Dr. Kim Hopper, professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, was named the 2015 recipient of the George Foster Practicing Medical Anthropology Award, granted by the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. Presented every two years since 2005, the Foster Award is among the highest achievements in the field and “recognizes those who have made significant contributions to applying theory and methods in medical anthropology, particularly in diverse contexts, to multidisciplinary audiences,” and with impact on policy. The award is granted to those who are widely recognized as game-changers and visionaries.
Dr. Hopper is a medical anthropologist, who has been active in homeless advocacy efforts since 1980. From 1991-1993, he served as president of the National Coalition for the Homeless. Dr. Hopper’s research interests include the reconfiguration of public mental health, cross-cultural studies of psychotic disorder, community-based modalities of coercion, collaborative work with mental health “peers” — people with lived experience as service-users, and dimensions of recovery in the aftermath of psychosis. He is the author of Reckoning with Homelessness (Cornell University Press, 2003), a stocktaking of two decades of research, advocacy, and theoretical work in that field, and senior editor of Recovery from Schizophrenia: An International Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2007), a report from the WHO collaborative study on the long-term course and outcome of schizophrenia. Since 1979, Dr. Hopper has done ethnographic and historical research on psychiatric care and on homelessness, chiefly in New York City. He consults frequently on methodological issues in mental health services research and until November worked as a research scientist at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, where he co-directed the Center for the Study of Recovery in Social Contexts. In addition to his faculty responsibilities at the Mailman School.
Dr. Hopper also teaches in the Bard Prison Initiative and for three years ran a federally-funded field school to teach basic research methods to mental health peers in New York.