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Dr. Michael Barry of MGH is New President of Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
Date:8/26/2009

Foundation pioneered high-quality AV decision aids for patients

BOSTON, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michael J. Barry, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, has been named the new president of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, the non-profit organization in Boston that has pioneered the creation and use of high quality audio-visual decision aids to enhance patient involvement in their own medical decisions. Barry will replace Floyd J. Fowler, Ph.D., who has served in that capacity for the past seven years.

"Michael Barry is the natural choice for this position at this time," said Fowler. "He has been part of the Foundation from its inception. He has the depth of clinical experience, political acumen and personal integrity necessary to continue the Foundation's mission in the next decade."

The former Chief of the General Medicine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Barry takes the lead at a time when the Foundation's influence as a catalyst for keeping patient needs at the center of the health care debate is growing. In fact, the concept of "shared decision making" (between patients and clinicians) and the use of decision aids to facilitate that process -- espoused by the Foundation -- are woven into a several major bills before Congress this summer.*

While 25 million Americans have access to the decision aids through pilot research programs and their health insurance organization, there is still a great deal of work to be done, according to Fowler and Barry. "Our goal now is to make shared decision-making a standard part of medical practice," said Barry.

"This is a very exciting time for this issue, but challenges still exist," said Barry, citing two large-scale studies funded by the Foundation and completed this year that illustrate those challenges. One study of p
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SOURCE Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
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