Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, MD

Director of the NYS Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, Department of Columbia University, New York

Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, MD is a 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 a Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University. Dr. Lewis-Fernandez’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 for 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 led the development of the      DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and the Principal Investigator of its international field trial, conducted in Canada, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, and the United States. Dr. Lewis-Fernandez’s research has been funded by US federal and state agencies as well as private foundations. He has published over 200 articles, editorials, commentaries, reports, books, and book chapters on the topic of cultural mental health.