Obituary of Douglas A. Feldman, PhD
At age 73, passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on August 30, 2020. He was the son of the late Samuel C. Feldman and the late Sylvia (Libin) Feldman. He was survived by his sister, Jacqueline S.F. Ginsberg; his brothers Alan Feldman and Monroe J. Feldman; his sister-in-law Jeanie Feldman; his nephews Steve Miller, Adam Feldman, and Steven (Sonny) Ginsberg; his nieces Janice G. Miller and Lizzie Kaplan-Ginsberg; great-nephews Ben and Gray Ginsberg; great-nieces Sela, Liora, and Sage Ginsberg; and many friends, including Alan Bowman, Anne Buddenhagen, Frank DeLeo, Ken Fitzgibbon, Alan Gildharie, Richard Herman, Dr. Irene Ketonen, Linda Krall, Stuart Lee, Robert Lucero, Richard Meissenzahl, Dr. Serena Nanda, John Stout, and Rev. Peter Williams, and as well as many cousins and colleagues.
Dr. Feldman was a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at SUNY-Brockport near Rochester, NY, and former President of the Society for Medical Anthropology (2011-13) – an international organization with over 1,300 members. He was the former Chair of his Department and a tenured Professor from 2001-16. He had served as Professor, Academic Director, and Institute Director at Nova Southeastern University near Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1995-96); President of D.A. Feldman & Associates, Inc. – an HIV/AIDS social research organization (1994-95); Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine and faculty member of the M.P.H. Program (1989-94, 1996-2000); and founding Executive Director of the AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC) – the AIDS service organization for the borough of Queens in New York City (1986-88).
As a leader in AIDS and anthropology, and more broadly medical anthropology, he was one of the first anthropologists to develop a research study on HIV/AIDS in the United States in 1982 – among gay men in New York City. He also was the first anthropologist to do a research study on AIDS in Africa in 1985 – among hospitalized persons with AIDS in Rwanda. He started the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group in 1986, which had rapidly grown under his leadership. In 1987, Dr. Feldman led the formation of an AIDS service organization (ACQC) in the face of strong, and sometimes violent, community opposition. In 1988, he significantly influenced AIDS policy in Bangladesh after meeting with government officials and the media, effectively stopping a plan to bar all HIV positive persons from entering their country, That same year, he founded the American Anthropological Association Task Force on AIDS, which developed policy initiatives for the association.
He had also conducted AIDS social/behavioral research in Zambia, Senegal, Uganda, Hungary, New York City, Rochester (NY), and South Florida. His published books include The Social Dimensions of AIDS: Method and Theory (1986), Culture and AIDS (1990), Global AIDS Policy (1994), The AIDS Crisis: A Documentary History (1998), AIDS, Culture, and Africa (2008), Ethnicity and Health Care Delivery: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (2009), and AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men (2010), as well as 84 papers, posters, and articles. He had served as an expert witness on HIV/AIDS for eight law firms.
Dr. Feldman had served as elected Treasurer and member of the Membership Committee of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, member of committees for the Institute of Medicine, elected member of the Nominations Committee of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), and elected board member of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA). He served as the Chair of the Friends of the SfAA Committee. He was the recipient of the Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology (1996), and the Distinguished Service Award from the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group - a section of the SMA (2008). He served as the Chair of the SMA Career Achievement Award Committee (2014). He sponsored the annual Douglas A. Feldman LGBTQ Paper Award at SUNY-Brockport. He served as a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and many others.
Due to the pandemic a PRIVATE memorial service will be held on Friday, September 11, at 11AM. The service will be livestreamed on the funeral homes website. Please contact John Stout, (585) 426-9695, for details. Memorial service to be held at a later date in New York City. Interment Floral Park Cemetery.
He will be fondly remembered for his generosity, intelligence, leadership, humor, and loyal friendship. He believed strongly in the need to do good deeds for its own sake. Donations could be made to the Douglas A. Feldman LGBTQ Paper Award through the Brockport Foundation, 350 New Campus Drive, Allen Administration Bldg., Brockport, NY 14420.