Harvard Provost Alan M. Garber announced today the appointment of Paul J. Barreira, M.D., as director of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) and Henry K. Oliver Professor of Hygiene. Barreira has been director of Behavioral Health and Academic Counseling at HUHS and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for the past eight years.

“We went through an extensive nationwide search to find the best fit for Harvard University Health Services and the University as a whole,” said Garber. “This position requires an unusual combination of skills. The director must manage the daily operations of an institution that provides health care of the highest quality while pursuing initiatives that keep the entire University community healthy and safe. Paul has the perfect mix of leadership and management skills to accomplish both of these goals.”

Barreira previously oversaw Harvard’s behavioral health units, including Student Mental Health Services, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, the Center for Wellness, the Bureau of Study Counsel, and the HUHS Behavioral Health practice.

“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve Harvard on this broad scale,” said Barreira. “I am excited by the continued opportunities with my colleagues at HUHS, and to work and collaborate across all medical departments and with other areas of the University to deliver the best possible health services to the Harvard community.”

Barreira has a long-standing affiliation with Harvard and its teaching hospitals. He is the founder and program director of Waverly Place at McLean Hospital, and has been a lecturer and preceptor to psychiatry residents there since 2000. He is currently a member of eight committees and advisory boards at the University.

A graduate of Boston College (magna cum laude) and Georgetown University Medical School, Barreira was recognized in 2010 as a Distinguished Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association. He serves as a member of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, and the National Association of Student Mental Health Program Directors. Prior to his work at HUHS, Barreira was director of Community and Public Psychiatry for Partners HealthCare System in Boston. He has also served as deputy commissioner and medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Barreira works closely with student groups across the College, including the Student Mental Health Liaisons and the Drug & Alcohol Peer Advisors, to promote peer-to-peer outreach and counseling across the University. He teaches a freshman seminar, “What Is College? And What Is It For?”

“Throughout my time as dean, Paul has been an essential member of the College senior team and a key adviser on issues related to the health of our students,” said Evelynn M. Hammonds, dean of Harvard College.  “I’m very excited by the opportunity to work with him in his new role and am confident that he will demonstrate the same dedication to the well-being of the entire Harvard community.”

“Paul has a deep appreciation for the unique challenges facing university health care organizations, and he exemplifies the attributes that are required to be a successful leader in this environment,” said David S. Rosenthal, M.D., outgoing director of Harvard University Health Services. “Having worked closely with Paul for over eight years, I have experienced this firsthand, and I have no doubt that his commitment and passion for what he does will benefit HUHS and the entire University.”

Justin Stern awarded Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship