What We Hope to Achieve

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What We Hope to Achieve

Officers and board directors elected at CLP 2018 last month have been talking with ACLP News about what they hope to achieve. Their comments were first reported in Saturday’s Daily News at the annual meeting.


President-Elect:  Michael Sharpe, MD, FACLP

Michael Sharpe, MD, FACLP

“The Academy is a great organization. It has developed enormously over the 20 years or more I have been a member, from a friendly club to a major, but still friendly, professional organization. Having served on Council for a number of years now, I am delighted and privileged to serve as your president-elect for 2019.

“My aim as president-elect, and later as president, will be to build on the huge achievements of Academy members over the many decades since its foundation, to enable its members to take their rightful place at the center of medical care. The growing importance of multimorbidity and the increasing recognition of the importance of psychiatric disorder as drivers of cost, quality and outcomes of care increasingly make C-L psychiatrists essential members of medical teams, both in and out of hospitals.

“As an organization, the Academy must support its members in their clinical practice, provide relevant education and foster the research underpinning our clinical practice. It must also build relationships with organizations representing our colleagues in delivering the increasingly team-based medical care; this includes colleagues working in mental health and also those in other medical specialties. If, together, we can keep developing the Academy’s strengths as a dynamic, outward-looking and research-based organization with wonderful meetings and committed members it, and C-L psychiatry, will have an even greater future.”

Vice-President:  Maria Tiamson-Kassab, MD, FACLP

Maria Tiamson-Kassab

Maria Tiamson-Kassab, MD, FACLP

“Being part of the Executive Council in the last two years, first as secretary and this past year as treasurer, has opened my eyes to the inner workings of the Academy in terms of governance and finances.

“The vice-president essentially serves as the third person in line after the president and the president-elect and assists them in whatever project they need his or her assistance. According to our bylaws, the vice-president also updates the Board about the Academy’s strategic plan and acts as the parliamentarian in business meetings if needed.

“Essentially, this year is more like an apprenticeship, a preparation for the possibility of leading the Academy in the future. It will give me a chance to explore and build upon initiatives that I hope to someday bring to the Academy.

“I hope to reinforce the strategic partnerships we currently have, such as with the APA and the EAPM, and expand to other organizations that are involved in C-L Psychiatry, both here and overseas. I am also interested in improving membership recruitment, an area I have been involved in for many years serving on the Membership Committee in its various iterations through the years. I would like to work on projects that respond to membership needs. As far as I am concerned, my commitment to the Academy and my passion for C-L Psychiatry will guide me as I serve our members.”

Treasurer:  Philip Bialer, MD, FACLP

Philip Bialer, MD, FACLP

“Much of my involvement with the ACLP over the years has been associated with education. I have served as chair of the Pre-conference Courses Subcommittee, chair of the Interdisciplinary Education Subcommittee, chair of the Education Committee and program chair for the 2015 Annual Meeting.

“As I move into the role of treasurer, I will work with the Finance Committee to oversee the Academy’s investments and ensure that we have the financial resources to continue and strengthen our education mission.

“Another area that would benefit a sound financial state includes our ongoing efforts at marketing and rebranding.

“Additionally, as a Board member, I will continue to advocate for recognizing and enhancing the care of patients with comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions as well as advocate for the C-L psychiatrists out in the field doing this work.”

Secretary:  Maryland Pao, MD, FACLP

Maryland Pao

Maryland Pao, MD, FACLP

“I believe that ACLP has significant growth potential in its membership, on its impact on future delivery of mental health care in all medical settings, as well as in research development and support. I think ACLP is headed in a positive direction through its strengthened relationship with APA and other professional organizations, and we must do this to solidify our distinct identity as well as expand our reach.

“Collaborative and integrated care is the cornerstone of health care for the future because, as the WHO says: “There is no health without mental health.” The field continues to be challenged by current business funding models which are being studied now. I think there is also insufficient research in C-L to support the best evidence-based models. I believe the psychiatric breakthroughs of tomorrow’s medicine will come from more cross-disciplinary research with our medical colleagues.

“My current short-term focus is on attracting new members and helping them understand the numerous benefits to be had by joining ACLP. We hope to simplify the membership process while maintaining standards of interest and commitment in the field of C-L psychiatry.”


Board Director:  Madeleine Becker, MD, FACLP

Madeleine Becker

Madeleine Becker, MD, FACLP

“I have served on the Council for the Academy for the past three years, but I have had the pleasure to be part of, and to contribute to, this organization in many ways throughout my professional career.

“My main area of work for the ACLP has been in education. I have chaired the Fellowship Education Subcommittee since 2014. Working with many very accomplished program directors on this subcommittee, we have created a variety of educational products and resources designed for the C-L program directors, helping to make fulfilling ACGME requirements less elusive and easier to track. Our major goal for the past three years has been to increase recruitment in our fellowships and we continue to develop ideas that will promote interest in our subspecialty.

