Barb Levin is a family physician who has been living and working in Monroe County, Tenn., for the past 31 years. She wears a number of different professional hats, based on her dual commitment to primary care and public health. As county health officer for more than two decades, Dr. Levin has been involved in the development of a number of programs to improve women and children’s health in the region. Included in her public health concerns have been dental health programs, school health and preventive services.
Dr. Levin’s undergraduate degree is in social thought and institutions is from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and she has a master's degree in public health from the University of Texas in Houston. Dr. Levin received her medical training at the University of California San Francisco Medical School. She did her residency in rural family practice at the University of Missouri Columbia, and came to East Tennessee in 1979 as a National Health Service Corps volunteer.
As the co-founder and medical director of the Women’s Wellness and Maternity Center, Dr. Levin has been involved with birth centers since 1983. Women’s Wellness and Maternity Center, the only publicly held out-of-hospital birth center in the country, won a Ford Foundation/Kennedy School of Public Policy Award for Innovation in Government in 1991.
With grants from the federal Office of Women’s Health and later the Tennessee State Diabetes Prevention Program, Dr. Levin has worked with the Get With It project to encourage women to exercise and eat correctly. Get With It has encouraged 17,000 women in Monroe and Loudon Counties to improve fitness and improve nutritional choices. The project has recently focused on the needs of diabetic and prediabetic women.
Dr. Levin works at Chota Community Health Services, a FQHC which she and others in her community developed to assure the primary care access for residents in her local community. This network of three community sites also includes seven school-based clinics, as well as behavioral health providers. Dr. Levin was recently named a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Advisor for 2012.
Dr. Levin is the past chair of the APHA Intersectional Council. As past chairperson of the Maternal and Child Health Section, she helped develop a new child health policy for APHA and Section awards program.
Dr. Levin is married to Dr. Josh Gettinger. They have four children: Sunny, Becky, Ellie and Joe, and two sons-in-law, Trey Csar and Mitch Nelles, and two grandchildren, Hallie Nelles and Cort Csar.