WEST READING, Pa. – Charles Barbera, MD, MBA, FACEP, chairman of the Reading Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine, has been named the 2018 Berks County Medical Hero by the American Red Cross Tri-County Chapter, serving Berks, Chester and Schuylkill counties.
The annual Hero Award, presented by the American Red Cross, honor individuals in Berks County who have made a personal commitment to creating safer and stronger communities. Dr. Barbera and other hero award winners were recognized at a May 10 breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wyomissing.
Dr. Barbera was selected for implementing the warm-handoff procedure used in the Reading Hospital Emergency Department (ED) to encourage those patients who have issues with substance use disorder (SUDs) to enter drug and alcohol treatment directly from their hospital visit. Individuals who come to the Emergency Department after an overdose of opioids or other substance meet with a recovery support specialist who can arrange entry to detox and drug and alcohol treatment programs, which can save lives and help people get on the road to recovery.
A warm-handoff advocate, Dr. Barbera has extensive experience supporting and treating those suffering from the disease of addiction. He serves as a member of the Berks Opioid Taskforce, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Opioid Task Force, and The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania Hospital Quality Incentive Program. He is a recipient of the Caron Foundation Jasper G. Chen See Healthcare Professional Award for his work with substance abuse, including the development of a Psychiatric Emergency Department and instituting the warm handoff at the Reading Hospital Emergency Department, and the Council on Chemical Abuse George Vogel Award.
Dr. Barbera is a past-president of The Berks County Medical Society and past president of the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from LaSalle University, a Medical Doctorate from Temple University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Alvernia University. He is currently a candidate for a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the George Washington University. He currently is Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, of Reading Hospital and a member of the Tower Health and Alvernia University Board of Directors.
Directed by Dr. Barbera, the Emergency Department serves Berks, Montgomery, Chester and Schuylkill counties and evaluates more than 135,000 patients annually, making it the largest emergency department in Pennsylvania and among the 20 largest in the U.S. It has more than 450 employees, including 52 physicians and 30 advanced practitioners, and is a Level II Trauma Center, Advanced Primary Stroke Center and Certified Chest Pain Center.