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Professional News
APA, Foundation Invite Donations For Colleagues Hurt by Hurricanes
Psychiatric News
Volume 41 Number 2 page 2-2

In a collaborative effort, APA, through its philanthropic subsidiary, the American Psychiatric Foundation, has launched the Disaster Recovery Fund for Psychiatrists to assist psychiatrists and psychiatry residents who have been adversely affected by disasters such as hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

The decision to launch the fund was made at the November meeting of the APA Assembly after APA Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D., discussed the effects of Hurricane Katrina on APA members.

The fund is being started with $20,000 that APA received from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration contract to assist in the coordination of the mental health response to Hurricane Katrina and will rely on additional support from APA members. APA Assembly members have already begun making donations to the fund.

"I find it incredibly touching that so many of our members have worked so hard and dedicated their lives to helping others, and now they have lost everything to these disasters," said Deborah Cross, M.D., Area 2 deputy representative, who spearheaded the initiative. "I think it's so important that we help our colleagues as they rebuild their lives and their practices."

Joseph Rubin, M.D., speaker of the APA Assembly, said, "The Assembly is accustomed to proposing actions or policy statements that often take a lot of time and review to implement. Brought about by tragic events, the Disaster Recovery Fund for Psychiatrists gives us an immediate way to do something concrete for our affected colleagues, in partnership with the foundation. Let's all contribute what we can and make this a real psychiatrist-to-psychiatrist initiative."

Under this program, psychiatrists and psychiatry residents who have been affected by disasters are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $2,500. Grants are intended to help psychiatry residents continue their medical training and help psychiatrists rebuild their practices to serve the mental health needs of the people in their communities.

Applications for the recovery grants are now being accepted, and grant decisions will be made on an ongoing basis.

"The foundation is pleased to work with APA to facilitate these assistance efforts," said Altha Stewart, M.D., president of the American Psychiatric Foundation. "Given the scope of the recent disasters, I call on the collective generosity of APA members to support our colleagues in need who have lost their practices and their communities. I hope that all members will contribute to this worthy peer-to-peer effort."

Contributions to the Disaster Recovery Fund for Psychiatrists are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donations may be made online at<www.psychfoundation.org> or by mail to American Psychiatric Foundation, 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington, VA 22209. Checks should be made payable to the American Psychiatric Foundation; all contributions should be designated for" disaster recovery." Contributions may also be made by phone by calling (703) 907-8512.

More information about grant applications is available online at<www.psychfoundation.org> or by phone at (703) 907-8517.

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