It is with great sadness that we share the news that Dr. Judy Bradford passed away this weekend after a long and courageous battle with cancer.  As Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute from its inception in 2001, Judy played a key role in building a framework for LGBT-focused research and teaching. She was the first research scientist to head a National Institute of Health (NIH) funded population studies center focused on sexual and gender minority health, and the first to receive NIH funding to support a summer institute to train the next generation of LGBT health researchers, held right here at Fenway. Judy was a key influencer of NIH policy as a member of the Council of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities.

She had the distinction of serving on the first Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel focused on lesbian health almost 20 years ago, and then was key in the IOM’s recent landmark report on sexual and gender minority health disparities. She was a passionate believer in improving the health of our community by performing sound research and by teaching others how to do this research.

Judy was an activist, mother, scientist, wife, adventurer, kayaker, investigator, mentor, and charming and engaging presence whose loss will be felt by many throughout our immediate, national and global communities. She will be sorely missed, but her legacy will live on through her lifetime of accomplishments.




  • Dorothy Fillmore says:

    I knew Judy at VCU. She meant a lot to us there.

  • Emily Pitt says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. I had the pleasure of working with Judy 20 years ago, at Fenway, and her work has opened many doors for those who came after her. The field of lesbian health research has lost a wonderful pioneer. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

  • Sharron Sawyer says:

    I had very few interactions with Judy and whenever I did they were usually in a social setting. I always walked away feeling – wow, this is one special person – her energy, warmth, and attentiveness to you were remarkable. I always knew she was doing important work in our community but didn’t know all the details. Now that I read about the scope of her accomplishments I am all the more impressed. No wonder I loved she and Nan together. We will have to hold Nan in our hearts going forward because shouldering a loss of someone like Judy is not going to be easy. We got you Nan.

  • Bill Cohen says:

    Judy Bradford kindly joined the Senior Advisory Board of Harrington Park Press during our very beginning year. She did so with enthusiasm and full support, even though she was probably ill even then. This news brings me to tears.

  • So sad and a great loss to all. Rest in Peace, Judy. We miss you.
    Ed Andrews, Alexandria, Virginia

  • Sean Cahill says:

    Hi. I’m very sorry to share that we lost a leading light of the LGBT health and LGBT equality movement this weekend, my friend and colleague Judy Bradford. Judy was a visionary who advocated for HIV prevention and care, lesbian health research, and LGBT health and demographic research in the very earliest days. I had the pleasure and honor of working with Judy about 15 years ago, when Urvashi Vaid and I worked with Judy to analyze 1990 and 2000 Census data and make maps showing that same sex couples lived in nearly every community in the US. In 2011 i came to work with Judy at the Fenway Institute, where we worked together on data collection in health care settings, LGBT elder issues, research with LGBT youth of color. In the past couple of years Judy launched an initiative on bisexual health, and we were coediting a special issue of LGBT Health on LBGT aging. Last summer Judy and I met with other researchers to examine sexual orientation and gender identity data collection in cancer registries, suicide data, and death registries to better understand how LGBT disparities played out at end of life. Judy was incredibly generative and very generous with her knowledge and wisdom.She was very kind and warm. She was a huge influence on me and my career. My deepest condolences to Nan and the rest of her family. I will miss Judy very much. Sean

  • Eva Woodward says:

    I am very sad to receive this news. Judy Bradford has been described so well by this article and by the overflow of compliments on this page–smart, active, a visionary for people who were otherwise unheard and unseen. I was a student in her inaugural 2010 LGBT Summer Health Institute and am proud, as an ally, to carry on many of the things she taught me in service of LGBTQ people, especially to those in overlooked rural areas. Judy was a kind person and I am grateful for all she has done.

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