Dr. Ezra Griffith receives Cato T. Laurencin MD, Ph.D. Lifetime Research Award at National Medical Association event

2022 Cato T. Laurencin MD, Ph.D. Lifetime Research Fellowship

Researcher, Dr. Ezra Griffith, awarded at the July 30 NMA meeting by the W. Montague Cobb Institute with the Cato T. Laurencin MD, Ph.D. Lifetime Research Fellowship.

Your career as a psychiatrist, educator, senior research scientist, and role model for all young black women and men in medicine is unparalleled. Your work has promoted health equity.

— Randall C. Morgan Jr., MD, MBA- President and CEO, The Cobb Institute

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, Aug. 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — During the opening ceremony and awards program on July 30, 2022, the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute awarded a stellar person its highest annual research award. Dr. Ezra Griffith was awarded the Cato T. Laurencin MD, Ph.D. Lifetime Fellowship.

Dr. Ezra Griffith is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and African American Studies at Yale University. He was born in Barbados and did his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and his medical training in France at the University of Strasbourg. He is currently a monthly columnist for the American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric News.

In 2001, the Morehouse School of Medicine awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. He was on the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine from 1977 to 2016. He also taught courses on black storytelling in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Dr. Griffith is a former president of the Black Psychiatrists
of America, the American Orthopsychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

He has a long history of administrative leadership in health care facilities. From 1989 to 1996, he was director of the Connecticut Mental Health Center, a collaborative venture of the Yale School of Medicine and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He served as Yale’s Department of Psychiatry Vice President for Clinical Affairs (1996–2009) and its Vice President for Diversity and Organizational Ethics (2009–16).

Over the years, one of Dr. Griffith’s main academic interests has been cultural and cross-cultural psychiatry. A measure of his stature in this field is reflected in his serving as Chairman of the Committee on Cultural Psychiatry of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP). His GAP committee’s publication on suicide among ethnic groups in the United States has received considerable praise and recognition, as has the co-authored review on trends in black homicides and suicides. Dr. Griffith has contributed several groundbreaking articles to the literature that have analyzed the psychological aspects of religious rituals in black churches, both in the United States and in the English-speaking Caribbean. In the United States, Dr. Griffith’s work on the black church was unusual and represented an important beginning in an understudied field. Curiously, until recently, few psychiatrists have taken an interest in the intriguing healing dimension of the black church. His work in the Caribbean led to the book ‘Ye Shall Dream’ (University of the West Indies Press, 2010), about the Spiritual Baptist religious movement in Barbados.

Dr. Griffith’s interest in psychiatric practice in the Caribbean was not merely a theoretical interest. He has been a consultant to the governments of St. Kitts and Grenada and has been a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization in Antigua and Jamaica. He served as an advisor to Project Hope as they designed psychiatric services for the people of Grenada. Such activity reflects Griffith’s serious interest in Caribbean psychiatry. Dr. Griffith served as an external examiner at the University of the West Indies Medical School. He delivered the first annual Dr. George Mahy Lecture in Barbados in 2021.

The field of forensic psychiatry was a second major interest of Dr. Griffith. He served on the Law and Psychiatry Council of the American Psychiatric Association and chaired its Ethics Committee. He is the author of several major articles in the field and has written more recently on narrative in forensic psychiatry and the forensic report as performative narrative, as well as on ethical issues. Dr. Griffith served for 20 years as editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He was also president of this association. The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law named him their 2005 Seymour Pollack Awardee in recognition of his distinguished contributions to forensic psychiatry. In 2010, the American Psychiatric Association presented him with its Isaac Ray Award for Distinguished Achievement in Forensic Psychiatry. He is editor of Ethics Challenges in Forensic Psychiatry and
Practice of Psychology (Columbia University Press, 2018).

Dr. Griffith has recently written on ethics and issues of diversity, inclusion and belonging. He proposed human dignity as an important factor in making social spaces more therapeutic. He is the author of Race and Excellence: My Dialogue with Chester Pierce (University of Iowa Press, 1998) and Belonging, Therapeutic Landscapes, and Networks (Routledge, 2018). He is co-editor of Black Mental Health (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2019). Race and Excellence is republished in 2022 by the American Psychiatric Press. In May 2007, a Special Presidential Citation from the American Psychiatric
The association was awarded to him in recognition of his strong dedication to the welfare of African American patients and his excellent contributions to the field of cross-cultural psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, and African American studies.

He was Mossell Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, Dana African American Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland, Earline Houston Memorial Lecturer in Public Psychiatry at Hahnemann University, and Jeanne Spurlock Memorial Lecturer at the George Washington.
University School of Medicine. In 1997 he presented the Lundbeck Lecture to the Forensic Psychiatry Section of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK. In 1999 he delivered the Roy Cooke Memorial Lecture in Kingston, Jamaica. Dr. Griffith presented the Solomon Carter Fuller Lecture at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in May 2001. He was 1998 Ernest Y. Williams, MD Distinguished Senior Clinical Scholar of the National Medical Association. He was Charles Steinberg Visiting Professor of Psychiatry and Law at the University of Rochester Medical School in 2012.

From 2013 to 2015, he was appointed governor of the Sandy Hook Commission investigating violence at the Sandy Hook school. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychiatric Association in 2021.

Winston Price, MD – CTIO
W. Montague Cobb Institute of Health / NMA
[email protected]
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