Dennis Barry, an influential health care leader and former chairman of the AHA Board of Trustees, died Nov. 21. He was 80.
 
Barry served as president and CEO of Moses Cone Health System (now called Cone Health) in Greensboro, N.C., from 1979 until his retirement in 2004.
 
Throughout his tenure at Moses Cone Health System, Barry oversaw mergers that combined Greensboro's three hospitals into one system and the acquisition of a large physicians practice. The health system grew from one building and less than 2,000 employees when Barry arrived to 24 buildings, encompassing four acute-care hospitals and 7,000 employees when he retired in 2004.
 
"I really saw enormous potential at Moses Cone when I came in 1979, and I think most of that potential has been realized in terms of the level of sophistication of services and the quality of services that are now being provided to this community," Barry said in a 2004 article in the Triad Business Journal.  "We've enlarged our ability to serve the community better and also to serve as its safety net from a health care point of view."
 
He also served on boards of local and national organizations, including serving as AHA Chairman in 2003.
 
“Dennis was a health care and community leader who transformed Moses Cone Memorial Hospital into a health system with dozens of access points and an array of services for patients throughout Greensboro, including the most vulnerable,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “A pharmacist by training, he prioritized building a continuum of care by adding home care, inpatient and home hospice, behavioral health, cardiology, oncology, rehabilitation and women’s services, so the community could access quality care close to home. Dennis’s commitment to improving health care stretched far beyond his Greensboro community. As chair of the AHA Board of Trustees, he was deeply committed to improving the quality of care — a legacy that continues today. AHA turned to him time and time again for his insights and leadership, and he never disappointed. The entire AHA family sends our thanks for his service and our condolences on his passing to his family, friends and former colleagues at Cone Health.”

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