Emergency medicine physician, academic leader named UIC vice chancellor for health affairs

Dr. Robert A. Barish, chancellor of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport, has been named vice chancellor for health affairs of the University of Illinois at Chicago, pending formal approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its Nov. 12 meeting.

Barish, a distinguished physician and academic leader, will oversee UIC’s seven health science colleges and their respective regional campuses; the university’s hospital and clinics; and multiple federally qualified health center sites to coordinate health science education and research, and health care delivery at Chicago’s largest university.

Barish Robert

Dr. Robert Barish

“Dr. Barish is an experienced leader with the qualifications needed to develop a strategic vision for our health care enterprise, to foster innovation in health sciences education and research, and to fulfill our mission to provide health care to the underserved communities of Chicago and the state,” said UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis.

“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the committed clinicians, researchers and educators who comprise one of the nation’s strongest and most diverse academic health care enterprises,” said Barish.

Barish, 62, will start in his new role Jan. 1. He will succeed Jerry Bauman, who has served as interim vice president for health affairs for two years. Bauman will return to his position as dean of pharmacy at UIC.

“I want to thank Jerry Bauman for his continued leadership and commitment to the university. We are fortunate to have had an experienced leader, and someone who cares so deeply about the success of the institution, serve in an interim role during our search for a permanent vice chancellor,” said Amiridis.

“Dr. Barish brings more than two decades of experience and a unique set of skills to our already world-class health-care enterprise,” said University of Illinois President Tim Killeen. “His talents will build on leading edge education and research programs that are central to our mission and critical to serve the health-care needs of the city and the state.”

Since 2009 Barish has served as chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport, where he provided leadership for the schools of medicine, allied health, and graduate programs; a major academic medical center; and two affiliated hospitals.

From 1985 to 2009, Barish was at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He served as chief of emergency medicine from 1985 to 1996 and built a nationally recognized program. He was named associate dean for clinical affairs in 1998 and vice dean for clinical affairs in 2005.

That same year, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, Barish helped lead a medical regiment dispatched by the state of Maryland to deliver emergency care to more than 6,000 hurricane victims in Jefferson Parish.

In addition to his medical duties at Maryland, Barish earned an M.B.A. from Loyola College in 1995. From 1996 to 1998, he served as the chief executive officer of UniversityCARE, a University of Maryland physician-hospital network of family-oriented health centers located in neighborhoods throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.

A former lieutenant colonel and flight surgeon in the Maryland Air National Guard, Barish was accepted in NASA’s astronaut candidate program in 1992.

After earning his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1979, Barish interrupted his residency training for one year to provide medical treatment to refugees at camps along the Thai-Cambodian border and in Somalia. He completed an internal medicine residency at New York’s Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in 1983 and an emergency medicine residency at Georgetown University Medical Center in 1985. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

Barish and his wife, Jenny, have three daughters.