Sidney Hankerson Named Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine

National Academy of Medicine selects 10 scholars each year who are poised to shape the future of their fields

Sidney Hankerson, MD, MBA, associate professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, is one of 10 scholars named as 2021’s Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). 

The scholars, all early- to mid-career professionals, are part of a major Academy initiative, the Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Program, which provides a platform for a new generation of leaders poised to shape the future of science, medicine, and health equity. The new cohort represents a wide range of health-related fields, from psychiatry and oncology to public health policy and informatics.

Dr. Hankerson, co-director of the Columbia University Wellness Center, is nationally recognized for his faith-based mental health services research that focuses on reducing stigma and racial and ethnic disparities in mental health treatment. He is involved with a Harlem initiative that trains church members as community health workers to screen for depression and provide brief evidence-based counseling. In 2021, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio appointed Dr. Hankerson as Chair of the Community Services Board of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2021. 

“I am truly honored to be recognized as an emerging leader in health and medicine,” said Dr. Hankerson, “It’s still hard for many people to grasp how and why structural racism and discrimination influence health outcomes. I’m excited to work with the Academy and NAM emerging leaders to promote behavioral health equity and continue to produce evidence that can inform health policy, and ultimately improve patient lives.” 

Dr. Hankerson, who joined the Columbia faculty in 2013, earned a dual MD/MBA program from Emory University, where he was medical school class president for two years. He completed his psychiatry residency at Emory and was named chief resident of psychiatry at Grady Memorial Hospital. He then completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Columbia University. 

He has presented his research at the White House, United Nations, National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and numerous national academic conferences. He was an inaugural member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council of Faith and Community Partnerships and served on the APA Council of Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities.


Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine, National Academy of Medicine