“I also serve as the vice-chair on the Education Committee and have worked collaboratively with the chairman, Paul Desan, MD. Together, we have encouraged C-L program directors to support the Match and to help standardize the process of application to fellowship. We keep program directors informed of updates, deadlines and Match statistics every year.

“We will continue to provide important feedback on behalf of our Academy to the ACGME when there are proposals for changes in program requirements that warrant or require consensus data. Through our work on the Education Committee, we are also developing educational resources for our Academy members and their trainees.

“In addition, I am co-chair of the ACLP Women’s Caucus. Leena Mittal, MD, and I are endeavoring to make the caucus more relevant and to heighten its recognition by our membership while also serving and supporting our women members.

“Over the past 10 years, I have worked with the Academy both before and during its many transitions. I am now working to help promote and market our subspecialty, not only to other medical colleagues, but also to the public, and to our medical students and psychiatry residents. I plan to work toward establishing our role as highly specialized clinicians and to demonstrate our vital role in the hospital and in medical settings. As the program chair for the 2019 Annual Meeting, I hope to create a program which will highlight our essential role in medicine now and in the future.

“It has truly been one of my greatest professional pleasures to serve the Academy and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to contribute to its growth.”

Board Director:  Terry Rabinowitz, MD, DDS, FACLP

Terry Rabinowitz

Terry Rabinowitz, MD, DDS, FACLP

“This appointment will enable me to promote a still higher profile for recognition of the new ACLP branding and discuss what is needed to drive the marketing of membership to our Academy and increased interest in C-L Psychiatry among potential new recruits.

“I am honored to have been made chairman of one of the Academy’s newest task forces, the ACLP Branding and Marketing Taskforce, which is charged with “consulting experts in the area of marketing and branding with the goal of making specific and creative recommendations to the Academy Board on actions likely to improve and clarify the perceptions of a) roles, b) scope of practice, c) outcomes, and d) image of C-L Psychiatry among C-L psychiatrists; other psychiatrists and other medical specialties and primary care; and the general public.”

“Quite some task. But I have the pleasure of working with a team of members committed to the necessity of this role.

“We want to accomplish some important goals including:

  • Increasing the number of applicants to C-L fellowship training programs.
  • Increasing the number of C-L fellowship programs.
  • Getting more hospitals/departments of psychiatry to hire ‘real’ C-L psychiatrists.
  • Growing existing C-L programs.
  • Helping others to gain a better understanding of our specialty and what we do.
  • Decreasing stigma associated with having one or more psychiatric conditions in addition to one or more medical conditions.
  • Increasing requests for C-L consultations from colleagues, patients, and families.

“Yet, greater exposure alone is no guarantee that our brand will be chosen over others. We have to use established marketing tools to build our brand—activities for this purpose are already under way and we invite further ideas from ACLP members, not least to agree on informational messages to relay the expertise within diverse groups of our membership.

“Throughout, our ultimate objective is to improve the quality of life for patients at the interface of physical and mental health.”

Board Director:  Ann Schwartz, MD, FACLP

Ann Schwartz

Ann Schwartz, MD, FACLP

“I am thrilled to serve on the ACLP Board of Directors. I have been an engaged and productive member of the ACLP for over 15 years, recognized by my award of fellowship status in 2012. During this time, I have served as a member or leader on a number committees and subcommittees within the leadership structure of the ACLP.

“As residency training director of the psychiatry program at Emory University School of Medicine, I have a long-standing interest in education and training. I served as chair of the ACLP Residency Education Subcommittee from 2012-2015 and continue to serve as a member of the subcommittee. During my tenure as chair, the subcommittee was quite prolific and managed to completely revise the residency curriculum and publish two noteworthy articles on residency education in the field of C-L psychiatry. In addition, while on the Residency Education Subcommittee, I helped design, author, and peer-review the residency curriculum in C-L Psychiatry that was introduced nationally by the ACLP. I also served on the Annual Meeting Committee and was involved with the overall planning and implementation of several meetings with almost 1,000 attendees.

“I have remained dedicated and committed to teaching residents, fellows, and peers in the field of C-L Psychiatry. I serve as a frequent reviewer for Psychosomatics. I have also served as a judge for the best poster competition at our annual meeting, reviewing hundreds of posters over the years, and served on the Awards Subcommittee as the chair for the Dorfman Journal Award, a high-profile award presented annually to the best case report published in Psychosomatics. I have also presented several peer-reviewed workshops and symposia along with posters at various ACLP annual meetings.

