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Amber E. Barnato, MD, MS, MPH

Chair and Professor of The Dartmouth Institute
Professor of Medicine
John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professorship in Health Policy and Clinical Practice

The Dartmouth Institute

BA (Physiology) University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
MD Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
MPH (Health Policy and Management) University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
MS (Health Services Research), Stanford University, Stanford, California

Dartmouth Cancer Center
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice

Curriculum Vitae

NIH Biosketch


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Contact Information

1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: WTRB #515
Phone: 6036530829
Email: Amber.Barnato@Dartmouth.edu

Asst. Email: TDI.Directors.Office@Dartmouth.edu

Professional Interests

1) Improving serious illness and end-of-life care
2) Physician communication decision making
3) Advancing health equity and reducing health disparities
4) Promoting careers of health services researchers underrepresented in medicine and health sciences

Grant Information

P01 AG019783-21 (NIA)
Barnato (Overall PI, Core Lead, Project Lead)
Causes and Consequences of Healthcare Inequities in ADRD

K23 MD015277 (NIMHD)
Chuang (PI), Barnato (Mentor)  
Targeting Bias to Reduce Disparities in End-of-Life Care (BRiDgE) 

RSG-22-128-01-HOPS (American Cancer Society)
Khayal (PI); Role: Co-investigator
01/2023 – 12/2027
Identifying hospital and patient social determinants of health factors from hospital-level cancer healthcare disparities

Completed, last 2 years:

P01 AG019783  (NIA)
Barnato (Overall PI, Core Lead, Project Lead)  
Causes and Consequences of Healthcare Efficiency 

132358-RSG-18-017-01-CPHPS (American Cancer Society)
Barnato (PI)  
Variation in Cancer Centers’ End-of-Life Quality - Role of Norms 

R21AG065704 (NIA)
Barnato/Khayal (MPI)         
Classification of the Typologies of Hospital Deaths 

Courses Taught

PH100 Inferential Methods, MPH program (2022)
Population Health and Preventive Care, MHCDS program (2019, 2020)

Mentoring Information

I am an experienced mentor and have been recognized with the Distinguished Mentor Award from the Institute for Clinical Research Education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In addition to advising more than 60 medical students in my role directing a dual MD/MS program at the University of Pittsburgh, I have served on 6 PhD committees and served as primary or secondary mentor to 8 pre-doctoral students, 9 post-doctoral fellows, and 12 faculty, including 9 NIH-funded K-awardees. Of these K-awardees, 7 have progressed to independence and 1 is still in her training period (K23 MD015277) and 1 unexpectedly died before completing her K08. Most of my research mentees have been women who seek me out for gender-concordant mentoring and 2 have been women of color. In addition to my mentoring experience, I previously served as a member of the leadership team of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Clinical Research Education before moving to Dartmouth. This included oversight of a portfolio of early-career institutional training awards including T35, T32, and KL2 programs. At Dartmouth I am the Director of an organization-spanning institute at Dartmouth that launched 4 educational programs (MPH, MS, MHCDS, and PhD), the Dartmouth Health Equity Research Pathways career development programs which provides funding and support for early career scientists dedicated to health equity research from undergraduates through junior faculty, and the Levy Incubator which provides structured support for Geisel faculty and their teams to redesign healthcare delivery.


I am the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professor and Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. I am trained in two medical specialties, public health and preventive medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. My research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of variation in end-of-life intensive care unit (ICU) and life-sustaining treatment use among seriously ill older adults using an array of scientific methods, including claims data analysis, participant observation and interviewing, high-fidelity simulation experiments, and randomized behavioral trials. My work increasingly focuses on the interplay between organizational norms, provider-patient communication, and implicit cognition, and how these phenomena produce racial disparities in end-of-life treatment. I have been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2003, have been the Principal Investigator or Project Leader of more than 23 extramurally-funded awards, authored more than 170 peer-reviewed publications, and mentored more than 70 pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scientists. My academic program development work focuses on early career development for clinician-scientists (see Mentoring, above). I am the past Vice President of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) and will co-chair the 2024 SMDM annual meeting at Boston University. As part of my policy advocacy work, I oversees the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care and am leading the development of the Dartmouth Health Equity Atlas. In addition to my academic work, I collects and shares stories from diverse family members regarding their experiences making life-support decisions for patients in the ICU at the website www.ICUStoryWeb.org. I live in Hanover with my husband, Greg Crowley, Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Dartmouth Health, and our two children. I enjoy reading novels, hiking, and alpine skiing.

Selected Publications


"Postponing it Any Later Would not be so Great": A Cognitive Interview Study of How Physicians Decide to Initiate Goals of Care Discussions in the Hospital.
Chuang E, Gugliuzza S, Ahmad A, Aboodi M, Gong MN, Barnato AE
Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2023 Dec 18;:10499091231222926. doi: 10.1177/10499091231222926. Epub 2023 Dec 18.
PMID: 38111300

Organizational Intent, Organizational Structures, and Reviewer Mental Models Influence Mortality Review Processes.
Khayal IS, Butcher RL, McLeish CH, Shentu Y, Barnato AE
Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2023 Dec;7(6):515-523. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2023.09.004. Epub 2023 Oct 29.
PMID: 37969423

Constructing within and between hospital physician social networks for modeling physician research participation.
Bobak CA, Mohan D, Murphy MA, Barnato AE, O'Malley AJ
BMC Med Res Methodol. 2023 Oct 28;23(1):253. doi: 10.1186/s12874-023-02069-2. Epub 2023 Oct 28.
PMID: 37898745

Clinically informed machine learning elucidates the shape of hospice racial disparities within hospitals.
Khayal IS, O'Malley AJ, Barnato AE
NPJ Digit Med. 2023 Oct 12;6(1):190. doi: 10.1038/s41746-023-00925-5. Epub 2023 Oct 12.
PMID: 37828119

Development of My Decision/Mi Decision, a web-based decision aid to support permanent contraception decision making.
Mosley EA, Zite N, Dehlendorf C, Deal A, O'Leary R, Achilles S, Barnato AE, Hall D, Borrero S
PEC Innov. 2023 Dec 15;3:100203. doi: 10.1016/j.pecinn.2023.100203. Epub 2023 Aug 29.
PMID: 37693728

Evaluating Physician Emotion Regulation in Serious Illness Conversations Using Multimodal Assessment.
Wasp GT, Kaur-Gill S, Anderson EC, Vergo MT, Chelen J, Tosteson T, Barr PJ, Barnato AE
J Pain Symptom Manage. 2023 Oct;66(4):351-360.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2023.07.001. Epub 2023 Jul 9.
PMID: 37433418

Using a Video Game Intervention to Increase Hospitalists' Advance Care Planning Conversations with Older Adults: a Stepped Wedge Randomized Clinical Trial.
Mohan D, O'Malley AJ, Chelen J, MacMartin M, Murphy M, Rudolph M, Engel JA, Barnato AE
J Gen Intern Med. 2023 Nov;38(14):3224-3234. doi: 10.1007/s11606-023-08297-y. Epub 2023 Jul 10.
PMID: 37429972

Structure and integration of specialty palliative care in three NCI-designated cancer centers: a mixed methods case study.
Schifferdecker KE, Butcher RL, Murray GF, Knutzen KE, Kapadia NS, Brooks GA, Wasp GT, Eggly S, Hanson LC, Rocque GB, Perry AN, Barnato AE
BMC Palliat Care. 2023 May 16;22(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12904-023-01182-9. Epub 2023 May 16.
PMID: 37189073

"It helps us say what's important..." Developing Serious Illness Topics: A clinical visit agenda-setting tool.
Saunders CH, Durand MA, Scalia P, Kirkland KB, MacMartin MA, Barnato AE, Milne DW, Collison J, Bennett A, Wasp G, Nelson E, Elwyn G
Patient Educ Couns. 2023 Aug;113:107764. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2023.107764. Epub 2023 Apr 18.
PMID: 37150152

Association Between Opening a Palliative Care Unit and Hospital Care for Patients With Serious Illness.
MacMartin MA, Sacks OA, Austin AM, Chakraborti G, Stedina EA, Skinner JS, Barnato AE
J Palliat Med. 2023 Sep;26(9):1240-1246. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2022.0447. Epub 2023 Apr 11.
PMID: 37040303

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