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Government News
Minority Psychiatry Fellows Discuss Clinical, Cultural Concerns
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 3 page 15-15
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Current and past fellows in APA’s minority fellowship programs join APA staff at the First National SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program Conference.

Spurlock was APA’s deputy medical director when the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) established the fellowship program in 1975 and oversaw the program until her retirement in 1991.

Former fellow Patricia Ordorica, M.D., associate chief of staff for mental health and behavioral sciences at the Tampa VA Medical Center, told the luncheon audience, "Jeanne was known as the conscience of APA. It was a blessing to be involved in the program."

Ordorica was the 2003 winner of the 2003 Jeanne Spurlock Minority Fellowship Achievement Award.

James Jones, Ph.D., director of the MFP for the American Psychological Association, added, "Jeanne was also the conscience of NIMH and the Congress."

Ordorica also praised Marilyn King, APA’s senior program manager for the MFP, as "the rock of the program and [the person] responsible for its current success."

MFP’s impact was demonstrated in tangible and intangible ways during the two-day conference.

The directors of the three centers that comprise the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) delivered keynote addresses, as did King Davis, Ph.D., executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and chair of the Committee on Health Disparities of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.

Other sessions focused on the areas that SAMHSA identified as being of "most interest" to fellows: community-based treatment and prevention, children and families, co-occurring disorders, substance abuse treatment and prevention, HIV/AIDS, trauma and violence, and cultural competence and reducing health disparities.

Attendance considerably exceeded the planners’ expectations because of the unexpectedly large number of former fellows who came. Twenty former and six current APA fellows attended.

The program, which provides fellowships in psychiatry, psychology, nursing, and social work for graduate work to members of minority groups, has been enhanced and modified during its 29-year history.

With the support of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in 1997, for example, APA was able to add 20 fellows each year to those supported with federal funds.

The total number of fellows varies from year to year, depending on the level of federal support. More than 300 fellows have received support during the past 29 years.

King said, "Many of the most active members of APA governance are past and present MFP fellows. The program is not only enormously valuable to the trainees as individuals, but also to psychiatry as a profession and to our patients." ▪

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Current and past fellows in APA’s minority fellowship programs join APA staff at the First National SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program Conference.

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