Jon Barrett, well known for his work with preterm and multiple births as well as the care of their families, begins as professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University, effective March 1, 2021.

Pending final university approvals for his appointments, he will also hold the F.L. Johnson Chair in Women's Reproductive Health Research.

He has been a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Toronto, the chief of maternal fetal medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and a senior scientist and program of the Women and Babies Program at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. He holds the Fred Waks Family Chair in Maternal-Fetal Medicine Research.

“We are particularly pleased to recruit one of Canada’s foremost experts in this field,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “His academic and clinical achievements fit our focus on improving societal health and well-being.”

Barrett received his training from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the U.K.

He is currently co-chair of the Ontario Task Force on Managing COVID-19 in Pregnancy and Newborns and, among several academic and clinical positions, he is chair of the Southern Ontario Obstetrical Network.

At this time he is the principal investigator of several Canadian Institutes of Health Research grants including a national study linking prospective obstetrical data from preterm babies with their neonatal outcome. Using various databases, he has more than 200 publications which have resulted in important and potentially practice-changing results.

Barrett has also been active in development of national and international clinical practice guidelines through his roles as president of the Canadian Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the vice-chair of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

He has also had a focus on developing innovative, inter-professional education, as well as improving the integration of families in care and enhancing family resilience in high risk pregnancy.

“My philosophy has always been that clinical care drives research, involves education, and this feeds back to improved clinical care with quality intervention,” Barrett said. “I look forward to joining McMaster University.”

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