James Dunford

Title(s)Recall Faculty, Emergency Medical Services
SchoolVc-health Sciences-schools
Address9500 Gilman Drive #
La Jolla CA 92093
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Syracuse University, Syracuse, NYBA1972Chemistry
    Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NYMD1976Medicine
    UC San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA1979Internal Medicine
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Society for Academic Emergency Medicine1996Best National Faculty Discussant
    CA Governor Gray Davis2001Commendation for Leadership in Cardiovascular Disease
    Combined Health Agencies of San Diego2002Volunteer of the Year Award
    Downtown San Diego Partnership2003Alonzo Award
    AHA Western States2004Lawrence M. Herman, MD Advocacy Award
    UC San Diego Chancellor's Associates2006Faculty Excellence Award (Community Service)
    U.S. Metropolitan Medical Directors2007Michael K. Copass Award
    U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness 2007Pursuit of Solutions Innovation Award
    San Diego County Medical Society2007  - 2015Top Doctor (Emergency Medicine)
    AHA Western States2008Physician Volunteer of the Year
    San Diego Downtown Business Partnership2008Vic Kops Humanitarian Award
    San Diego Business Journal2009Physician Health Care Champion Award
    UC San Diego School of Medicine2010Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
    St. Vincent de Paul Village2013Bishop Leo Maher Service to the Homeless Award
    American College of Emergency Physicians 2015Outstanding Contribution in EMS
    San Diego Chapter American Heart Association2016Pioneer Award
    Journal of EMS2017James O. Page Leadership Award
    Family Health Centers of San Diego2017Spirit of the Barrio Award
    UC San Diego Emeriti Association2020Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. James Dunford is Professor Emeritus of Emergency Medicine. After completing an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at UC San Diego in 1979, Jim joined the nascent emergency medicine faculty and remained clinically active until 2015. From 1980-86, he responded to hundreds of emergencies aboard the Life Flight helicopter, the first civilian physician-staffed aeromedical program in the nation. Jim went on to become the medical director of both Life Flight and the San Diego Fire Department and established the UCSD Division of EMS. In 1988, he created and directed the UCSD emergency medicine residency training program. In 1997 he was selected as the first medical director of the City of San Diego, a position he held until 2017. In that role he helped shape the evolution of contemporary EMS care at the local, state, national and international level. Jim coordinated the City’s participation in consequential NIH trials addressing the management of sudden cardiac arrest, major trauma, acute stroke, and heart attack. As President of the San Diego Board of the American Heart Association, he championed the creation of regional systems of care for cardiac arrest (San Diego Project Heartbeat), heart attack and stroke. For his efforts to expand these systems across the western U.S., he received the AHA Western States’ Volunteer of the Year award.

    Jim was among the first EMS physicians to recognize novel ways to utilize EMS resources to address complex social conditions. In 2000, he partnered with the San Diego Police Department to develop the Serial Inebriate Program to assist homeless individuals with severe alcohol use disorder. His research on SIP was recognized with the 2006 U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness National Research Award. In 2008, Jim created the Resource Access Program, a novel “community paramedic” program to assist hospital superusers, which was subsequently recognized as a model of innovation by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2011, Jim partnered with the San Diego United Way to implement Project 25, demonstrating the economic and medical advantages of “Housing First”. He championed SDFD’s early adoption of handheld, cloud-based electronic charting and collaborated with the UCSD Department of Emergency Medicine on a $15M federal Beacon grant, which created the first health information exchange capable of real-time, bi-directional EMS data exchange. To better serve his complex EMS patients, Jim partnered with 211 San Diego and Father Joe’s Village to create the SD Community Information Exchange, which today links over 100 previously siloed community-based organizations to better address patients’ adverse social determinants of their health.

    Jim served for years as an emergency medicine expert at both the National Quality Forum and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and is past Chair of the California Commission on EMS. For his career of service, in 2015 he received the Outstanding Contribution in EMS award from the American College of Emergency Physicians. He retired from EMS in 2017, and in 2018 became the Medical Director of McAlister Institute, the region’s largest substance treatment program for Medi-Cal patients. He currently oversees clinical care at 16 treatment programs and is actively engaged in the opioid crisis. In 2020, Jim received the UCSD Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship for ongoing contributions to the community.
