BOARD MEMBERS

President

VICTOR BUWALDA, MD

President's Message

Dr Victor J.A. Buwalda was educated in Amsterdam at the Academic University Medical Center Former Vrije Univeriteit) and became psychiatrist in 2002. As psychiatrist his interest always has been Psychiatric Administration and leadership what resulted into his That resulted in his PhD-research in the field of psychiatric administration and leadership: The HORVAN Study Part I on the use of measurement instruments in daily clinical practice in the outpatient clinic (2002-2004) and HORVAN Study Part II were he investigated the use and implementation of feedback reports during treatment and the attitude of the therapist and patient (2006-2011). Together with prof. Jan Vissers (Institute of Health Policy &  Management (iBMG), Rotterdam) he also published  the organizational challenges that he met during his research.

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VICTOR BUWALDA, MD

President

President's Message

Dr Victor J.A. Buwalda was educated in Amsterdam at the Academic University Medical Center Former Vrije Univeriteit) and became psychiatrist in 2002. As psychiatrist his interest always has been Psychiatric Administration and leadership what resulted into his That resulted in his PhD-research in the field of psychiatric administration and leadership: The HORVAN Study Part I on the use of measurement instruments in daily clinical practice in the outpatient clinic (2002-2004) and HORVAN Study Part II were he investigated the use and implementation of feedback reports during treatment and the attitude of the therapist and patient (2006-2011). Together with prof. Jan Vissers (Institute of Health Policy &  Management (iBMG), Rotterdam) he also published  the organizational challenges that he met during his research. 

High points in his career are the creation of the International Medical Student Exchange Program (IMSEP) (1989-2000). He supervised 53 Dutch students in medicine, biology, psychology and chemistry at the National Institutes of Health, Georgetown University and Dana Farber Institute, part of Harvard Medical School. The scientific studies resulting from IMSEP were published in Nature among others. Furthermore, he was funding father and first president of the Word Association of Young Psychiatrists and Trainees in 2005. In 2009 he guided the Section of Administrative Psychiatry of the Dutch Psychiatric Association to the status of National Association for Administrate Psychiatry during his tenure as president (2003-2012). He regularly gives presentations at home and abroad (e.g. in the USA (San Diego, Washington DC, NY, Atlanta etc., London, Madrid, Singapore, Florence, Berlin and Amsterdam), publishes papers and several books on administrative psychiatric issues (e.g. outcome measures, leadership), organizes several National and International conferences and symposia and develops devices to enhance the quality the clinical care process. Over time he has built up an impressive international network and is an active member of the American Association for Psychiatric Administrators (AAPA) and American Association for Technology in Psychiatry (AATP) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). He is the current chief psychiatrist and Medical Director of a large addiction center, in the Middle of the Netherlands, Novadic-Kentron and was former chief psychiatrist and Medical Director of Victas addiction center in Utrecht 2013-2016. He continues his research on new treatments in Addiction, Outcome Measurement, Monitoring and Management together with his (international) research group with Bill Narrow former research director of the APA. Since 2014 he is involved in research on the use of apps and started recently his research in the field of virtual reality. In 2015 he became a member of the Committee of Administration and Leadership of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry and was awarded with the Martin Symonds M.D. Man of Good Conscience Award given by the Association of Women Psychiatrists (2015). He became an International Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (2017) and was recently awarded with the Administrative Psychiatric Award of the American Psychiatric Association in May 2019. In May 2020 he became the first international president of the American Association for Psychiatric Administration and Leadership (AAPAL) He is married and has two African-American daughters that attended the workshop for children of psychiatrists in 2015 at the annual meting of the APA in Toronto, Canada.

 
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TOBIAS WASSER, MD

President-Elect

Tobias Wasser, MD obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology at Wesleyan University and completed medical school at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed all of his psychiatry training at Yale, first the psychiatry residency program and then fellowships in both forensic and public psychiatry. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the department with faculty appointments in both the Public Psychiatry and Law and Psychiatry Divisions. He is one of the Associate Program Directors for the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program and works clinically and administratively as the Chief Medical Officer of Whiting Forensic Hospital, Connecticut's only state-operated forensic hospital.

 
 
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JAMES RACHAL, MD

 Secretary Treasurer

James C. Rachal, MD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Academic Chair for the Department of Psychiatry at Atrium Health and also serves as the medical director for the Behavioral Health Charlotte campus. He is a board-certified Psychiatrist and Family Physician who has over 15 years of clinical experience and administrative experience. Dr. Rachal graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Arts from Miami University. He then graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and trained in both Family Medicine and Psychiatry in the United States Air Force at the National Capital Consortium in Washington DC. Dr. Rachal is a Veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom and was deployed to Kuwait. He spent 7 years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical center and developed the states only inpatient trauma program. He was awarded Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic’s physician of the year in 2014 for this work. At Atrium Health Dr. Rachal helped lead the team, that created the community psychiatry residency program that mixes state of the art technology with an emphasis on scholarly work. Dr. Rachal is married and has 3 children.

