Springfield, MO

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Mercy VP to lead worldwide health organization

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After previously serving as president of the American Medical Association, Mercy Springfield Communities executive Dr. David Barbe is going worldwide.

Barbe last month was named president-elect of the World Medical Association, a group that represents the interests of some 9 million physicians and 114 national medication association members. He’s scheduled to become president of the organization in October 2020 during its annual meeting in Cordoba, Spain, according to a news release.

Last month, Barbe got the president-elect nod from delegates representing over 100 countries who met for the 2019 convention in Tbilisi, Georgia.

“We find that many of the challenges we face in health care are international,” Barbe said in the release. “For example, we may think the U.S. has the greatest challenges in coverage, but there are significant access issues around the world – and not just in third-world countries. Even those with a public health care system may have patients waiting months to see a specialist.

“These are things we can help solve together.”

Barbe works for Mercy Springfield Communities as a regional vice president overseeing clinics outside the Queen City metropolitan area, as well as regional hospitals, said Mercy spokeswoman Sonya Kullmann. He’s also a practicing physician, with 36 years of experience in Mountain Grove.

For the WMA, he’ll help tackle health-related human rights issues, public health policies, including tobacco control and access to immunizations, and augmented intelligence initiatives, according to the release.

“Mercy has led the way on many of these initiatives, and I’ll be sharing those learnings,” Barbe said in the release. “We’re taking what we’ve learned in the U.S. to the world stage. The opportunity to improve health care for patients and the practice of medicine for doctors around the world is immeasurable.”


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