Arkansas Children’s has a new chief clinical and academic officer in Dr. Frederick “Rick” Barr. The new role was created to elevate physician leadership and bridge operational, clinical and academic pursuits across the healthcare system and state, according to a news release.
Barr comes to the executive role from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, where he served as chair of the department of pediatrics and associate dean for child health. He was also pediatrician in chief for Arkansas Children’s and interim president of the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute.
Barr will transition to the new role on Nov.16. He also will hold the Jonathan R. Bates, MD Endowed Chair for Improving Child Health through Arkansas Children’s and will remain an adjunct professor in the UAMS College of Medicine.
“It’s a pleasure to invite Dr. Barr into this new Arkansas Children’s executive leadership role,” Arkansas Children’s CEO Marcy Doderer said in a statement. “Dr. Barr knows only too well that our physician partners are essential to keeping our promise of unprecedented child health, defined and delivered. I have every confidence that his experiences at both Arkansas Children’s and UAMS will serve him well as he provides leadership, guidance and support to our entire team.”
Since 2017, Barr recruited multiple new pediatric faculty members, including 10 new division chiefs leading their fields in general pediatrics and pediatric specialties. He also co-directed the formation of the child health practice collaborative to oversee and guide activity at and between Arkansas Children’s and UAMS including physician operations, clinic operations, research, education and finance subcommittees.
“I am so excited about this next step in our pursuit of a healthier tomorrow for the children of Arkansas and beyond. While my background is in clinical and translational research, and most recently indicators of population health, our current work of advancing patient care, building community and championing excellence is some of the most inspiring of my career,” Barr said. “I can sense the momentum at Arkansas Children’s. The team and I understand that our success will be fueled by digital transformation, effective statewide partnerships and promotion of a child first agenda. UAMS and Arkansas Children’s have made significant advancements, and I am excited to help lead this new strategic framework.”
Barr previously served faculty positions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center.
He received his undergraduate degree in animal and veterinary science at West Virginia University in 1984 and his medical degree from the University of Virginia in 1988. Barr completed his residency in pediatrics at Vanderbilt, continuing his training with a clinical fellowship in pediatric critical care at the University of California San Francisco, where he was also a research fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Institute. Barr also holds a master’s degree in clinical investigation from Vanderbilt and an MBA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.