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James Buehler, MD

James W. Buehler

Clinical Professor
Health Management and Policy
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BA in Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley; MD, University of California, San Francisco


James W. Buehler, MD, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy; he serves as Director of the Masters of Public Health program in the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; and he is an affiliate of the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative. His interests center on training the next generation of public health professionals and on improving public health practice, especially strategies for strengthening healthcare and public health connections.

Dr. Buehler joined the faculty at Drexel in July 2013. In July 2014, Drexel granted Dr. Buehler a leave-of-absence to serve as Health Commissioner for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health during the final 18 months of  Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s administration; and in January 2016, he returned to his faculty position. Dr. Buehler was previously a Research Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in Atlanta (2002-2010). From 1981-2002 and from 2009-2012, Dr. Buehler served as a medical epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta where he worked in a variety of areas, including general field epidemiology; maternal and child health; HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB prevention; population health surveillance; public health ethics, public health informatics; and, briefly in in the Fall of 2001, anthrax. His last CDC position (2010-2012) was as Director of the Public Health Surveillance & Informatics Program Office, where he was responsible for managing several nationwide population health monitoring systems and for supporting CDC programs and state/local health departments in fulfilling the public health opportunities arising from the expanded use of electronic heath records and information exchange. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the School of Medicine of the University of California at San Francisco, and he is board-certified in Pediatrics and General Preventive Medicine.

Research Interests

  • Health Policy
  • Urban Health
  • Public Health Practice
  • Public Health & Health Care Interface


Buehler JW, Bernsten DS, Clarke PE, Geisse K. Defining population health use policies for a regional health information exchange. Population Health Matters, 2018;31(1):Article 7.

Purtle J, Field RI, Hipper T, Nash-Arott J, Chernak E, Buehler JW. The impact of law on syndromic disease surveillance implementation. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 2018;24(1):9-17.

Buehler JW, Snyder RL, Freeman SL, Carson SR, Ortega AN. It's not just insurance: the Affordable Care Act and population health. Public Health Reports, 2018;133(1):34-38.

Buehler JW, Crum J, Alles S. The public health response to the Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia, 2015. Health Security, 2017;15(5):548-558.

Buehler JW. Legal intervention deaths in the United States, 2010-2014. American Journal of Public Health, 2017;107(2):295-297.

Purtle J, Klassen AC, Kolker J, Peters RM, Buehler JW. Local health departments' level of engagement in population mental health promotion. Frontiers in Public Health Services & Systems Research, 2016;5(1):41-47.

Purtle J, Klassen AC, Kolker J, Buehler JW. Prevalence and correlates of local health department activities to address mental health in the United States. Preventive Medicine, 2015;82:20-27.

Robbins JM, Mallya G, Wagner A, Buehler JW. Prevalence, disparities, and trends in obesity and severe obseity among students in the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2006-2013. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2015;12:150-185.

Ogden LO, Buehler JW, Bernet P. Funding formulas for public health allocations: federal and state strategies. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 2012;13(4):323-332.

Buehler JW, Bernett PM, Ogden LO. Resource and cost adjustment in the design of allocation funding formulas in public health programs. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 2012;18(4):323-332.

Buehler JW, Bernet PM, Ogden LO. Reference allocations and use of a disparity measure to inform the design of allocation funding formulas in public health programs. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 2012;18(4):333-338.