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Barkin departing to become chair of pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University

Mar. 31, 2022, 9:29 AM


by Christina Echegaray

Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS

After 15 years of service, Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS, the William K. Warren Foundation Professor and chief of the Division of General Pediatrics, is departing Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

In August, Barkin will become chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her last day at Vanderbilt will be June 30.

Since joining Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics, Barkin has become an international leader in the field of behavioral interventions to address and prevent some of youth’s most critical issues, namely youth violence and obesity. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the State of Tennessee, to name a few.

“We thank Shari for her many years of dedicated service, her advocacy for the underserved children of our region, and for her advancement of academic general pediatrics — which has excelled under her leadership. Her focus on health equity for our patients has been critical to our mission. We know that she will do great things as chair of Pediatrics at VCU,” said Steven Webber MBChB MRCP, James C. Overall Professor, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital.

Kathryn Edwards, MD, professor of Pediatrics and holder of the Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, and S. Todd Callahan, MD, MPH, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division Adolescent and Young Adult Health, are leading a national search committee to find a new chief of General Pediatrics.

Through research, innovations and community partnerships, Barkin and her teams have developed evidence-based and family-focused programs designed to positively impact and change early health trajectories of children. Over the past decade, Barkin has focused on ways to prevent and measurably reduce pediatric obesity during critical windows of childhood development, while considering how behavior, environment and genetics play a role in long-term health outcomes.

“Over the past 15 years, Vanderbilt supported my growth as a leader, researcher, educator and mentor. It is part of the fabric of who I am, and I am deeply grateful. I plan to use everything I have learned along the way to contribute to building a new children’s hospital and helping to shape children’s health and health care at VCU in Richmond,” said Barkin, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Obesity Research Center.

“A place is always about the people, and at Vanderbilt I have worked with remarkably talented colleagues and students. In addition to being inspired by their excellence, I am inspired by their humanity,” she added.

Barkin joined Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital in 2006 from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship in Health Services Research at UCLA.

She has received numerous honors and appointments over the years. Most recently, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. She has served as past president of the Society for Pediatric Research, as well as chair of the NIH’s Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research Consortium. She was named the 2018 Pediatrician of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was also a winner of the 2019 Academic Pediatric Association Research award.


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