Last month’s Interim Meeting of the AMA’s House of Delegates in Washington, D.C., was an occasion for saying goodbye to APA leaders who have been critical to psychiatry’s success at the AMA. They were recently retired APA Medical Director and CEO James H. Scully Jr., M.D., and Howard Zonana, M.D.
At the reception for James H. Scully Jr., M.D., were (from left to right) Patrice Harris, M.D., member of the AMA Board of Trustees; APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.; Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., chair of the section council; Scully; and immediate past AMA President and former APA Assembly Speaker Jeremy Lazarus, M.D. See box on page 6.
Scully was feted at a reception where APA and AMA leaders hailed his contributions to organized medicine.
Scully has a long history with the AMA, having served as a delegate to the House of Delegates and chair of the Section Council on Psychiatry. Current Section Council on Psychiatry Chair Carolyn Robinowitz, M.D., and Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., immediate past AMA president, emphasized his leadership in the AMA’s Scope of Practice Partnership, which has spearheaded the AMA’s efforts around psychologist prescribing and other scope-of-practice issues. “Jay has been a trusted and respected CEO among the specialty societies,” commented Lazarus. “Not everyone has the kind stature he has.”
Honored at a separate event was Howard Zonana, M.D. (pictured at right, in the center), who is retiring as medical director of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL) and will no longer be serving on the Section Council on Psychiatry. Pictured with Zonana in the front row (from left) are Robinowitz; Robert Phillips, M.D., Ph.D., AAPL’s delegate; and Jacquelyn Coleman, executive director of AAPL; in the back row are Barry Wall, M.D., AAPL’s alternate delegate; and Ryan Hall, M.D., and Jennifer Piel, M.D., AAPL’s young physician delegates.
Zonana, a professor of psychiatry at Yale University and a clinical professor (adjunct) of law at Yale Law School, has helped bring the expertise of AAPL to issues of psychiatry and the law addressed by the AMA. He also has been a passionate voice for the rights of people with mental illness. At the 2007 AMA Annual Meeting, the House of Delegates approved a resolution brought by the Section Council on Psychiatry that reaffirmed the organization’s prohibition on physician involvement in the execution of defendants convicted of capital offenses. At that meeting, Zonana also spoke on behalf of a resolution calling for a national moratorium on executions generally. “The politics of the death penalty have shifted dramatically in favor of death,” he said at the meeting. “Legislators have consistently strengthened the number of crimes [punishable by death] and cut back the funding for defense of capital defendants. This has resulted in a process whereby you get death not for having committed the worst crime, but for having been assigned the worst lawyer. ■