Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, MD

Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
Director, New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program
Co-Director, Anxiety Disorders Clinic at New York State Psychiatric Institute
Lecturer, Harvard University

Roberto Lewis-Fernández, MD is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State (NYS) Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, at NYS Psychiatric Institute. He is also Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University.

Dr. Lewis-Fernández’s research focuses on developing clinical interventions and novel service-delivery approaches to help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups. His work centers on improving treatment engagement and retention in mental health and physical health care by persons with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and other serious mental illnesses. He also studies the way culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. He has published over 170 articles, editorials, commentaries, reports, books, and book chapters on the topic of cultural mental health.

He is the chair of the Cultural Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, President of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, President-Elect of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, Past President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry, and a member of the Community Services Board and the Health and Mental Hygiene Advisory Council of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He was until recently a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He has received numerous awards, including the NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, the Rafael Tavarez, MD Memorial Award (Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals), the Herbert Spiegel, MD Award (Columbia University Department of Psychiatry), the Luke and Grace Kim Visiting Professorship (University of California, Davis Department of Psychiatry), the Simón Bolívar Award (American Psychiatric Association), the Creative Scholarship Award (Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture), and the NAMI-NYS Multicultural Excellence Award.