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Lugar Center for Rural Health Founder

Dr. James Buechler

Dr. Buechler was raised and graduated from High School in Marshall, Illinois 1959. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology and then attended and graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical School. After Residency he enlisted in the Navy serving his country during the Vietnam War era. After returning to practice in Marshall, Dr. Buechler and Frank Shelton started the Family Practice Center in Terre Haute which provided a residency program which has graduated over 185 physicians many of which practice in rural areas.

In 1992, he founded the Midwest Center for Rural Health which was renamed the Lugar Center for Rural Health in 2006. In 1994, Dr. Buechler was awarded the Weinbaum Award from the Union Health Foundation. In 2001 he was awarded the outstanding educator award from the National Rural Health Association. 


In 2004, Dr. Buechler was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science from Indiana State University and the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the highest distinction in Indiana.

Dr. Buechler passed on December 25, 2017. His work and legacy continue to be the driving force for us at the Lugar Center for Rural Health.


He will be missed by many.

Dr. B

Dr. James Buechler

I grew up in a small rural community of 3,000

Dr. Buechler and the Rural Training Track.

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