Francine Cournos, M.D.
Director, Northeast/Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry (in Epidemiology), Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Francine Cournos, MD is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry (in Epidemiology) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. From 2005-2006, she was Deputy Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and was Interim Director from 2003-2004. From 1978-2003, she was Director of the Washington Heights Community Service, a bilingual and bicultural program funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health to serve people suffering from severe mental illness who reside in northern Manhattan. She has also worked in the area of HIV/AIDS and mental illness since 1983, and has participated in numerous research projects, training grants, practice guidelines, and policy development projects. At the HIV Center, Dr. Cournos is Director of the Northeast/Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center and a Core Affiliate of the Public Health Policy and Practice Core.
She has edited two books and written numerous articles and book chapters on the interface of HIV/AIDS and mental health issues with a particular concentration on people with severe mental illness. Internationally, she works on approaches to treating mental health disorders in the context of the antiretroviral rollout, and recently co-authored the WHO booklet, Psychiatric Care in Anti-retroviral (ARV) Therapy (for Second Level Care).
In 1999 Dr. Cournos published an autobiography, City of One, which describes her own experiences as an orphan and foster child, and has spoken and published about disclosure, permanency planning, and childhood bereavement. She is involved in many projects that address the mental health needs of foster children.
Dr. Cournos also conducts a private practice at the medical center focused on individual and couples therapy. She has received a number of awards including the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from NAMI.