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Society of Hospital Medicine Honors Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, MACP, SFHM with 2021 Award of Excellence: Humanitarian Services

May 18, 2021

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Representing the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is the leading medical society for hospitalists and their patients.

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Dr. Barrett's Work as Ebola Response Clinician and Volunteer at Myanmar-Thai Border Translates to Directing COVID-19 Hospitalist Clinical Team Operations at University of New Mexico

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) recently announced the recipients of its 2021 Awards of Excellence, honoring hospitalists who exemplify hospital medicine best practices in areas such as clinical leadership, teaching, teamwork, research, and humanitarian services, among others.

“Hospitalists stepped up in new ways to help their patients and their institutions overcome intense challenges over the past year,” notes Eric E. Howell, MD, MHM, Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Hospital Medicine. “Our Awards of Excellence winners truly embody the innovative spirit and leadership prowess that have become hallmarks of hospitalists, and we are proud to recognize them with this distinguished honor.”

Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, MACP, SFHM, is this year’s recipient in the “Humanitarian Services” category. Dr. Eileen Barrett is an internal medicine hospitalist at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where she also serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of Continuing Medical Education in the Office of Continuous Professional Learning.

Her efforts in humanitarian services are reflected in her dedication to supporting communities in need. In 2015, Dr. Barrett traveled to Sierra Leone, where she served as an Ebola response clinician. There, she helped to develop safer care protocols, including initiating morning huddles, standardizing on-boarding, and improving medication administration and documentation. She developed these skills as she worked for the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, including as an Infection Control Consultant for more than nine years, and in volunteering at the Myanmar-Thai border with refugees. Her work abroad helped support her training for directing UNM hospitalist COVID-19 operations while also providing direct care.

Dr. Barrett has represented the specialty of hospital medicine both nationally and internationally. She has served on national committees and spoken from the perspective of an academic and community hospitalist leader on issues such as performance management, patient engagement, DEI, and professional fulfillment.

In addition to current clinical and educational roles at UNM, Dr. Barrett also has extensive leadership experience as the former Director of Graduate Medical Education Wellness Initiatives, the current District 10 Chair of SHM, as Chair of a multi-organization DEI Collaborative Taskforce, and as a former Regent of the American College of Physicians.

She has been a member of SHM since 2014 and has served as Co-Chair of the three most recent Innovations Poster Competitions. Dr. Barrett is a former President of SHM’s New Mexico chapter; under her leadership, the chapter received SHM’s Outstanding Chapter Award in 2018. She is also a dedicated member of SHM’s Physicians in Training Committee and Chapter Support Committee. Dr. Barrett is an elected member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and received a 2019 Exemplary Mentor Award from the American Medical Women’s Association.

Awards of Excellence winners were recognized at SHM’s annual conference, SHM Converge, which was held virtually from May 3-7, 2021. For more information on SHM’s Awards of Excellence, visit