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MANISH SAPRA, MD

Immediate Past President and Chair of Nominating Committee

Manish Sapra is executive director of the behavioral health service line at Northwell Health. He oversees strategic clinical program development and physician management for all mental health and substance use disorder programs at Northwell. He interacts with site leaders to drive quality improvement and standardize care. Dr. Sapra joined Northwell in 2017 and previously served in a dual role as director of strategic initiatives for the behavioral health service line and medical director of practice-based care management at Northwell Health Solutions. He oversaw several population health programs, including behavioral health integration in primary care practices. Dr. Sapra has been instrumental in efforts to modernize behavioral health services by developing new ambulatory tele-psychiatry applications, implementing advanced use of data analytics and exploring value-based purchasing arrangements. Throughout his career, Dr. Sapra has progressively advanced into leadership roles. Prior to joining Northwell, he was associate chief of clinical services for behavioral health and senior director of community psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), where he directed physician management and business development for its ambulatory and acute-care services and medical education programs related to community psychiatry. His passion for improving mental health care started early in his career, immersing himself in working with Pennsylvania’s underserved communities. Dr. Sapra is the immediate past president of the American Association for Psychiatric Administration and Leadership, a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and an active member of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, a leading psychiatric think tank. He graduated from Seth G. S. Medical College, University of Mumbai. He completed his residency in psychiatry at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Boston and has a Masters in Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

 
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JOHN ELGIN WILKAITIS, MD, MBA, CPE, DFAPA, DFAACAP, FASAM

Councilor

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as chief medical officer of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private 105 bed hospital system for 10 years. During this time, he founded a successful private group practice, Children’s Psychiatric Solutions, which operated for 11 years prior to sale to another group. He is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in child and adolescent psychiatry, general psychiatry, and consult-liaison psychiatry. He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is also board certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine and a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He has been active in multiple societies related to physician leadership, including presidency of the American Association for Psychiatric Administrators, The Mississippi Psychiatric Association, and The Mississippi Council of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. He is a Vanguard Member of the American Association of Physician Leadership. He has received multiple awards in the past, including America’s Top Physicians, by the Consumer Research Council, in 2018.

 
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WAYNE CREELMAN, MD

Councilor

Boarded Physician Executive in both medical management and psychiatry with over 25 years of progressively responsible medical management experience in the behavioral/medical care arena. Demonstrated strengths in strategic planning, leadership, financial decision-making, communication, quality assurance and risk management, physician recruitment, credentialing, training and supervision of staff physicians, regulatory and accrediting agency survey preparation, budgeting, technology assessment, marketing, clinical pathway and research development, utilization management, and patient satisfaction.

 
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BARRY HERMAN, MD, MMM

Councilor and APA Assembly Liaison

Barry K. Herman, M.D., MMM is a duel Board Certified Psychiatrist in both Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Adult Psychiatry with over 30 years of medical executive experience. He is currently Chief Medical Officer of Atentiv Health, a digital health start up company. He previously held leadership positions at Pfizer, Inc., Sanofi, Sunovion, Shire, Ironshore Pharmaceuticals, and Tris Pharma, Inc.


Dr. Herman is a Distinguished Life Fellow of both the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). He is a Past-President of AAPAL. He is the author of over 100 scientific abstracts and publications. Dr. Herman is the recipient of the 2017 American Psychiatric Association Award in Administrative Psychiatry.

Dr. Herman received his Bachelor’s Degree from Clark University, received his Medical Degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, and completed a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. He received a Masters Degree in Medical Management from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

 
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LUMING LI, MD

Councilor

Luming Li, M.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and also currently serves as the Associate Medical Director of Quality Improvement of the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. Her clinical focus is on patients with severe psychiatric conditions which
require complex systems of care.

 
She works clinically as an inpatient psychiatrist at the transitional age and dual-diagnosis psychiatric/substance disorder units at the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, and also serves as a consultant psychiatrist in the Nathan Smith Clinic for patients with HIV. She has research and educational interests in healthcare policy, hospital management, clinical redesign, leadership development, operational efficiency, and quality improvement. 

 

Dr. Li completed a 7-year B.A./M.D. program at Rutgers/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and residency training at the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. She has also served on national committees within the American Psychiatric Association (APA), including the Health Systems and Financing Committee (2017-2018), and was an APA Public Psychiatry Fellowship recipient. She is a 2019-2020 Health and Aging Policy Fellow, and American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.

