FIG1 I was raised on a farm in
Montana. There I learned to work hard, support others, and always look for a
better way. I also learned the value of thinking for a living. My parents,
family, and community provided my foundation of values and ideals.
This developed my practical approach to being and doing. I learned to trust
results, not rhetoric. Discipline, commitment, and self-challenge developed
and are part of my daily routine.
I did my psychiatry residency at Mayo. On completion, I joined a large
multispecialty group in Fargo and work there still. My practice is broad
ranging, including inpatient (especially CD and mood disorders) and
outpatient. Administratively I have worked in quality improvement and the last
two years as department chair. Currently, I also work on contract with the
colleges, with BCBSND, CD providers, and many years as clinical faculty with
UNDSOM, teaching both medical students and residents.
During this time, I have been blessed with the companionship of my
wonderful wife, Kim, and we have raised two accomplished daughters who are in
college, one of whom is seeking a career in medicine.
"Community" is important to me, both as support and an
opportunity to give back. This is reflected in my activity over the years with
my partners, church, schools, charitable activities, and professional
organizations. I count myself as particularly blessed within the APA community
through the acquaintances I have made in the Assembly and the mentors I have
acquired there over the years.
I have clear values and a vision for the common good. I will continue to
work hard, think, support our profession, and search for innovative solutions
to the challenges facing psychiatrists. I will strive to keep APA a home to
psychiatrists and work for access, nondiscriminatory coverage, and quality
Leadership involves many attributes, including the ability to synthesize
goals, create plans, and carry those plans through.
I am running for leadership within the Assembly, as recorder. My reasons
and what I bring to the job follow.
I love what I do. It is such a privilege, gift, and honor to treat my
patients, share their lives, and practice my profession.
Unfortunately, my practice is changing, reflecting the challenges to our
Make no mistake; political, economic, and social forces threaten treatment
of mental illness and substance use disorders. We see this today in declining
reimbursements, limited access, scope-of-practice issues, erosion of community
and public psychiatric infrastructure, and medicine's declining political
influence. Increasingly, care is unavailable, and much psychiatric care is
provided in jails and prisons. Conversely, the "treatment" of
sexual offenders is provided in public psychiatric institutions. These shifts
are evident everywhere.
Access is therefore our foremost patientcare issue. We must challenge our
society to match resources to needs. Facets of this include scope of practice,
parity, and dealing with the underinsured and uninsured. Our challenge is to
ensure that our patients get excellent psychiatric care, with real and
meaningful access. We need to continue to work toward APA positions verbalized
on universal access and nondiscrimination for mental health benefits.
I have extensive Assembly and APA leadership experience. For eight years I
have been on the Assembly Executive Committee, working with other APA leaders,
learning the environment, and practicing the "art of the
possible." During my five years as Area rep, Area 4 has increased the
involvement of DB MITs and LRs. Our current project is to involve more women
members in DB, Area, and Assembly activities. While chair of the Committee on
Procedures, the Procedural Code was extensively rewritten and the committee
established as the interpreter of the Procedural Code. On the RUC I have
represented APA in developing coding recommendations to CMS.
I have proven leadership ability in developing strategy, operational
delivery, and tactical creativity.
As individuals and professionals, we are defined more by what we do than
what we say. The "truth" of our ideals of medical prescribers,
fair reimbursement for our work, and access to care will not defend
themselves, and undefended will not survive the political process.
Vaclav Havel said, "Vision is not enough; it must be combined with
venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps: we must step up the
stairs." Time to step up the stairs!
Our action must be to engage in the political process. We must engage
legislators, regulators, policymakers, nonpsychiatric M.D.s, and the general
public, and then align them in support of our goals. Each and every
psychiatrist has some role in this. We need to create this expectancy, model
it to each other, and provide the structure and guidelines to support the
I ask for your vote and your trust. As recorder of the Assembly, I will
continue to bring my energy, enthusiasm, and experience to the APA