practitioner bio

joseph merlino


  • Mailing Address
  • Baruch College/CUNY
  • School of Public Affairs
  • One Bernard Baruch Way, Box D-0901
  • New York NY, 10010


Dr. Joseph Merlino has been a leader in the field of innovative, ethical, community Behavioral Healthcare over the past several decades. He received his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1978, and Master of Public Administration in 1992 from Baruch College.
1987 began a 13-year tenure at Lenox Hill Hospital and promotions to Associate Director of Psychiatry. He became the founding chair of the hospital ethics committee and ethics consultation service.

As Director of Community and Ambulatory Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center during the 9/11 attacks, his expertise and support was provided to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner and New York’s family support centers. This work led to an invitation to join the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), a national think tank focusing on the advancement of psychiatry and included opportunities to contribute to improving approaches to disasters and terrorism, as well as becoming a founding chair of the Committee on Administration and a member of the GAP Board of Directors.

Dr. Merlino is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, and a Life Fellow of the American Academy of Dynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, of which he also served as President.

Clinical Professorships have included NYU and Mount Sinai Schools of Medicine and New York Medical College. Currently Dr. Merlino is Professor at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, School of Public Health, and College of Health Related Professions.

Dr. Merlino has edited or co-edited four books: the first on disaster psychiatry; the second in collaboration with the Austrian embassy in Washington, DC on the 150th anniversary of Freud’s birth, celebrated at a plenary meeting at the Austrian Embassy in Washington; the third, an oral history of the homosexual rights movement in American psychiatry and his fourth published by Oxford University Press on the use of the Toyota lean approach to quality transformation in behavioral healthcare.

In 2009, following a national search for a leader to take the helm of the beleaguered Kings County Hospital Behavioral Health Service then under a federal law suit by the United States Department of Justice, Dr. Merlino was appointed Director of Psychiatry and Deputy Executive Director and is credited with leading its successful transformation. He is currently the founding Vice President for Faculty Affairs & Professional Development at the State University of New York, Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn, SUNY Downstate Medical Center.