Since 1987, the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health has presented the Alum of the Year Award to a distinguished graduate annually at commencement exercises. Alums have been chosen for their contributions to the field of public health, and for their achievements that serve as a source of inspiration to graduating students. 

This year, Lynn Barr, MPH, Chief Innovation Officer, Signify Health and Founder, Caravan Health, has been honored with this year’s prestigious award. Barr received her master’s degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley in 2011 and will receive the award during the School of Public Health’s commencement, Sunday, May 15.  

Spanning a thirty-year career in healthcare, Barr is recognized as one of the most influential alums to have graduated from the school. She was selected for the award based on her leadership at Caravan Health and the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium, her service to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and her tireless work to create a better future for underserved populations in rural America. Barr exemplifies the successful public health innovator, changemaker, and thought leader that the school’s student body aims to accomplish. 

“I am honored to receive this award and to be recognized for work that every graduate at UC Berkeley School of Public Health strives to achieve. My time at Berkeley launched my work pursuing health equity, especially for rural and underserved populations,” commented Barr.  

As a highly regarded leader in healthcare, Barr has blazed a trail to transform and improve the nation’s healthcare delivery system through her advocacy and strategic guidance effectively transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care initiatives. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Caravan Health, she led the development and execution of nationwide accountable care programs that improved care for more than one million Medicare beneficiaries. Through her leadership, Caravan Health helped thousands of clinicians across the nation build thriving population health programs using award-winning technology. 

Most recently, Caravan Health was acquired by Signify Health. The acquisition was not only indicative of the overarching success of the organization Barr started, but also the potential that value-based, accountable healthcare has for improving the nation’s access to care resulting in better patient care outcomes. Caravan Health has been recognized for its advocation for clients and value-based methodologies to Congress and in June 2021, Barr was appointed to a three-year term as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).  

Additional highlights of Barr’s Awards and Accommodations include but are not limited to: 

2021: Appointed to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) for a three-year term  

2020: Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Innovators  

2018: Berkeley School of Public Health’s 75 Most Influential Alumni  

2016: National Rural Health Associations Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health Care  

2014: California State Rural Health Association Outstanding Achievement Award  

Prior to forming Caravan Health, Barr shepherded four start-up companies and 12 medical inventions before dedicating the remainder of her career to healthcare reform. Some highlights prior to Caravan Health include:  

  • Directed the California Health IT and Exchange Strategic Planning Team under California Health and Human Services and formed the Rural Health Information Technology Consortium and assessed health IT status of California Rural and Critical Access Hospitals.  

  • Developed a $20 million rural hospital EHR loan program with United Health Group.  

  • Formed the National Rural ACO and led the first rural health payment reform movement in the country designed to transition rural providers to value-based payments. This successful ACO currently includes more than 500 provider systems.  

  • Organized the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium to help rural health providers overcome barriers so they could participate in innovative payment models under healthcare reform. 

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