 
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WESLEY SOWERS, MD, MMM

Councilor

Dr. Sowers is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is the Director of the Center for Public Service Psychiatry and its associated Fellowship Program at Western Psychiatric Hospital. He is board certified in Adult Psychiatry with subspecialty certifications in Addiction, Administrative and Community Psychiatry.  He is a Past President of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists and has served on the Board of Directors of that organization since 1988. He has also been on the Board of the American Association of Psychiatric Administrators since 1999. He has served as Co-Chair of the Mental Health Services Committee of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry since 2009. Dr. Sowers is a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern University Medical School. He completed residencies at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry in New York City. Clinically, he has extensive experience in the provision of treatment and services to special populations such as homeless men and women, people with criminal records, LGBTQ individuals, and people with substance use disorders. He has published several articles, editorials, and book chapters on topics related to his clinical activities and health care systems management. He was the chief architect of the Level of Care Utilization System (LOCUS) and its counterpart for children and adolescents (CALOCUS), instruments widely used to guide service intensity decisions.  From 2008 to 2016 he was co-director of the SAMHSA sponsored Recovery to Practice curriculum development project for psychiatry.

 
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ELIZABETH FAM, MD

MIT Representative

Elizabeth Fam is a first year resident at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY who recently graduated from  Rutgers – New Jersey Medical School. She grew up in East Brunswick, NJ and is the daughter of first generation Egyptian immigrants. Her interests include minority access to mental healthcare, wellness amongst medical professionals, and teaching. In medical school, she served as a peer wellness coach and hopes to engender change within the medical community to produce healthier doctors who can best advocate for and offer quality patient care. She also served as a tegional Chair for the Psychiatry Interest Group Network to further promote the field of psychiatry among medical students.  She is an active member of her local church community, mentoring teenagers and organizing community outreach. She has also participated in multiple medical mission trips abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing board games, dabbling in makeup artistry, cooking, and spending time outdoors.

 
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ROBERT RYMOWICZ, MD

MIT Representative

Robert Rymowicz is fellow in addiction psychiatry at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, an APA/APAF Leadership Fellow serving on Council on Addiction Psychiatry, and a trainee representative of the board of directors of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Robert attended medical school at Western University of Health Sciences, and served the National President of PsychSIGN, the American Psychiatry Association's medical student organization. He completed his psychiatry residency training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where he served as a vice-president with the Committee of Interns and Residents, representing all unionized programs in New Jersey, and as chief resident in psychiatry in his senior year. Robert is passionate about behavioral addictions, and hopes to further the science of food addiction.

 
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MARIA BODIC, MD

NY Representative

Dr. Maria Bodic is a psychiatrist in the Psychiatry Division at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Bodic completed her residency at Maimonides Medical Center. Dr. Bodic is a dedicated psychiatrist skilled in delivering medical care to diverse populations.

 
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CHADEN NOUREDDINE

Medical Student Representative

Chaden is a third year medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. She completed a Bachelors of Arts degree at Rutgers, Newark, NJ where she majored in Biology and minored in Psychology, Chemistry, and Honors Studies. She hopes to further her knowledge and create an impact in the fields of addiction, as well as health justice, namely by impacting minority access to mental health, and reducing the stigma surround mental illnesses. She is also passionate about teaching, and advocating for victims of interpersonal violence, as well as members of the LGBTQA+. She is currently the Vice President and Treasurer at the NJMS psychSIG, and the region 3 chair for psychSIGN.

 
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SY SAEED, MD

Emeritus Member

Since 2004 Dr. Saeed has been serving as the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Telepsychiatry at ECU and as the Founding Executive Director of the North Carolina Statewide Telepsychiatry Program (NC-STeP), a state funded program covering over 65 hospitals and community-based sites in North Carolina. Prior to his appointment at East Carolina University, Dr. Saeed served as Professor and Chairman, Department of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (1995-2004) where he was also the Clinical Director for the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Service NetWork of North Central Illinois, a state-operated Network serving people with serious and persistent mental illness in 23 counties and covering 1.5 million lives in north central Illinois.
Dr. Saeed is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is also certified in Psychiatric Administration and Management by the American Psychiatric Association and holds a MS degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy.
Dr. Saeed was the founding Editor of the American Association of Psychiatric Administrator's Journal, Psychiatrist Administrator (2000-2010). He then served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Psychiatric Administration and Management (JPAM) from 2011 to 2020. He serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals. He is a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Health, London. He also serves on the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), a think-tank for psychiatry dedicated to shaping psychiatric thinking, public programs, and clinical practice in mental health. In 2018 he was elected to the Governing Board of GAP. In 2014 Governor McCrory appointed him to the Governing Board of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. In 2016, he was reappointed to the board for a 4-year term by the governor.
Dr. Saeed has published extensively in the areas of evidence-based practices; anxiety and mood disorders; telepsychiatry; psychiatric administration and leadership; and psychiatric treatment integration. He has been involved in funded research both as a principal investigator and co-investigator, with over $16,000,000 in external funding since 2004. He has lectured and presented nationwide and internationally, including being an invited speaker at a White House Convening on telehealth in 2016. In 2019 he was the recipient of the prestigious Gov. Oliver Max Gardner Award, the highest UNC award, selected by the UNC Board of Governors, to recognize UNC system faculty who have “made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.”

 
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FRANCES BELL

Central Office

Central Office

PO Box 570218

Dallas, TX 75357-0218
972-613-0985

 

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