About us  




Samuel O. Okpaku M.D., Ph.D MRCP(1), FRCP(C), DFPA

Executive Director, Center for Health, Culture, and Society  

1233   17th Avenue North | Nashville, TN 37212


Samuel O. Okpaku was formally chairman and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Meharry Medical College and clinical professor at Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

He received his preclinical training at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School at Jerusalem and graduated from Edinburgh University Medical School, Edinburgh. He holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University Heller School of Social Welfare and research. He has been a recipient of a WHO fellowship and NIMH fellowship. He has also been a guest worker at the NIMH. He has training in both general internal medicine and psychiatry.

His previous clinical experiences include being a Senior House officer (Psychiatry) Guys Medical Hospital, London and serving as Medical Registrar and Locum Consultant physician in medicine in the Chelsea and Kensington group of Hospitals in London, England.

He completed his psychiatric training at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School where he also was a fellow in the Depression Research Unit. He has also held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

Dr. Okpaku was a senior fellow at the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies and a Scholar in Clinical Ethics Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Padova, Italy. He is a recipient of the E.Y. Williams Sr. Scholar of Distinction Award.

His professional activities have included consultation in Global Innovation Outlook ‘04 IBM Zurich, Switzerland, September21, 2004 and New York, November 17, 2004.

Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Center for Culture Health and Society located in Nashville, TN.

Research and Academic interests are Global Mental Health, Cultural Psychiatry and Quality of Life Issues including reduction of disability and participation in the Benefit Program.


Okpaku, S.O.:  Family Planning as Preventive Psychiatry:  A Study of Family Planning Attitudes, Behavior and Knowledge of Community Mental Health Professionals.  Ph.D. Dissertation, University Microfilms, 1978.


Okpaku, S.O., Frazer, A., and Mendels, J.:  A Pilot Study of Racial Differences in Erythrocyte Lithium Transport.  American Journal of Psychiatry 137:1, 1980.


Okpaku, S.O.:  The Unwanted Child and Mental Illness.  International Journal of Family Therapy, Spring 1982.


Okpaku, S.O.:  Critique article on the Psychiatric Diagnosis of Blacks by Adebimpe.  Transcultural Psychiatry and Research, 1982.


Okpaku, S.O.:  Losing Your Job and Not Losing Your Mind.  Employees Assistance Program Digest, Summer 1982.


Okpaku, S.O.:  The Treatment of Multiple Addictions in Blacks.  Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Spring 1985.


Okpaku, S.O.:  A Profile of Clients Referred for Psychiatric Evaluation for Social Security Disability Income and Supplemental Security Income:  Implication for Psychiatry.  American Journal of Psychiatry 142.9, September 1985.


Okpaku, S.O.:  Psychoanalytic-Oriented Psychotherapy of Substance Abuse.  Advances in Alcohol and Substance Abuse VI:  Fall 1986.


Okpaku, S.O.:  The After Effects of the “Baby M” Case, New York Times, Sunday, March 20, 1988.


Okpaku, S.O.:  The Psychiatrist and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplementary Social Insurance (SSI) programs.  Hospital and Community Psychiatry 39:8, 879-883, August 1988.


Lawson, W., Schmidt, D. and Okpaku, S.:  Polydipsia, Hyponatremia, and Smoking in Schizophrenia.  Biological Psychiatry 25:183A, 1989.


Lawson, W., Schmidt, D. and Okpaku, S.:  Polydipsia, Hyponatremia, and Nicotine Levels in Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Research 2:160, 1989.


Okpaku, S.O., Larson, D.B., Manderscheid, R.W.:  Recent Legislative and Court Activities Relating to SSI and SSDI Programs for the Mentally ill.  Hospital and community Psychiatry 41:560-562, 1990


Okpaku, S.O., Sibulkin, A.E., Schenzler, C.:  A Comparison of Social Security Administration Disability Determinations for Adults with Mental Disorders with Independent Determinations, American Journal of Public Health No. 11, 1994; Vol. 84


Okpaku, S.O.:  Victory Over Death.  American Family Therapy Association Newsletter 56:22, Summer 1994.


Okpaku, S.O.:  The Effectiveness of a Multidisciplinary Case Management Intervention on the Employment of SSDI Applicants and Beneficiaries.  Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal No. 3, Winter 1997; Vol. 20.


Okpaku, S.O.. Editor, 1998: Clinical Methods in Transcultural Psychiatry. American Psychiatric Press Inc., Washington, DC


Okpaku, S.O., Spivey KE:  Predictive factors in the use of Valproic Acid in children and adolescents.  Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Neuroscience 13:1, Winter 2001.


Okpaku, S.O., Spivey KE:  Anticonvulsants in psychiatry as illustrated by an inpatient database.  Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Neuroscience 13:1, Winter 2001.


Okpaku, S.O., Spivey KE:  Syndromic use verses Symptomatic use of Valproic Acid in psychiatric patients.  Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Neuroscience 13:1, Winter 2001.


Okpaku, S.O.. Editor: Essentials of Global Mental Health. Cambridge University Press. 2014