The American College of Physician Advisors (ACPA) Has Announced New President

September 18, 2023 

Clarissa Barnes

The American College of Physician Advisors (ACPA) is pleased to announce Clarissa Barnes, MD as President of their Board of Directors. 

Dr. Barnes is currently the Medicaid Medical Director for the state of South Dakota. She was previously the Lead Physician Advisor in Clinical Documentation Integrity and Utilization Review for Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center in Sioux Falls, SD. She is a Clinical Professor for the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine as well as a practicing internist and hospitalist. 

"Witnessing my visions for the College come to fruition with the collaborative determination and passion of our leadership has been extremely gratifying,” said ACPA Immediate Past President, Juliet B. Ugarte Hopkins, MD. “A tremendous part of these goals has been the discovery, encouragement, and cultivation of new leaders. Dr. Barnes exemplifies our success with these efforts beyond measure. Three years ago, I was proud to be entrusted with the success and evolution of the ACPA. Now, I am delighted and excited to pass the baton along to someone I consider a thoughtful and enthusiastic leader as well as a friend.”

During Dr. Barnes’ tenure as ACPA Vice President of Member Engagement and most recently, President Elect, ACPA has seen significant membership growth and the highest number of members in their nine-year history.  “This is a direct result of Dr. Barnes’ efforts in championing new ways to reach current and new members and manage the social media aspects of ACPA,” noted Dr. Ugarte Hopkins.

“I am both humbled and excited by this opportunity,” said Dr. Barnes. “The emerging importance of physician advisors cannot be overstated, and I look forward to continuing our work to support our existing colleagues as well as welcome new colleagues to our ranks. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Ugarte Hopkins for her leadership and so proud to be a part of this Board and the greater physician advisor community.”


The American College of Physician Advisors is the national organization dedicated to “promoting and expanding the prominent role of the Physician Advisor in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment through education, certification, mentorship and collaboration.”