David Birnbaum

David Birnbaum
Adjunct Professor

BA (Berkeley), MPH (Minnesota), PhD (UBC)

Dr. David Birnbaum earned an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley (1969: zoology), a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (1974: institutional environmental health & safety), and an interdisciplinary PhD from the University of British Columbia (1992: epidemiology, statistics, medical microbiology & infectious diseases). 

He has held academic appointments as:

  • a clinical assistant professor and subsequently adjunct professor in the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology (which in 2008 became the School of Population and Public Health) at the University of British Columbia;
  • a lecturer, visiting associate professor and adjunct professor at UBC’s School of Nursing;
  • a sessional instructor in the Schools of Public Administration and Business Administration at University of Victoria, and adjunct professor in its School of Health Information Science; and
  • associate professor at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine.

David is proprietor of Applied Epidemiology; and has decades of experience working as a hospital epidemiologist and infection control practitioner in the United States and Canada. 

He has developed knowledge-based software products for the hospital epidemiology market; courses in epidemiology, microbiology, research methods, statistics, management and quality improvement for professionals in nursing, public health, infection control, health care quality improvement, hospital epidemiology, public and business administration; and consulted to various professional and government organizations.  His principal interests include surveillance methodology, infection control, quality assurance and improvement methods, health informatics, and self-directed (case/problem-based & distance) learning.  Dr. Birnbaum's research and other publications have appeared in epidemiology, microbiology, governance and quality improvement journals.  As a former member of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), he served as its designated liaison to the Health Care Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) as well as being a section editor for SHEA's journals and chairing the international, interdisciplinary SHEA/ASQ-HCD Health Care Quality Improvement Special Interest Group. 

From 2008-2014, he served as inaugural Program Manager for the new Healthcare Associated Infections Program of the Washington State Department of Health.

David is Co-editor for the International Journal of Health Governance, and serves on the editorial board of other journals.