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Barnes Named President of FirstHealth Physician Group

| Date Posted: 3/14/2012

PINEHURST – Dan Barnes, D.O., spent 10 years as a physician in the U.S. Army before leaving active duty with the rank of major.

Dan Barnes, D.O.
Dan Barnes, D.O.

Now a hospital-based physician at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital who moved into health care leadership as medical director of Hospitalist Services, he believes his military service helped prepare him for his new administrative role as president of the FirstHealth Physician Group.

“The Army does a great job in leadership skills,” Dr. Barnes says. “It set me up to take on this role and position.”

The 110 physicians and mid-level providers who work directly for FirstHealth of the Carolinas comprise the FirstHealth Physician Group. Included are physicians who specialize in hospital medicine, cardiovascular thoracic surgery, neonatology, neurosurgery, infectious disease, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice medicine and internal medicine as well as the non-physician practitioners (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) who work with them. 

According to Dr. Barnes, the organization’s purpose is two-fold: excellent patient care and a “rewarding professional home” for those who provide it.

“We have a compact focusing on integrity, excellence and quality patient care that describes what sets our doctors apart,” Dr. Barnes says. “It has allowed us to pull together our physicians to determine where we are headed and what we want to be.”

Central to the FirstHealth Physician Group philosophy is the delivery of effective, efficient and patient-centered care that ensures a smooth transition from the inpatient (hospital) setting to the outpatient environment.

Numerous committees, sub-committees and teams focus on the best ways of accomplishing this inpatient-to-outpatient transition goal. One is the Quality and Professional Affairs Committee, which works to assure quality throughout the FirstHealth system.

Sub-groups include a team that investigates ways of reducing hospital readmissions; a diabetes work group that is attempting to standardize diabetes education programs throughout the FirstHealth system; and a committee working to assure proper inpatient and outpatient care for patients with congestive heart failure.

The Physician Resource Committee is looking at the physician retention process while working to give providers who are new to the organization “the necessary tools and information to be successful” from the beginning of their FirstHealth experience, Dr. Barnes says. The related Finance and Operations Council is evaluating the business side of medical practice to include a provider compensation plan that involves quality-based incentives.

Every effort is directed toward attaining the same goal – improved quality of care.

“That makes it all worthwhile,” Dr. Barnes says.

A graduate of the medical school at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio, Dr. Barnes completed his residency in internal medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He joined FirstHealth Hospitalist Services while completing an assignment as a physician at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg.

During a deployment to Iraq, he earned special recognition for developing a mobile clinic to help meet the underserved medical needs of Iraqi citizens in remote areas of the Sunni Triangle.

Dr. Barnes became medical director for FirstHealth Hospitalist Services in 2007 and has been vice chair of Moore Regional’s Department of Medicine since 2010. He helped design and launch the FirstHealth Physician Group and serves on its Executive Committee while leading the Quality and Professional Affairs Committee, which includes both employed and non-employed FirstHealth physicians.

As FirstHealth Physician Group president, he is responsible for medical oversight, personnel evaluations and provider issues.

Dr. Barnes and his wife have three children.

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