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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 clinicians’ 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 majoring in both political science and chemistry. She received her medical degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, followed by 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 physicians. 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, onboarding and leadership development. An influencer and an agent for change, Clarissa successfully led a coalition to amend the South Dakota Board of Medicine rules that deterred providers from accessing mental health 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 current President of 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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