Director, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt
Keith G. Meador, MD, ThM, MPH, is Professor of Psychiatry and Health Policy at Vanderbilt University and also serves as the Director of Mental Health and Chaplaincy through the VISN 6 MIRECC as part of a national initiative to foster integration of chaplaincy services into mental health care within the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is the Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt and Professor in the Graduate Department of Religion.
He is a physician and board-certified psychiatrist with training in theology and public health and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vanderbilt University, having received his medical degree from the University of Louisville. He completed his residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in aging and human development at Duke University. His theological education leading to the ThM was at Duke Divinity School and he received his MPH in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
His scholarship builds on his clinical, research and teaching background in mental health, practical theology, and public health about which he lectures widely and has published numerous publications including the co-authored book, Heal Thyself: Spirituality, Medicine, and the Distortion of Christianity. His academic work includes theological and ethical exploration of the intersections of religion and health and empirical research regarding socio-cultural determinants of illness, health, and human flourishing. Dr. Meador currently gives national leadership to the policy and educational efforts to equip and facilitate the systematic inclusion of chaplains into mental health care for the VA and the Department of Defense through the Mental Health and Chaplaincy program that he directs for the VA. His program and colleagues in the DoD were granted $2.7 million last year to develop and implement a year-long training program for mental health chaplains in both the VA and DoD. In the context of this training and concurrent Learning Collaboratives at fourteen sites across the VA and DoD, this work is equipping providers to more optimally address the distinctive mental health needs of Service Members and Veterans such as PTSD and moral injury. This collaboration of chaplains and mental health care providers seeks to improve access to care and enhance the quality of the care given through the inclusion of the particular expertise of chaplains within the context of evidence-based mental health care.