    Collapse In The News

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    Collapse Featured Publications

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Caution Regarding Self-reported Tramadol Dependence. Clin Pract Cases Emerg Med. 2024 Feb; 8(1):80. Dunford J, Schneir A. PMID: 38546321; PMCID: PMC10966503.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    2. An Urban 9-1-1 System's Experience with Left Ventricular Assist Device Patients. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2019 Jul-Aug; 23(4):560-565. Goebel M, Tainter C, Kahn C, Dunford JV, Serra J, Pierce J, Donofrio JJ. PMID: 30285520.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Prehospital Acute ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Identification in San Diego: A Retrospective Analysis of the Effect of a New Software Algorithm. J Emerg Med. 2018 07; 55(1):71-77. Coffey C, Serra J, Goebel M, Espinoza S, Castillo E, Dunford J. PMID: 29731285.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. Antiarrhythmic Drugs for Nonshockable-Turned-Shockable Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: The ALPS Study (Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo). Circulation. 2017 Nov 28; 136(22):2119-2131. Kudenchuk PJ, Leroux BG, Daya M, Rea T, Vaillancourt C, Morrison LJ, Callaway CW, Christenson J, Ornato JP, Dunford JV, Wittwer L, Weisfeldt ML, Aufderheide TP, Vilke GM, Idris AH, Stiell IG, Colella MR, Kayea T, Egan D, Desvigne-Nickens P, Gray P, Gray R, Straight R, Dorian P, Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators. PMID: 28904070; PMCID: PMC5705566.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Amiodarone, Lidocaine, or Placebo in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. N Engl J Med. 2016 May 05; 374(18):1711-22. Kudenchuk PJ, Brown SP, Daya M, Rea T, Nichol G, Morrison LJ, Leroux B, Vaillancourt C, Wittwer L, Callaway CW, Christenson J, Egan D, Ornato JP, Weisfeldt ML, Stiell IG, Idris AH, Aufderheide TP, Dunford JV, Colella MR, Vilke GM, Brienza AM, Desvigne-Nickens P, Gray PC, Gray R, Seals N, Straight R, Dorian P, Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators. PMID: 27043165.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 99     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Prehospital activated charcoal use in antipsychotic overdose. Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Feb; 34(2):316-7. Villarreal J, Kahn CA, Dunford JV, Castillo EM, Clark RF. PMID: 26612705.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. A retrospective review of the prehospital use of activated charcoal. Am J Emerg Med. 2015 Jan; 33(1):56-9. Villarreal J, Kahn CA, Dunford JV, Patel E, Clark RF. PMID: 25455049.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Preliminary report of a mathematical model of ventilation and intrathoracic pressure applied to prehospital patients with severe traumatic brain injury. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2015 Apr-Jun; 19(2):328-35. Davis DP, Aguilar SA, Smith K, Husa RD, Minokadeh A, Vilke G, Sell R, Fisher R, Brainard C, Dunford JV. PMID: 25291381.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Assessment of the addition of prehospital continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to an urban emergency medical services (EMS) system in persons with severe respiratory distress. J Emerg Med. 2013 Aug; 45(2):210-9. Aguilar SA, Lee J, Dunford JV, Castillo E, Lam B, Choy J, Patel E, Pringle J, Serra J. PMID: 23756329.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Prehospital stroke diagnosis and treatment in ambulances and helicopters-a concept paper. Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Apr; 31(4):743-7. Hölscher T, Dunford JV, Schlachetzki F, Boy S, Hemmen T, Meyer BC, Serra J, Powers J, Voie A. PMID: 23415600.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Putting the 'rap' in 'rapport'. JEMS. 2013 Jan; 38(1):38-41. Jensen AM, Dunford J. PMID: 23627233.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    12. Electrical and mechanical recovery of cardiac function following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Resuscitation. 2013 Jan; 84(1):25-30. Davis DP, Sell RE, Wilkes N, Sarno R, Husa RD, Castillo EM, Lawrence B, Fisher R, Brainard C, Dunford JV. PMID: 22982154.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Pre-hospital electrocardiography by emergency medical personnel: effects on scene and transport times for chest pain and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Aug 28; 60(9):806-11. Patel M, Dunford JV, Aguilar S, Castillo E, Patel E, Fisher R, Ochs G, Mahmud E. PMID: 22840530.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Effects of an emergency medical services-based resource access program on frequent users of health services. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2012 Oct-Dec; 16(4):541-7. Tadros AS, Castillo EM, Chan TC, Jensen AM, Patel E, Watts K, Dunford JV. PMID: 22712694.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Gender differences in scene time, transport time, and total scene to hospital arrival time determined by the use of a prehospital electrocardiogram in patients with complaint of chest pain. J Emerg Med. 2012 Aug; 43(2):291-7. Aguilar SA, Patel M, Castillo E, Patel E, Fisher R, Ochs G, Pringle J, Mahmud E, Dunford JV. PMID: 22325551.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. In patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, does the provision of dispatch cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions as opposed to no instructions improve outcome: a systematic review of the literature. Resuscitation. 2011 Dec; 82(12):1490-5. Bohm K, Vaillancourt C, Charette ML, Dunford J, Castrén M. PMID: 21925129.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 20     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. A trial of an impedance threshold device in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2011 Sep 01; 365(9):798-806. Aufderheide TP, Nichol G, Rea TD, Brown SP, Leroux BG, Pepe PE, Kudenchuk PJ, Christenson J, Daya MR, Dorian P, Callaway CW, Idris AH, Andrusiek D, Stephens SW, Hostler D, Davis DP, Dunford JV, Pirrallo RG, Stiell IG, Clement CM, Craig A, Van Ottingham L, Schmidt TA, Wang HE, Weisfeldt ML, Ornato JP, Sopko G, Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Investigators. PMID: 21879897; PMCID: PMC3204381.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 55     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. In out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients, does the description of any specific symptoms to the emergency medical dispatcher improve the accuracy of the diagnosis of cardiac arrest: a systematic review of the literature. Resuscitation. 2011 Dec; 82(12):1483-9. Vaillancourt C, Charette ML, Bohm K, Dunford J, Castrén M. PMID: 21704442.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. An open, interoperable, and scalable prehospital information technology network architecture. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2011 Apr-Jun; 15(2):149-57. Landman AB, Rokos IC, Burns K, Van Gelder CM, Fisher RM, Dunford JV, Cone DC, Bogucki S. PMID: 21294627.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Minimizing pre- and post-defibrillation pauses increases the likelihood of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Resuscitation. 2010 Jul; 81(7):822-5. Sell RE, Sarno R, Lawrence B, Castillo EM, Fisher R, Brainard C, Dunford JV, Davis DP. PMID: 20398991.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Integration of pre-hospital electrocardiograms and ST-elevation myocardial infarction receiving center (SRC) networks: impact on Door-to-Balloon times across 10 independent regions. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2009 Apr; 2(4):339-46. Rokos IC, French WJ, Koenig WJ, Stratton SJ, Nighswonger B, Strunk B, Jewell J, Mahmud E, Dunford JV, Hokanson J, Smith SW, Baran KW, Swor R, Berman A, Wilson BH, Aluko AO, Gross BW, Rostykus PS, Salvucci A, Dev V, McNally B, Manoukian SV, King SB. PMID: 19463447.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Hospital resources: a practical treatment plan for homeless patients. Virtual Mentor. 2009 Jan 01; 11(1):19-25. Dunford J, Buchanan D, Jain S. PMID: 23190481.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    23. Asphyxiation due to dry ice in a walk-in freezer. J Emerg Med. 2009 May; 36(4):353-6. Dunford JV, Lucas J, Vent N, Clark RF, Cantrell FL. PMID: 18814998.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    24. Prehospital transport time intervals for acute stroke patients. J Emerg Med. 2009 Jul; 37(1):40-5. Ramanujam P, Castillo E, Patel E, Vilke G, Wilson MP, Dunford JV. PMID: 18722734.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    25. Accuracy of stroke recognition by emergency medical dispatchers and paramedics--San Diego experience. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2008 Jul-Sep; 12(3):307-13. Ramanujam P, Guluma KZ, Castillo EM, Chacon M, Jensen MB, Patel E, Linnick W, Dunford JV. PMID: 18584497.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 43     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Serum troponin I measurement of subjects exposed to the Taser X-26. J Emerg Med. 2008 Jul; 35(1):29-32. Sloane CM, Chan TC, Levine SD, Dunford JV, Neuman T, Vilke GM. PMID: 18296010.