About Us Page

From left to right: Drs. David Henderson, Chester Pierce, and Gregory Fricchione at the Naming Event for The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry, April 22, 2010

Inspired by the lifework of our founder, Dr. Chester M. Pierce, we commit to improving mental health training, research, and clinical care in the international community.

The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry is part of the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The Division works to build capacity, conduct research, and provide technical assistance to reduce the tremendous burden that mental health disorders present worldwide. Our work is driven by international partnerships, based in evidence, and focused on systems change.

The MGH Department of Psychiatry

The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry sits within the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School. Since its founding in 1934, the Department of Psychiatry remains one of the largest psychiatry services in the country. The strong reputation of the Department and its influence on psychiatry research and practice stems from the academic productivity of its faculty, the growth of its research programs over the past several decades, and the quality and broad dissemination of its continuing medical education and clinical and research training programs. The wide-ranging activities of the Department are firmly rooted in a commitment to providing outstanding clinical care to patients with psychiatric disorders, a commitment exemplified by the exceptional depth and breadth of the clinical services provided and by the engagement of virtually all of the faculty leaders in direct patient care.

From the Department’s inception and consistent with the mission of the hospital, research, and education have been pursued with the goal of advancing the understanding and optimizing treatment of psychiatric disorders. Research, training, and clinical practice are viewed as synergistic and inseparable. MGH Psychiatry’s commitment to global health is represented by the establishment and departmental support of The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry. The Division serves as a site for global mental health expertise and a source of collaboration in international efforts for Department faculty and trainees.

To learn more about the MGH Department of Psychiatry, click here.


History of The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry

The Chester M. Pierce, MD Division of Global Psychiatry was one of the first programs for global mental health in an academic medical center. Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Professor Emeritus of Education at Harvard School of Education, and Dr. Gregory Fricchione, an Associate Chief of MGH Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry at HMS, established the Division of International Psychiatry in 2002 after a landmark meeting, “The African Diaspora: Psychiatric Issues,” (November 17-21, 2002, Boston, MA). This five-day conference brought together more than 40 psychiatrists of African descent to analyze, discuss, and develop an agenda to address the role of psychiatry and psychiatrists in healing the mental health problems of people of African descent throughout the world.

Drs. Pierce and Fricchione sought to develop a program that could provide clinical, educational, and research contributions to reduce the global burden of psychiatric-related disease. The intent was also to prepare a new generation of twenty-first century global psychiatrists to work with international populations in America and abroad.

The Division was renamed in July 2009 to honor its founder and mentor, Dr. Chester M. Pierce, and to reflect its global view.

To learn more about Dr. Pierce, click here.