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The Medical Director's Desk
We’re Here to Serve You
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 10 page 4-4
Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpAs your medical director, it is my privilege to lead the staff at APA headquarters. I hope to use this new column to let you know what we are doing and perhaps get ideas from you on how we can continue to improve our service to you.

As you may have heard, we moved from K Street in Northwest Washington, D.C., and are now located just across the Potomac River from Georgetown in the Rosslyn section of Arlington, Va. The move occurred just before Christmas and, as you can imagine, was a major source of stress. Staff pulled together and accomplished the monumental task with minimal disruption and in remarkably good spirits. We have less space than we had at the former building, but it is more modern and functional. We hope the new space can help us be both more efficient and effective.

APA completed a reorganization that became effective on January 1, 2001. Prior to that, APA was exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code"). As of January 1, 2001, the members of APA became members of a new organization that is exempt under section 501(c)(6) of the Code. The new organization has taken over the name "American Psychiatric Association" and will carry out the membership activities previously conducted by the former APA. The 501(c)(3) organization formerly known as APA continues in existence under the new name "American Psychiatric Publishing Inc." and will carry out the publishing activities previously undertaken by APA and APPI. The American Psychiatric Foundation and American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education continue to operate as separate organizations that are exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Code. In future columns I will report on our subsidiary organizations in greater detail.

Despite the organizational changes in APA, our mission has not changed. Our mission was approved by the Board of Trustees prior to the reorganization and revised in 2001. It is worth restating because it will be what drives our planning: to "promote the highest-quality care for individuals with mental disorders and their families, promote psychiatric education and research advances, represent the profession of psychiatry, and serve the professional needs of its members."

We are here to carry out the mission of APA and the policies set by the Board as efficiently as we can. We now have about 240 employees. In 2000 we had 270 employees. What is the right number? The answer depends on what programs and activities we undertake. For example, our publishing enterprise is the largest single section of APA, with 79 employees. Thus, including administrative staff who support APPI, about 40 percent of our staff are in publishing—but, as I noted above, more on this in future columns. APPI provides significantly more revenue to our efforts than it costs.

Our budget for 2003 is $53 million. We have several important revenue sources beyond dues. Dues account for only 19 percent of APA revenues. Our operating expenses include all of our advocacy efforts, as well as the overhead costs of running an association, such as membership, governance, education, and the usual costs of rent, heat, and so on.

A more extensive financial accounting will be available to members on APA’s Web site, which is currently being redesigned. We expect the refurbished Web site to be up and running by June. If you wish to have more financial data, you can contact Terri Swetnam, our chief financial officer, by phone at (703) 907-7305 or by e-mail at tswetnam@psych.org.

We are committed to using your dollars and our resources effectively. We know we still have a lot of work to do, but will do our best to improve every day. This year, to continue to strengthen our APA, the Board of Trustees has decided to stop using reserves to fund our usual operations. This will require us to be disciplined in our spending. For the 2004 budget that we are planning now, we will need to reduce costs (or increase revenues) by more than $2 million.

Our members, through representative governance on our Board of Trustees, set the priorities for our efforts. These efforts are broadly categorized as advocacy, communications, professional standards and values, and governance. As we work with our Finance and Budget Committee to figure out how we should allocate our limited resources, we will need to identify those projects that are core to our mission.

Our task as your staff will be to achieve the goals set by our leaders. We welcome your ideas. You can contact me by e-mail at jscully@psych.org or by phone at (703) 907-8533. ▪

Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpAs your medical director, it is my privilege to lead the staff at APA headquarters. I hope to use this new column to let you know what we are doing and perhaps get ideas from you on how we can continue to improve our service to you.

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