Presidents Message:

Dear Colleagues:

I want to update the members of American Association of Psychiatric Administrators (AAPA).

The meeting in New York was bittersweet.  The APA Administrative Psychiatry Award was to be given to Paul Jay Fink, M.D.   Paul was unable to come to NYC in May.   He passed in June 2014.  Dr. Fink was a giant in the field of Psychiatry.  He was a Past President of the APA, the American College of Psychiatrists and Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Doctor Fink made a very positive mark in the field.

The AAPA held its Annual Luncheon with Paul Appelbaum, M.D. as our guest speaker and gave a very insightful talk on guns, violence and mental health laws. This led to a spirited discussion.  Dr. Appelbaum is Past President of the APA and the Dollard Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a foremost forensic psychiatrist and researcher, who advocates for sensible, fair gun legislation pertaining to mental illness. Paul’s work and research are moving us forward.

The AAPA also sponsored a symposium led by Geetha Jayaram, M.D., of Johns Hopkins Medical School.  The symposium topic was Basics in Administrative Psychiatry. Dr. Jayaram is President-Elect of AAPA and she put together another outstanding program. John Wilkaitis, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Brentwood Behavioral Health in Mississippi, co-chaired the symposium. John also serves as AAPA Secretary. I attended the symposium and the program had breadth and was well attended. Several of the presenters / speakers are AAPA members.  Barry Herman (Past President), M.D., William Reid, M.D., and Shiv Hatti, M.D. The symposium rounded out with a strong question and answer sections following the presentations.

I want to remind all members about The Journal of Psychiatric Administration and Management, (JPAM). This is our journal; available online and in hard copy.  Our esteemed editor is Sy Saeed, M.D. Sy is Chairman of Psychiatry at East Carolina School of Medicine.  The Editorial Board is stellar.

After lunch we held our Annual Board Meeting.  One major goal of AAPA is growth of membership. And part of our membership growth focus is women psychiatrists. There are many accomplished women psychiatrists in leadership roles and many aspiring young women psychiatrists who will lead the profession in future. We must actively invite more women psychiatrists to join our organization in order to move forward, gain insights and balance. Our membership needs to mirror the diversity of psychiatry and the populations we serve. There are outstanding women mentors here for new women psychiatrists–for you!

We are continuing to increase our international membership. For the first time in September 2014, Drs. Geetha Jayaram of Baltimore and Victor Buwalda, of the Netherlands presented an outstanding course at the World Psychiatric Association in Madrid, Spain. Their presentation and participation has stirred more interest in the AAPA. I exhort all current AAPA members to introduce AAPA to colleagues and to encourage their membership, participation and submission to our journal.

We are planning and looking forward to the next AAPA meeting to be held during APA week, May 18 in Toronto, Canada at 12 noon at the Renaissance Toronto Hotel. Doctor Leah Dickstein will be speaking. The APA Administration Award Lecture is held every year and alternates between the APA Annual Meeting and the APA Institute of Psychiatric Services (IPS) Meeting. For 2015, the Award will be given at the IPS meeting to be held in New York City, October 2015 with Herb Pardes, M.D. being the recipient of the award for 2015.

Thomas Newmark. M.D., DLFAPA
President of AAPA
Professor of Psychiatry, Rowan SOM
Stratford, New Jersey