Current Environment:

Heather Walter | Medical Services

Programs & Services


  • English

Heather Walter | Education

Medical School

Loma Linda University

1974, Loma Linda, CA


Loma Linda University Medical Center

1975, Loma Linda, CA

Graduate School

University of California Los Angeles

1981, Los Angeles, CA


Preventive Medicine

University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center

1981, Los Angeles, CA


General Psychiatry

New York University Medical Center/Bellvue Hospital Center

1986, New York, NY


Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute

1988, New York, NY

Heather Walter | Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (Psychiatry)

Heather Walter | Professional History

My early career as a federally-funded researcher in preventive medicine/public health focused on school-based preventive interventions targeted at pediatric risk factors (hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, obesity, poor physical fitness, cigarette smoking) for the later development of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and school-based preventive interventions targeted at risk factors (early, unprotected sexual activity) for the development of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. Subsequently as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, I transitioned my research to integrated behavioral health initiatives in pediatric primary care and school settings. I currently serve as medical director for behavioral health at the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s (PPOC), Harvard Medical School course director for the PPOC Behavioral Health Learning Community, medical co-director for the statewide Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project, and consultant to the Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships program. In addition to my research interests, I have over 30 years of clinical and administrative experience in child and adolescent psychiatry, having served as director of school psychiatry at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, medical director of psychiatric outpatient services at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Medical Center. I achieved the rank of Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as well as Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. For more than a decade I have co-chaired the Committee on Quality Issues of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) which is charged with the development of AACAP’s clinical practice guidelines, and have achieved the honor of AACAP Distinguished Fellow.

Heather Walter | Publications

My professional life has been guided by my quest to bring the highest quality care to society’s most vulnerable yet most promising citizens – its children. Over the past decade, under my leadership the Committee on Quality Issues of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) has developed and published over 25 clinical practice guidelines pertaining to the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. Over the next decade, our committee will be revising previously published treatment-focused guidelines (e.g., for depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, ADHD, disruptive behavior, substance use) in accordance with new standards for guideline development promulgated by the Institute of Medicine. We also will continue to develop and publish AACAP best principles addressing the behavioral health needs of specific populations of children and adolescents, including youth in school, foster care, pediatric primary care, and juvenile justice settings; youth identifying with cultural, sexual, and gender minority groups; youth exposed to disasters; and youth coping with chronic physical illness. I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunity throughout my career to help our children build happy, healthy, and successful lives.