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From the Speaker
Assembly Members Work Hard to Be Agents of Communication, Change
Psychiatric News
Volume 44 Number 15 page 17-17

After serving in elected office in the APA for almost 30 years, the last 20 in the Assembly, I have developed great respect for our membership in every locale and the staff on whom we depend so much. Caring, intelligence, and diversity of talent are the hallmarks of our colleagues and staff. As APA President Dr. Alan Schatzberg stated at APA's 2009 annual meeting in May," We have reason to take great pride in what only we can do" (Psychiatric News, June 19). Individually, we help patients on a daily basis while we struggle to meet the increasing demands of practice. The best way we can influence systems of practice, however, is on a collective basis; together we have made great strides, but have much work yet to do.

The remarkable efforts of those in the APA Assembly as agents of communication and change are often unrecognized, but we have done our best to represent our entire membership locally and nationally.

As Speaker, I have established the following three new work groups to improve communication, leadership, and district branch effectiveness along with my work in leading and coordinating other Assembly business.

We also are energizing our Assembly Committee on Public and Community Psychiatry, chaired by Dr. Larry Miller. The focus will be on public needs both locally and system wide.

The Assembly also serves to represent our various allied psychiatric organizations and the minority and underrepresented groups, which have a strong voice in our deliberations.

The Assembly has also developed a Remodeling Work Group, chaired by Dr. Clarence Chou, whose task is to analyze the current Assembly structure and look at reorganization for operational and cost efficiency.

With health care reform looming, we will work closely with the Board of Trustees and our AMA delegation to establish positions that best serve our membership and patients. We need your input and participation at this critical juncture. I urge you to communicate your thoughts and suggestions to your Assembly representatives as well as to me at gsw@bluegrass.net. Our future depends on our collective efforts! ▪

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