Dr. Michael Robert Barnett, who practiced internal medicine in Falmouth since 1977, has died at the age of 71. Dr. Barnett died October 18 after a battle with cancer.
He was born in New York City, the son of Morris and Evelyn Barnett, and was raised in the Crestwood neighborhood of Yonkers, where he attended Roosevelt High School.
After graduating from Harpur College, State University of New York at Binghamton, he received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1974, where he won the Van Oakley award for highest achievement in general medicine. He then interned at Rhode Island Hospital and was a resident in internal medicine at Albany Medical Center.
Dr. Barnett settled in Falmouth and had practiced internal medicine here since 1977. He had served as assistant clinical professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine since 1993.
At Falmouth Hospital he held multiple leadership positions, including as chairman of the department of medicine, medical director of the pulmonary therapy department and chief of medical staff. Dr. Barnett also served as director of the longtime medical education committee, a position he held for 18 years, leading a program in which medical students from Tufts University visit Falmouth Hospital weekly each winter and spring to have their first direct contact with patients and interact with Falmouth doctors who participate as mentors.
Dr. Barnett was a driving force for developing alcohol rehabilitation in Falmouth and was medical director for Gosnold Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation Center beginning in 1998. He also served as medical director of Genesis Health Care (1997-2008), Royal Nursing and Alzheimer’s Center (1999-2019), and staff physician and general consultant of JML Care Center.
He was named 2014 Community Clinician of the Year and received additional awards and commendations during his career.
He was known for being skilled at medical diagnosis and for his dedication and commitment to his patients, which included caring for them when they were in the hospital, nursing facilities or at home—at any hour.
In his free time Dr. Barnett enjoyed golf, fishing, racquetball, tennis and board games; as well as being an avid fan of Boston sports teams.
He leaves his wife, Katherine A. Barnett; his daughter, Melissa Barnett; two stepchildren, Tammy Barros and Michael Sestakauskas; a granddaughter, Iris Hoblitt; a stepgrandson, Michael William Sestakauskas; three sisters, Fran Knell, Beverly Rechkoff, and Nina Glick Schiller; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Richard Barnett.
Visitation will be Saturday, October 26, from 9 AM to 1 PM at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street in Falmouth.