Paul Barreira Appointed Head of Harvard Health Services

Mental-health specialist has been active in undergraduate care

Dr. Paul J. Barreira

Dr. Paul J. Barreira, a psychiatrist who serves as director of behavioral health and academic counseling at Harvard University Health Services (HUHS)—overseeing student mental-health, alcohol and other drug services, sexual-assault prevention and response, the Bureau of Study Counsel, and other operations—has been appointed director of HUHS. He succeeds Dr. David S. Rosenthal '59, who is retiring. According to the University announcement, Barreira also becomes Oliver professor of hygiene, the title Rosenthal has held.

Barreira, who is also an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, affiliated with McLean Hospital, has been much involved with undergraduates. In recent years, he has been engaged with efforts to revise and make more effective College policies and programs aimed at student mental health and use of alcohol; served as a discussion leader in the voluntary freshman “Reflecting on Your Life” programs—probing values and life choices—offered through the Freshman Dean's Office; and participated in studies of the needs of new student cohorts entering the College as a result of the expanded Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, and of their adjustment to undergraduate life. (Read a news account of the freshman values discussions here; Harvard Magazine’s Undergraduate columnist wrote about “Reflecting on Your Life” here.) Barreira also teaches a freshman seminar on the purposes of college.

In making the announcement, Provost Alan Garber said, “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.”

“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve Harvard on this broad scale,” said Barreira in the news release. “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.”

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