at UCSD while serving on the National Advisory Board of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and organizations developing a regional Accountable Community for Health.
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