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Association News
APA Members Work Together for Their Patients and Colleagues
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 20 page 13-13

Last month about 370 APA members gathered in the nation's capital to plan and discuss the initiatives that enable APA to work on behalf of psychiatrists and their patients. These members were participating in APA's annual fall component meetings.

APA's 70 councils, committees, task forces, and other components work diligently at the fall meetings—and throughout the year—to address the major issues of importance to psychiatry today. They include issues related to specific populations, such as minorities, the elderly, children, seriously mentally ill individuals, and people involved in the criminal justice system; psychiatric education and research; the full range of psychiatric treatments; and advocacy and public education. In addition, members of several components discussed plans for their sessions scheduled to take place at APA's 2006 annual meeting.

Meeting attendees came to a plenary session on Friday, September 9, to hear Anthony Ng, M.D., chair of APA's Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster, discuss the actions APA is taking to support district branches that were incapacitated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (see story on facing page). For example, APA, through Ng's committee, coordinated relief efforts with a number of federal, state, and professional organizations and" advocated for disaster psychiatry" with these organizations and agencies.

"We need to take an active role in supporting our colleagues," Ng said. "Many of us have lost jobs and practices in affected areas."

Some of the repercussions from Hurricane Karina (and later Rita) that APA faces include "long-term public health and human services needs" and "tremendous psychiatric needs that we will be seeing for years to come," he said.

Attendees also heard from Harold Ginzburg, M.D, J.D., M.P.H., a psychiatrist who fled New Orleans when Katrina struck and has been assisting with disaster-relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region.

"We can look at this situation as something that gives us the opportunity to create a better life and better circumstances" for the hurricane victims, he said.

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Al Gaw, M.D. (right), Bhasker Dave, M.D., and Lorrie Garces, M.D., at the meeting of the Committee on Public Funding for Psychiatric Services 

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Tyson Boudreaux, M.D., M.P.H., at the meeting of the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities 

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Harold Ginzburg, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., at the plenary session 

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From left: Andrea Berntson, M.D., and Cassandra Newkirk, M.D., at the meeting of the Council on Social Issues and Public Psychiatry 

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From left: Jerald Kay, M.D., Lorraine Siggens, M.D., and John Vanin, M.D., at the meeting of the Task Force on Mental Health on College Campuses 

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Al Gaw, M.D. (right), Bhasker Dave, M.D., and Lorrie Garces, M.D., at the meeting of the Committee on Public Funding for Psychiatric Services 

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Tyson Boudreaux, M.D., M.P.H., at the meeting of the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities 

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Harold Ginzburg, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., at the plenary session 

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From left: Andrea Berntson, M.D., and Cassandra Newkirk, M.D., at the meeting of the Council on Social Issues and Public Psychiatry 

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From left: Jerald Kay, M.D., Lorraine Siggens, M.D., and John Vanin, M.D., at the meeting of the Task Force on Mental Health on College Campuses 

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