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Dr. Clarissa Barnes’ career as a physician and administrator has been defined by her philosophy of leading from the front. Adept at identifying pain points she has made it her mission to ease physicians’ burdens by finding innovative solutions to practice inefficiencies. She is a fierce advocate for driving positive change in the medical profession and promoting well-being among her clinical colleagues.

Clarissa obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota, melding her interest in the humanities and the sciences by obtaining her BA in both political science and chemistry. She received her medical degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and then completed an internal medicine residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

As an internist Clarissa has held numerous leadership positions where she has been recognized for her approachability, resourcefulness and willingness to champion systems improvements that benefit patients and clinicians. Currently, she leads the clinician wellness program for her health system that stretches across five states. She has grown the program to include coaching, critical event debriefs, provider on-boarding and leadership development. An influencer and an agent for change, Clarissa successfully led a coalition to amend the state Board’s rules that deterred physicians from accessing mental health services and she actively raises awareness around physician suicide stress and burnout.

Clarissa is a lifelong learner, having recently completed a professional coaching certification. She is currently the President of the Board for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, an organization dedicated to improving the health of citizens of South Dakota. Clarissa also teaches at the Sanford Medical School and is a published author and speaker. During her free time, she cares for her own wellness by running and baking.

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