Harvard Medical School Honors CHA Psychologist with Diversity Award

05/14/2018
Pictured left to right - Joan Reede, MD, Dean for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School, Aaronson Chew, PhD, Clinical Health Psychologist at Cambridge Health Alliance and George Daley, MD, PhD, Dean of Harvard Medical School.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Aaronson Chew, PhD, a clinical health psychologist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), was named a recipient of the 2018 Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award presented by HMS. The award honors HMS faculty who have made sizable contributions in nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment.

In a nomination letter, one of Dr. Chew's colleagues celebrated his "effort to improve residency education and patient care delivery through the lens of promoting equity. Dr. Chew has championed multiple efforts to enhance the multicultural expertise of his trainees through an understanding of cultural identity and how cultural factors influence the psychological understanding of emotions."

Dr. Chew joined CHA in 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow and later moved into a clinical health psychologist role in the Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration Program (PCBHI). The PCBHI program consists of regular screening, assessment and treatment of common mental health conditions with trained primary care providers and embedded behavioral health professionals.

"Dr. Chew has dedicated his career to serving underserved populations and training future advocates," said Gregory Sawin, MD, MPH, program director, Tufts University Family Medicine Residency. "He grew up in East Los Angeles and observed, first-hand, the lack of mental health services in a low income and highly diverse community."

Beyond his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Chew volunteers with Physicians for Human Rights, a local nonprofit focused on calling attention to atrocities and severe human rights violations and provides pro bono mental health evaluations and affidavits for individuals seeking asylum. He collaborates with lawyers in preparing information to assist with the application process to become citizens. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Chew stressed "that these awards are not deserved by individuals alone, and that I am merely the conduit to represent a community that shares my values towards diversity and equity."