Faculty Profile

Dr. Gary J. Kennedy, M.D.

Gary J. Kennedy, M.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center

Professional Interests

Dr. Gary Kennedy is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Fellowship Training Program at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. More than fifty psychiatrists with subspecialty training in geriatrics have graduated from this program.

Dr. Kennedy’s research has focused on cardiac arrhythmias, the epidemiology of depression and dementia, mental health care in nursing homes, primary care sites and in the community, and novel communications approaches between health care providers. He has authored numerous publications on late-life mental health and has given numerous invited presentations to educational, scientific, and public policy organizations in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Kennedy's numerous professional awards and achievements include the following:

  • He has served as a consultant to the New York State Commission on Life and the Law regarding physician-assisted suicide and to the Law Revision Commission regarding guardianship procedures in New York State mental health law.
  • He was a member of the New York State Department of Health Advisory Work Group on Human Subject Research Involving Protected Classes.
  • He has been a member of the American Psychiatric Association Council on Aging.
  • He was a member of the Mental Disorders of Aging Initial Review Group and Chairperson of the Small Business Innovative Research Program Contract Reviews for the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • He has appeared on National Public Radio and the Today Show with Katie Couric.
  • He has received a New Investigator Award from the National Institute of Health, a travel study fellowship to the United Kingdom and Israel from the United States World Health Organization, and an Archstone Award for Program Innovation from the American Public Health Association.
  • He is a Fellow of the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College and of the New York Academy of Medicine.
  • He is a member of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry.
  • He was the 2005-2007 chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, a Washington based 501c3 group advocating for the mental health and well being of senior Americans.
  • In 2006, he was asked by The Atlantic Philanthropies to design a Bermuda-specific mental health training program for older adults with mental illness.
  • In 2005, he was a Visiting Professor for the Geriatric Fellowship Training Program of the National Health Research Institute of Taiwan.
  • In 2003, he received an Annual Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
  • In 2003, he was invited to testify before the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.
  • He was the 2002 President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
  • The American Journal of Nursing cited his Geriatric Mental Health Care, published in 2000, as one of the best books of the year in gerontology.
  • Since 1992, he has been listed as one of The Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Kennedy's work has been supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute on Aging; the Forchheimer Foundation; the Resnick Gerontology Center; the New York State Department of Health; United Jewish Appeal-Federation; the JE & ZB Butler Foundation; The University Place Foundation; the Irving Weinstein Foundation; The Goldstein Foundation; The United Hospital Fund; The New York Community Trust; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and The Atlantic Philanthropies. He has also received unrestricted educational grants form Janssen Pharmaceutica, Pfizer Incorporated, and Forest Laboratories, as well as clinical research grants from Janssen Pharmaceutica, AstraZeneca, and Forest Laboratories.

Born in Dallas, Dr. Kennedy is an alumnus of the University of Texas in Austin and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Selected Publications

Kennedy GJ, Hofer M, Cohen D, et al: Significance of depression and cognitive impairment in patients undergoing programmed stimulation of cardiac arrhythmias. Psychosom Med 49:410-421, 1987 Kennedy, GJ, Kelman HR, Thomas C, et al: Hierarchy of characteristics associated with depressive symptoms in an urban elderly sample. Am J Psychiatry 146:220-225, 1989 Kennedy, GJ, Kelman HR, Thomas C: Emergence of depressive symptoms in late life; the importance of declining health and increasing disability. J Community Health, 15:93-104, 1990 Kennedy GJ, Kelman HR, Thomas C: Persistence and remission of depressive symptoms in late life. Am J Psychiatry 148:174-178, 1991 Thomas C, Kelman HR, Kennedy GJ, Ahn C, Yang C-Y: Depressive symptoms and mortality in the elderly. J Gerontology: Social Sciences 47:S80-87, 1992 Kelman HR, Thomas C, Kennedy GJ, Chen J: Cognitive impairment and mortality among older community residents. J Amer Pub Health 84:1255-1260, 1994 Kennedy GJ, Katsnelson N, Laitman L, Alvarez E: Psychogeriatric services in certified home health agencies; case reports and guidelines for the psychiatric consultant. Am J Geriatric Psychiatry 3:339-347, 1995< Kelman HR, Thomas C, Kennedy GJ, Chen J: Cognitive impairment and the quality of life of elderly urban community residents. Proceedings of the 25th Public Health Conference on Records and Statistics and the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics DHHS Pub No. (PHS) 96-1214, 181-186, 1995 Suicide and Depression in Late Life; Critical Issues in Treatment, Research and Public Policy. GJ Kennedy ed., Einstein Monograph Series in Clinical and Experimental Psychiatry, Wiley & Sons Inc, NY 1996 Kennedy GJ, Kelman HR, Thomas C, Chen J: The relation of religious preference and practice to depressive symptoms among 1855 older adults. J Gerontology; Psychological Science 51B:P301-P308, 1996 Lindenmayer JP, Negron AE, Shah S, Lowinger R, Kennedy G, Bark N, Hyman R: Cognitive deficits and psychopathology in elderly schizophrenic patients. Am J Geriatric Psychiatry 5:31-42, 1997 Colenda CC, Greenwald BS, Crosset JHW, Husain MM, Kennedy GJ: Provider barriers to effective psychiatric services for the elderly. Psychiatric Services 48:321-325, 1997 Kennedy GJ, Frazier A: Medical comorbidity and mental disorders in the elderly. Current Opin Psychiatry 12:451-455, 1999

Kennedy GJ, Goldstein MZ, Northcott C, et al: Evolution of the geriatric curriculum in general residency training: recommendations for the coming decade. Academic Psychiatry 23:1-11, 1999 Magai C, Kennedy GJ, Cohen C, Gomberg D: A controlled clinical trial of sertraline in the treatment of depression in nursing home residents. Am J Geriatric Psychiatry 8:66-75, 2000 Kennedy GJ, Tanenbaum, S: Suicide and Aging: International Perspectives. Psychiatric Quart 71:345-362, 2000 Kennedy GJ, Geriatric Mental Health Care; A Treatment Guide for Health Professionals,Guilford Publications, Inc. New York 2000 Kennedy GJ, Scalmati A: The interface of depression and dementia. Curr Opin Psychiatry 14:367-369, 2001 Kennedy GJ. Telephone-facilitated treatment of depression in primary care using the PHQ-9. Primary Psychiatry 11(6): 18-21, 2004 Cooney LM, Kennedy GJ, Hawkins KA, Hurme SB. Who can stay at home: Assessing the capacity to choose to live in the community. Archives of Internal Medicine 164:357-360, 2004 Kennedy GJ. Will more antidepressants mean fewer suicides in late life? Primary Psychiatry 12(1): 26-29 2005 Horowitz A, Reinhardt AP, Kennedy GJ. Major and subthreshold depression among older adults seeking vision rehabilitation services. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 13:180-187, 2005 Kennedy GJ, Marcus P. Use of antidepressants in older patients with co-morbid medical conditions: Guidance from studies of depression in somatic illness. Drugs & Aging 2005;22:273-87 Sakuaye K, Blank K, Cohen CI, Cohen GD, Kennedy GJ, Liptzin B, Schillerstorm J, Schultz S. Medicare managed mental health care: A looming crisis. Psychiatric Services 2005;56:795-798 Milstein G, Kennedy GJ, Bruce ML, et al. The clergy,s role in reducing stigma: A bi-lingual study of elder patients views. World Psychiatry 2005;4S1:28-34 Berkman C, Guarnaccia P, Diaz N, Badger LW, Kennedy GJ. Concepts of mental health and mental illness in older Hispanics. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 2005;3;59-85 Kennedy GJ. Naturally occurring retirement communities: An expanding opportunity for health promotion and disease prevention. Primary Psychiatry 2006:13:33-35 Marcus P, Kennedy GJ, Wetherbee C, Korenblatt J, Dorta H. Training Professional Home Care Staff to Help Reduce Depression Among Elderly Home Care Patients. Clinical Geriatrics 2006;14:13-16 .

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

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Research Information

Media Coverage

ABC News interviews Dr. Gary Kennedy on a new study suggesting that antidepressants and placebos have a similar effect on patients with mild to moderate depression.

The New York Times publishes Dr. Gary Kennedy's Letter to the Editor regarding the importance of human, as opposed to computer-based, dissection in medical school.

More media coverage