“As a new Council member, I plan to represent ACLP as its lead representative on an exciting task force that is being formed by C-L Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry, as well as representatives from each of the subspecialty boards and the relevant APA Councils. This is a new task force that is being driven by shared challenges that all three subspecialties have in workforce benchmarking, expansion, recruiting, and business justification. The aim is to provide recommendations to the APA, subspecialty organizations, and the ABPN, on ways that the workforce‘s shortages and challenges might be met (e.g., working with SAMHSA on issues such as loan forgiveness and working with ABPN on fast-tracking in residency programs).

“The ACLP organization has played an important role in my career development. The annual meeting has provided opportunities to present peer-reviewed workshops, network with experts in the field of C-L Psychiatry, as well as attend workshops and exchange ideas with colleagues around the country and internationally. I look forward to serving on the ACLP Board of Directors and am certain that serving in this leadership role will be a highlight of my professional career.”

Board Director:  E. Sherwood Brown, MD, PhD, FACLP

E. Sherwood Brown

E. Sherwood Brown, MD, PhD, FACLP

“I have been a member of ACLP for 13 years and a fellow for eight years. I am delighted and honored to serve on the ACLP Board. I think ACLP is at the forefront of the future of psychiatry. While making long-term predictions on health care is probably as risky as making short-term predictions on the stock market, I suspect that in the short to medium term, the trends toward a greater role for value-based care or capitation will likely continue. The proportion of patients seen in fully integrated health care systems will likely increase. Thus, integrating psychiatric care into the care provided by other medical specialties will become even more critical. Furthermore, the role of psychiatric care in decreasing costs and improving outcomes will be important to the success of these health care systems. Therefore, ACLP, with its emphasis on integrated and collaborative psychiatric care, should have a major role in shaping the future of psychiatry.

“A topic that is a particular interest of mine is keeping trainees and other junior psychiatrists interested in C-L Psychiatry and ACLP. For several years I have headed the selection of Webb Fellows. The quality of the applicants is extraordinary and bodes well for the future of ACLP. We are all fortunate to belong to a highly collegial and welcoming organization. I think ACLP does a better job of getting junior people involved in meeting presentations and other activities than any organization I have been a member of. I would like to see ACLP build on this great strength by promoting even greater participation by new members, as well as future members, in the meeting.”

Board Director:  Paul Desan, MD, PhD, FACLP

Paul Desan

Paul Desan, MD, PhD, FACLP

A recent survey indicated that education was one of the main priorities of Academy members. In the last 10 years, I have served as member, vice-chair, and chair of the Fellowship Education Subcommittee, and then in the last several years as chair of Education Committee coordinating the work of the Education subcommittees. These subcommittees have been very productive.

Under the leadership of Margo Funk, MD, and Fremonta Meyer, MD, the Medical Student Education Subcommittee has generated resources for medical student training, published a striking study demonstrating the usefulness of C-L settings for such training, organized and presented at events for medical students such as the APA, ACLP, and PsychSign, and contributed in other ways to physician training.

Under the leadership of Ann Schwartz, MD, Paula Zimbrean, MD, Carrie Ernst, MD, and Sheryl Fleisch, MD, the Residency Education Subcommittee has created extensive teaching resources, run a very successful mentoring program, organized events for residents, and contributed variously to the development of psychiatrists in training.

Under the leadership of Terry Rabinowitz, MD, Madeleine Becker, MD, Sejal Shah, MD, and myself, the Fellowship Education Subcommittee has worked with the ACGME to arrive at appropriate standards and milestones for fellowship, provided resources for program directors, facilitated and supervised the new Match system for applicants, and promoted recruitment into fellowship training.

Under the leadership of Lorin Scher, MD, Anna Ratzliff, MD, and Liliya Gershengoren, MD, the Interdisciplinary Education Subcommittee has produced a range of new resources for collaborative care that are now under peer review and soon to appear on the ACLP website.

Under the leadership of Mary Jo Fitz-Gerald, MD, and Seth Powsner, MD, the recently formed Online Education Subcommittee has pioneered recording of the ACLP Annual Meeting, is investigating options for web-based CME for the meeting content, and investigating other exciting options for online education for our members.

Under the leadership of Robert Boland, MD, James Kimball, MD, and Dwayne Heitmiller, MD, the Maintenance of Certification Subcommittee has for several years produced an eight-hour self-assessment exercise related to the ACLP annual meeting. This is an outstanding benefit for meeting attendees and meets the yearly requirement for such credit. These subcommittees have also offered multiple workshops about educational topics at the ACLP annual meetings.

C-L Psychiatry is the newest recognized subspecialty of psychiatry. It has been thrilling to be part of the development of new standards and approaches to education in the area. In the upcoming years I believe we will see expansion of fellowship training in new directions such as outpatient collaborative care, greater use of web content for education, increasing exchanges with international colleagues, closer relationships with professionals in other disciplines, and further change in the organization of our health care system. I look forward to contributing what I can to help our Academy develop in all these areas.

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