Milton Wainberg is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, Director of the NIMH-funded Columbia University Global Mental Health Implementation Science T32-Post Doctoral Fellowship, NIMH/Fogarty International-funded Portuguese-speaking African countries Mental Health Implementation Research Training Program, Founding Chair of the Caucus of Global Mental Health and Psychiatry of the American Psychiatric Association, and Medical Director of the Columbia University HIV Mental Health Training Project. Dr. Wainberg is also the Chair of the Mental Health HIV Clinical Guidelines Committee of the New York State Department of Health/AIDS Institute, and Principal investigator or investigator of several NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA and CDC studies addressing HIV prevention and adherence to treatment, alcohol and drugs, sexual compulsivity, HIV-associated fatigue, and mental disorders.
Dr. Wainberg is a Latino research psychiatrist who is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese whose research aims at implementing and disseminating scalable and sustainable efficacious interventions to decrease the research to practice gap. His research foci include global mental health implementation science and the intersection of HIV prevention and care with mental health and substance use among diverse vulnerable populations in the U.S. and globally. He has extensive clinical, research, teaching and capacity building experience in HIV/AIDS, mental health and substance use issues. He is an expert in several manualized short-term evidence-based interventions for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders.
He conducts weekly in-service, mental health-related trainings for primary care providers addressing the intersection of HIV prevention and care, mental health and substance abuse treatment for both HIV infected and at risk individuals in resource poor areas of New York and New Jersey. He has worked to adapt HIV prevention interventions for South African and Brazilian psychiatric patients and written HIV-related policy for the South African mental health care system. Through different US federally-funded and local country-funded resources, he has conducted capacity building trainings in South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mozambique, Venezuela, Spain, and in resource poor areas of the U.S. He collaborated in the writing and updating of the WHO Integrated Management of Adult and Adolescent Illnesses (IMAI) for Mental Health in Second Level Care, which is part of the capacity building within the WHO “3 by 5” initiative. Dr. Wainberg recently joined the Research Foundation to Cure AIDS, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and developing new technologies and strategies toward a cure with the hope that a cure will be made available and affordable to those in need worldwide.
His work addressing mental illness stigma has focused on understanding its impact on sexuality and HIV risk behaviors among adults and adolescents in psychiatric care. He is currently developing a tool to be used by providers to assess mental illness stigma and decrease its impact on health outcomes. He is using his community-based participatory research expertise to develop collaborative allopathic and non-allopathic mental health care as an approach to narrow the mental health treatment gap in low-income countries where traditional healers play a significant role providing care.
Under his mentorship, U.S. post-doctoral fellows are constructing groundbreaking mental health implementation research in Colombia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Uganda. His Mozambique mental health implementation training program uses a research-practice-policy-community capacity building approach to develop a comprehensive research plan to implement and disseminate evidence-based practices in the public health system of Mozambique focusing on sustainable strategies to decrease the local mental health treatment gap, while training future academic and policy leaders of mental health in the region.