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Professional News
Psychiatry Administrators Celebrate 40 Years of Accomplishments
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 5 page 6-6
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Pictured are members of the Association of Medical Superintendents of Mental Hospitals (now the American Association of Psychiatric Administrators) at a Dallas meeting in 1964. Back row, left to right: Walter Fox, M.D., William S. Hall, M.D., H. Clayton Moorhouse, M.D., George Zubowicz, M.D., and Donald F. Moore, M.D. Front row, left to right: M. Duane Sommerness, M.D., Archie Crandell, M.D., Herman B. Snow, M.D., and Francis A. Tyce, M.D. 

Administrative psychiatry has come a long way in 40 years, and Dave M. Davis, M.D., director of the Piedmont Psychiatric Clinic in Atlanta, explained how this came about. As a past president and the current archivist of AAPA, he believes there is plenty to celebrate. "One of our early goals was to increase the number of hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals," said Davis. "Back in 1961, only 37 percent of psychiatric hospitals were accredited." Now, almost 100 percent of the hospitals are accredited, according to Davis.

The organization was founded in 1961 as the Association of Medical Superintendents of Mental Hospitals, with Archie Crandell, M.D., serving as the organization’s first president.

Davis, who started the Georgia chapter of AAPA, said that education of administrators in psychiatry became a priority for the AAPA as the field evolved. "Once upon a time, administrative psychiatrists were known as superintendents of hospitals, and mostly knew about clinical care," said Davis, "But now, the administrative psychiatrist must have a solid understanding of laws, managed care, information systems, and finances," emphasized Davis.

In addition to sponsoring educational seminars and lectures at APA’s annual meetings, the AAPA also gives awards for outstanding achievement in the administration and management of psychiatry. The recipient of the 2000 Administrative Psychiatry Award, for example, was A. Anthony Arce, M.D., chair of the department of behavioral medicine of the North Philadelphia Health System and an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

While the AAPA does not certify psychiatrists in administrative psychiatry, it is closely allied with the body that does—APA’s Committee on Psychiatric Administration and Management—whose members are sometimes actively involved in the AAPA.

"Administrative psychiatry has not always been a desirable career," said Davis. "We have been able to promote the field and to underscore the importance of having administrative leaders in psychiatry."

APA members are invited to join AAPA’s anniversary celebration on May 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Arnaud’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Those who would like to attend should RSVP to Francis M. Roton, AAPA executive director, by phone at (800) 650-5888 or by e-mail at frda1@mail.net.

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Pictured are members of the Association of Medical Superintendents of Mental Hospitals (now the American Association of Psychiatric Administrators) at a Dallas meeting in 1964. Back row, left to right: Walter Fox, M.D., William S. Hall, M.D., H. Clayton Moorhouse, M.D., George Zubowicz, M.D., and Donald F. Moore, M.D. Front row, left to right: M. Duane Sommerness, M.D., Archie Crandell, M.D., Herman B. Snow, M.D., and Francis A. Tyce, M.D. 

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