Leading Expert In LGBT Health Joins CUMC

October 11, 2012

New York, NY (October 11, 2012 – Walter Bockting, PhD, one of the world’s leading experts on gender identity development and transgender health, has been nominated professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Physicians and Surgeons and at Columbia University School of Nursing. He will also serve as co-director of the newly launched Initiative for LGBT Health, based in the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health in the Department of Psychiatry, in close collaboration with the Columbia University School of Nursing.

“The health care of LGBT persons historically has received insufficient attention. Columbia Psychiatry’s initiative in LGBT health is an effort to address this healthcare disparity with a particular emphasis on mental health needs. The recruitment of Dr. Bockting, a pioneer in research on transgenderism and the sexual health of various sexual and ethnic minority populations, represents a key step in this initiative,” said Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. “Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Bockting was the first to assess and address the HIV prevention needs of the transgender community, to affirm a spectrum of gender diversity in the delivery of transgender care, and to conduct a national study of the US transgender population.”

“Dr. Bockting has played an integral role in developing our new Initiative for LGBT Health,” said Anke A. Ehrhardt, PhD, director of the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, “We look forward to his taking a leading role at Columbia University in developing research, clinical care, education, and public policy relating to the health of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population.”

“The ability to care for members of the LGBT community has emerged as an important feature of a healthcare provider’s core competency,” commented Bobbie Berkowitz, RN, PhD, FAAN, and dean of the Columbia University School of Nursing. “Dr. Bockting’s experience teaching clinicians to work knowledgeably with this population is of tremendous value, which will benefit both nursing and medical students as they prepare for their clinical careers.”

Dr. Bockting received his doctorate in psychology from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For the last 20 years, he has directed the transgender health services in the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Bockting’s research interests include gender identity development, transgender health, sexuality and the Internet, and HIV prevention. His work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

Dr. Bockting is the author of many scientific articles and textbook chapters and editor of five books, including Transgender Health and HIV Prevention (Haworth Press, 2005) and Guidelines for Transgender Care (Haworth Press, 2006). He is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Transgenderism and associate editor of Sexual and Relationship Therapy; he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Homosexuality, the Archives of Sexual Behavior, and the International Journal of Sexual Health. He is past president and fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, as well as immediate past president and a member of the board of directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. In 2010–2011, Dr. Bockting served on the National Academies' Institute of Medicine Committee on LGBT health issues, research gaps, and opportunities.

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Columbia University School of Nursing is part of the Columbia University Medical Center. With close to 100 full-time faculty and 600 students, the School of Nursing is dedicated to educating the next generation of nurse leaders in education, research, and clinical care. The School has pioneered advanced practice nursing curricula and continues to define the role of nursing and nursing research through its PhD program, which prepares nurse scientists, and its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), the first clinical practice doctorate in the nation. Among the clinical practice areas shaped by the School’s research are the reduction of infectious disease and the use of health care informatics to improve health and health care. For more information, please visit: www.nursing.columbia.edu.

Columbia University Department of Psychiatry & New York State Psychiatric Institute. Columbia Psychiatry is ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute on the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center campus in Northern Manhattan, the department enjoys a rich and productive collaborative relationship with physicians in various disciplines at Columbia University’s College of Physician’s and Surgeons. Columbia Psychiatry is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders. Columbia Psychiatry’s extraordinary scientific base is supported by more federal grants than any other psychiatry department in the nation. For more information, please visit http://columbiapsychiatry.org

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Established in 1767, Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first institution in the country to grant the M.D. degree and is among the most selective medical schools in the country. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest in the United States. For more information, please visit: http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/

Contact: Rachel Yarmolinsky, ry2134@columbia.edu 212-543-5353,  Columbia University Department of Psychiatry/New York State Psychiatric Institute