The University of Utah appoints Interim Chair of Family Medicine, Dr. John Barrett

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The University of Utah appoints Interim Chair of Family Medicine, Dr. John Barrett

10 Jan, 2024

John Barrett, MD, has been appointed interim Chair of the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine (DFPM) for University of Utah Health, effective January 16, 2024. He succeeds Kola Okuyemi, MD, PHD, who accepted the role of Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Associate Dean for Health Equity Research and Implementation at Indiana University School of Medicine.

As interim Chair, Barrett will be responsible for managing the affairs and core administrative responsibilities of DFPM, along with creating a more unified and collaborative department; expanding the reach, market presence, and clinical revenue of the department; developing, targeting, and enhancing clearly defined, measurable, patient-centered value indicators; and refining and expanding training programs to better prepare learners in population health and medicine. He will also lead collaborative efforts across the system, such as working with the health sciences leadership team to build out the strategic plans for the department, partnering with other leaders to advance the transformation to an integrated and value-driven organization and increase the quantity, quality, and impact of population-medicine relevant research, with the goal of being in the top 10 nationally in NIH research funding.

“Dr. Barrett has proven to be an effective leader and a valuable member of our team at U of U Health”, said Sam Finlayson, MD, interim dean of the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah. “The mission of the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine is of vital importance to our organization, and I believe the department will be in excellent hands under his direction.”

Barrett is a family medicine physician who has been serving as the Executive Medical Director of the Community Physician Group since 2018. Under his leadership, the physician group has grown to provide care for around 500,000 patients annually, opened urgent care clinics across nine community health centers, collaborated with system leaders to launch virtual primary and urgent care platforms, and led initial Project CORE (Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences) efforts with the AAMC to improve system-wide communications between primary care and specialty care via enhanced referrals and eConsults.

Barrett graduated medical school from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency training at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado. He has practiced in various settings over 30 years, working extensively with rural populations throughout the course of his career. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including twice receiving the United States Public Health Service Achievement Medal and the Utah Physician Assistant Association “Physician of the Year” in 2019. He has served as CMO Council Chair for the American Medical Group Association since 2020.

About the University of Utah Health

The University of Utah Health is a patient-focused center delivering a continuum of care for the community and serving as a beacon of health care research and innovation. With a strong emphasis on high-quality patient care, academic excellence, and groundbreaking research, University of Utah Health is a leading institution in health sciences and provides a full range of medical services to the community.

About Dr. John Barrett

Dr. John Barrett is a distinguished family medicine physician with extensive experience in patient care, particularly in rural settings. His leadership roles have significantly contributed to the growth and development of community health initiatives. Dr. Barrett’s commitment to enhancing patient care and medical education aligns with the University of Utah Health’s mission to advance health sciences and provide top-tier medical services.


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