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    27. Effect of prehospital 12-lead electrocardiogram on activation of the cardiac catheterization laboratory and door-to-balloon time in ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction. Am J Cardiol. 2008 Jan 15; 101(2):158-61. Brown JP, Mahmud E, Dunford JV, Ben-Yehuda O. PMID: 18178399.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 36     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Rate of decline in oxygen saturation at various pulse oximetry values with prehospital rapid sequence intubation. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2008 Jan-Mar; 12(1):46-51. Davis DP, Hwang JQ, Dunford JV. PMID: 18189177.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Cardiac monitoring of human subjects exposed to the taser. J Emerg Med. 2007 Aug; 33(2):113-7. Levine SD, Sloane CM, Chan TC, Dunford JV, Vilke GM. PMID: 17692758.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    30. The feasibility of a regional cardiac arrest receiving system. Resuscitation. 2007 Jul; 74(1):44-51. Davis DP, Fisher R, Aguilar S, Metz M, Ochs G, McCallum-Brown L, Ramanujam P, Buono C, Vilke GM, Chan TC, Dunford JV. PMID: 17346870.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Hyperventilation following aero-medical rapid sequence intubation may be a deliberate response to hypoxemia. Resuscitation. 2007 Jun; 73(3):354-61. Davis DP, Douglas DJ, Koenig W, Carrison D, Buono C, Dunford JV. PMID: 17291673.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Predictors of intubation success and therapeutic value of paramedic airway management in a large, urban EMS system. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2006 Jul-Sep; 10(3):356-62. Davis DP, Fisher R, Buono C, Brainard C, Smith S, Ochs G, Poste JC, Dunford JV. PMID: 16801280.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Impact of the San Diego Serial Inebriate Program on use of emergency medical resources. Ann Emerg Med. 2006 Apr; 47(4):328-36. Dunford JV, Castillo EM, Chan TC, Vilke GM, Jenson P, Lindsay SP. PMID: 16546617.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. The three-phase model of cardiac arrest as applied to ventricular fibrillation in a large, urban emergency medical services system. Resuscitation. 2005 Mar; 64(3):341-6. Vilke GM, Chan TC, Dunford JV, Metz M, Ochs G, Smith A, Fisher R, Poste JC, McCallum-Brown L, Davis DP. PMID: 15733764.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Ventilation patterns in patients with severe traumatic brain injury following paramedic rapid sequence intubation. Neurocrit Care. 2005; 2(2):165-71. Davis DP, Heister R, Poste JC, Hoyt DB, Ochs M, Dunford JV. PMID: 16159059.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. The impact of hypoxia and hyperventilation on outcome after paramedic rapid sequence intubation of severely head-injured patients. J Trauma. 2004 Jul; 57(1):1-8; discussion 8-10. Davis DP, Dunford JV, Poste JC, Ochs M, Holbrook T, Fortlage D, Size MJ, Kennedy F, Hoyt DB. PMID: 15284540.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 65     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    37. The use of quantitative end-tidal capnometry to avoid inadvertent severe hyperventilation in patients with head injury after paramedic rapid sequence intubation. J Trauma. 2004 Apr; 56(4):808-14. Davis DP, Dunford JV, Ochs M, Park K, Hoyt DB. PMID: 15187747.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 17     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    38. Incidence of transient hypoxia and pulse rate reactivity during paramedic rapid sequence intubation. Ann Emerg Med. 2003 Dec; 42(6):721-8. Dunford JV, Davis DP, Ochs M, Doney M, Hoyt DB. PMID: 14634593.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 43     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Impact of an after-hours on-call emergency physician on ambulance transports from a county jail. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2003 Jul-Sep; 7(3):327-31. Chan TC, Vilke GM, Smith S, Sparrow W, Dunford JV. PMID: 12879382.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    40. Prehospital therapy for acute congestive heart failure: state of the art. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2003 Jan-Mar; 7(1):13-23. Mosesso VN, Dunford J, Blackwell T, Griswell JK. PMID: 12540139.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. Emergency medical dispatch. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2002 Nov; 20(4):859-75. Dunford JV. PMID: 12476884.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    42. Performance measurements in emergency medical services. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2002 Jan-Mar; 6(1):92-8. Dunford J, Domeier RM, Blackwell T, Mears G, Overton J, Rivera-Rivera EJ, Swor R. PMID: 11789658.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans