Francine Cournos, MD is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry (in Epidemiology) at Columbia University. She is the Principal Investigator of the New York/New Jersey AIDS Education and Training Project. Dr. Cournos has 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.
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 has worked on approaches to treating mental health disorders in the context of the antiretroviral rollout. Dr. Cournos has served on the boards of many professional organizations as well as many not-for-profit programs that serve disadvantaged populations. 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.