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Jean Liautaud

Jean Liautaud, MD, CCHP

Assistant Chief of Service, Medicine
NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services

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Bridging the Gap in Correctional Health Services

When Dr. Liautaud began his private practice in 1983, his status as a Haitian immigrant reminded him of the dangers of being misunderstood and mistreated. With majority-immigrant patients clustered in Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and Jackson Heights in Queens, Dr. Liautaud developed a quick understanding of how easy it is to be marginalized in America.

Since 1998, he has worked in NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services at Rikers Island, serving patients not just unseen by society but unseen by doctors as well. He increased the seen rate for patients with chronic illness from 35 percent to 95 percent.

“Everyone benefited,” said Dr. Liautaud. “Medical doctors, nurse practitioners, mental health officials, the Department of Corrections. Everyone got accomplishment from this program of follow-up appointments.”

For decades, Dr. Liautaud has served as a bridge — a reminder — to the forgotten or ignored corners of society. “It’s an underserved community that I feel like I should work with,” he said. “I see so many people who are affected — and afflicted — by the system. The care is not where it should be. It’s like they are left behind. I’m happy to be part of the solution.”

As a multi-lingual immigrant — fluent in Spanish from his medical education in Mexico, French from his residency in Canada, and Creole from his native Haiti — he has also developed a New Yorker’s fluency for no-nonsense candor.

“I help people get to Bellevue and be treated in situations where a few hours are the difference between care and a bad outcome,” he said.

But his greatest intervention may be his everyday existence: he shows patients a living example of a changed life.

“Dr. Liautaud as not only a skilled clinician, but also as a leader and force of warmth in our challenging work,” said Dr. Bipin Subedi, Chief Medical Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services.

He draws on his heritage not just as a matter of where he’s from or what language he can speak, but also as a matter of who he is. “I’m from a family of physicians,” he said. And those physicians have a legacy of making patients feel like family.

Learn more about our Doctors Day Award Winners