UIC’s vice chancellor to chair national academic health association

Dr. Robert Barish, UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
UIC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. Robert Barish (Photo: UI Health/Hoss Fatemi)

University of Illinois Chicago Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. Robert Barish has been selected to chair the Board of Directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers, or AAHC, by its members via electronic ballot in conjunction with the AAHC Annual Meeting, held virtually October 7-9.

“Dr. Barish is an outstanding leader who is widely respected for his ability to lead during crises on national and local levels,” said Dr. Steven L. Kanter, AAHC president and CEO. “He is dedicated to advancing inclusiveness and diversity in the healthcare professions and healthcare delivery.

“I have found his guidance to be exceptional as a member of the Association’s Board of Directors, and I very much look forward to working with him and the entire AAHC Board on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Kanter said.

Since joining UIC, Barish has had oversight of several key initiatives UI Health, including implementation of a new, unified electronic health record platform; initiating plans for the new UI Health Outpatient Surgery Center & Specialty Clinics building and Hospital Welcome Atrium; and key recruitment of several health sciences college deans. Most recently, Barish was appointed by the University of Illinois System President to serve as the chair of the system-wide COVID-19 Planning and Response Team.

Prior to joining UIC, Barish served as chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport from 2009 to 2015, where he provided leadership for the schools of medicine, allied health, and graduate programs; a major academic medical center; and two affiliated hospitals. He also served 24 years at the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he held multiple leadership positions.

A former lieutenant colonel and flight surgeon in the Maryland Air National Guard, Barish was among a select group invited to become NASA astronaut candidates in the early 1990s. In 2005, 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, Louisiana.

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