Harvey J. Makadon

Harvey J. Makadon

Honorary Doctorate of Science

Harvey J. Makadon—physician, educator, and advocate—has devoted his career to providing and promoting care for the poor, the homeless, patients living with HIV, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.  A professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and founding director of education and training programs at the Fenway Institute, he continues to teach health care providers across the nation how to better serve the LGBTQ and HIV communities and improve their access to quality care. Rutgers is honored to bestow upon Makadon an honorary doctor of science degree.

Makadon earned a B.A. from Cornell University in 1969 and, after a brief flirtation with law school, took a job advocating for Medicaid reform. The work inspired him to pursue a career in medicine. More specifically, he aspired to be a primary care physician and improve the quality of care and access to care for poor people.

After receiving a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1977, Makadon began his residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. He then joined the hospital’s faculty primary care practice, where he served for more than 29 years, and became a member of the clinical faculty in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In the early 1980s with the beginning of the AIDS crisis, he refocused his professional life on issues regarding the quality of health care for the LGBTQ community and those suffering from AIDS. At Beth Israel, he set up the first hospital-based HIV program in the country integrated into a primary care practice. He founded the Boston AIDS Consortium to help coordinate needed services for patients.

In addition to coordinating and providing care, Makadon worked to tear down the social stigma that restricted access to care for LGBTQ people, with a goal of ending health care disparities. He founded the New England AIDS Education and Training Center to teach health care professionals best practices in care of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. At Harvard Medical School, he was responsible for updating the HIV curriculum and for addressing sexual history aspects of the patient-doctor interview. He coedited HIV (2007) and is the lead editor of The Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health (2008, 2015), both published by American College of Physicians, and has written numerous articles and chapters on various issues regarding LGBTQ health. Makadon’s work also contributed to the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender in national electronic health records systems.

Among his numerous honors, Makadon is the recipient of the Dean’s Community Service Award and the Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award at Harvard Medical School, an Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and the Michael Tye Leadership Award from Fenway Health.

Today, Makadon is focusing his attention on transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, particularly youth and adolescents, and ending LGBTQ invisibility in health care by advocating for the routine collection of sexual orientation and gender identity information in health records.