The Department of Psychiatry Center for Diversity sponsors the annual Frances J. Bonner, MD, award, which recognizes an individual who has overcome adversity and has made significant contributions to the field of mental health and the care of minority communities.

The Center also organizes an annual spring speaker series, which brings nationally recognized speakers to discuss a wide range of issues with faculty, trainees and staff.

About the Award

The Frances J. Bonner, MD Award was established in 2010 by the Mass General Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Diversity in order to promote diversity and inclusion in the psychiatric community. 

Frances J. Bonner, MD
Frances J. Bonner, MD

The late Frances J. Bonner, MD, was a 50-year veteran of the Mass General Psychiatry Department and the first female African-American physician to train on a Mass General service. Dr. Bonner came to Mass General in 1949 after completing her neurology training at Boston City Hospital. She started her research career at the Mass General with a two-year fellowship from Radcliffe College to study hysteria and later conducted neurobiological research at Mass General. Dr. Bonner received her psychoanalytic certification at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in 1975 and with others, founded the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England. Dr. Bonner devoted most of her career to clinical practice and supervising residents in individual psychotherapy. She was a pioneer in crossing racial and gender boundaries within medicine.

Award Recipients

2020-2021: David C. Henderson, MD will present his Bonner Award Grand Rounds on October 28, 2021.

2019: Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD

“40 Years of Viewing Violence as a Public Health Problem: Lessons Learned”

2018: Felton "Tony" Earls, PhD

"Collective Efficacy: From Discovery to Global Health Practice”

2017: Debora Burgard, PhD, FAED

"Dismantling the Weight Loss Prescription: One Size Does Not Fix All”

2016: Xavier E. Cagigas, PhD

"Cultural Neuropsychology:  A Reverberating Zeitgeist Amidst Scientific Complacency” 

2015: Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD, ABPP

Watch Dr. Daniel's presentation at Psychiatry Grand Rounds: "The Tapestry of Difference: Weaving Cognition and Affect into Practice, Research and Training"

2014: Haji Shearer, LSW

Watch Mr. Shearer's presentation at Psychiatry Grand Rounds: "Integrating Culture and Mindfulness to Support Father, Mother and Child Well-being"

2013: Joseph E. Trimble, PhD

Watch Dr. Trimble's presentation at Psychiatry Grand Rounds: "Ethics in Mental Health: An Emphasis on Conducting Research with Ethnocultural Populations"

2012: Margarita Alegria, PhD

2011: Carl C. Bell, MD

Watch Dr. Bell's presentation at Psychiatry Grand Rounds: “Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities”