In a significant recruitment that involved a nationwide search, Northwell Health has appointed Dr. Richard R. Barakat to lead all of its cancer services and research.
An internationally recognized surgeon and clinical investigator who specializes in robotic and laparoscopic treatment of uterine cancer and radical debulking procedures for ovarian cancer, Barakat will serve as physician-in-chief and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, senior vice president of the health system’s Cancer Service Line, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
He will also work closely with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as part of a strategic affiliation with Northwell on future cancer research and treatment collaborations.
He will join Northwell on April 30 after 27 years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, where he served most recently as director and vice chair of MSK’s regional care network and affiliations, and the Ronald O. Perelman Chair in Gynecologic Surgery.
“Richard is coming to Northwell at a critical time in our long history of delivering cancer care to communities throughout the metropolitan area,” said Dr. Lawrence G. Smith, executive vice president and physician-in-chief at Northwell, and founding dean of the Zucker School of Medicine. “Collectively, the more than 200 academic oncologists and clinicians who comprise the Northwell Health Cancer Institute diagnose and treat more than 19,000 new cancer patients every year, making us one of the largest cancer providers in the country.”
Throughout his career at MSK, Barakat oversaw the care of thousands of patients who were newly diagnosed with gynecologic cancer.
He also served as chief of the gynecology service from 2001 to 2013 and was the lead investigator on several influential research projects, including a study to compare the benefits of laparoscopic versus standard surgery for patients with endometrial cancer and an NIH-funded study evaluating risk factors for the development of symptomatic lower-extremity lymphedema in women undergoing radical surgery and lymphadenectomy for gynecologic cancer.
“I am delighted to have been offered this incredible opportunity to join New York State’s largest health care provider and impact the care of thousands of patients with cancer, including those living on Long Island, which has been my home for the past 25 years,” said Barakat.
Professionally, Barakat was a division member and examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and vice chair of the Cancer Prevention Committee of the Gynecologic Oncology Group for five years.
He was also president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology from 2013 to 2014 and president of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society from 2014 to 2016. He also authored or co-authored more than 340 cancer-based research studies and has edited numerous textbooks.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Queens College, his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and an MBA from Columbia University.