It is a great honor to have been nominated to run for the position of Minority/Underrepresented Representative (M/UR) Trustee of the Board of the American Psychiatric Association.
As a member of the APA since medical school, I have been an active and passionate advocate for our profession and our patients at the local, state, national, and international levels.
I am fortunate to have extensive experience within APA Governance, including seven years in the APA Assembly, along with active involvement in Councils and Committees. I have also been a Special Advisor to the APA on the United Nations since 2015.
I am eager to continue serving you and our organization as your next M/UR Trustee!
Special Advisor to the APA on the United Nations (2015-current)
APA PAC Board of Directors (2019-current)
Assembly Representative Alternate, Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians (TSPP) (November 2019)
Assembly Speaker-Elect Nominee (2019)
Assembly Representative, New York County Psychiatric Society (NYCPS) (2012-2019)
Secretary, New York State Psychiatric Association (2018-2019)
COUNCILS & COMMITTEES
Council on Communications (2018-current)
Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities (2015-2018)
Assembly Committee on Psychiatric Diagnosis and the DSM (2017-2019)
Assembly Nominating Committee (2015-2019)
Assembly Reference Committee on Diversity & Health Disparities (2014-2019)
National Nominating Committee (2015-2017)
Caucus of Hispanic Psychiatrists (voting member)
Caucus of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Questioning/Queer Psychiatrists
Caucus of American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Psychiatrists
Caucus of Asian-American Psychiatrists
Caucus of Black Psychiatrists Psychiatrists
Caucus of International Medical Graduate Psychiatrists
Caucus of Women Psychiatrists
Caucus on Climate Change and Mental Health
Caucus on Correctional Psychiatrists
Caucus on Disaster Mental Health
Caucus on Global Mental Health and Psychiatry
Caucus on State Hospital Psychiatrists
Caucus of VA Psychiatrists
APA as a UN NGO (2013)
Request led to the APA becoming a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2014.
The Impact of Global Climate Change on Mental Health (2015)
Request led to the creation and adoption of the APA Position Statement on Mental Health and Climate Change in 2017.
Joint Meeting of the Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities and the Assembly Committee of Representatives of Minority/Underrepresented Groups (2017 and 2020)
Request for the APA to continue supporting a joint meeting of these two important bodies that represent and advocate for minority and underserved populations and psychiatrists.
Providing Support to Forcibly Separated Immigrant Children and Families (2018)
Request for the APA to support access to quality services to meet the mental health needs of forcibly separated immigrant children and their families.
Gay (Cisgender, he/him/his)
Ecstatic Husband & Father of Infant Gemini Twins
Board-Certified Adult and Forensic Psychiatrist
Clinical, Forensic and Administrative Psychiatrist
Distinguished Fellow of the APA
Special Advisor to the APA on the United Nations
Founder & President, New York Forensic Psychiatry Consulting, PC
APAPAC Founder Level Supporter & Board Member
AGLP Founding Member Level Supporter
Climate Psychiatry Alliance Supporter and #1 Tier Ranked by CPA
Licensed in New York, Florida, California & Texas
To represent the best interests of our profession and those whom we serve through education, the fight against stigma, and the promotion of diversity and inclusion.
Support of the APA Fourth Strategic Goal: Diversity
Global & Cultural Psychiatry Issues
Delivery of Psychiatric Care to Underserved Populations
Fight Against Mental Illness Stigma
Impact of Global Climate Change on Mental Health
To strongly and proportionately support the APA Strategic Initiatives:
Advancement of Psychiatry
How will you work within the organization and externally through partnerships to tap into existing resources for ensuring the APA is mental health equity focused in all levels of the organization? Provide a specific example.
“We enter this APA election cycle deeply pondering about our organization’s history of strong positives but also of baffling negatives. None has been more disconcerting than the treatment of minority and underrepresented members and staff. A glimmer of hope came out of the March 2015 Board of Trustees meeting with the approval of the APA’s strategic plan, setting forth the four pillars that would guide future initiatives. The fourth pillar, DIVERSITY, calls for ‘Supporting and increasing diversity within APA; serving the needs of evolving, diverse, underrepresented, and underserved patient populations; and working to end disparities in mental health care.’ But a charter is only as good as its implementation and in that the APA has a long road ahead.”
“When I recently received my APA renewal email, I had no reservations to put the payment on my to-do list. Why did I have no qualms? The reality is that, through my significant involvement in APA governance over more than a decade, I have direct knowledge of what the APA is doing for our patients and our profession. But a great portion of our members remain in the dark about the day-to-day work being performed by the APA and are left questioning the value of their membership. It’s time to ACT through Advocacy! Communication! Transparency! We must reengage our members by improving our communication, including about our advocacy efforts, in a fully transparent manner while ensuring we remain accountable to the needs of our membership.”
“The continued encroachment of non-physicians into psychiatric care needs to be better regulated. Unfortunately, we have arrived at this juncture due to, up until recently, a negative balance of career psychiatrists with more Senior psychiatrists exiting our ranks than ECPs entering. Scope of practice issues stem from a targeted effort by non-physicians to fill gaps in our psychiatric workforce. Their lobbying efforts to several state legislatures have been effective in opening the door to unsafe prescribing. Non-standardized educational requirements, unsupervised patient care, and deceptive nomenclatures (i.e. DNP, DMSc) continue to erode the quality of care received by our patients, greatly affecting minorities and those in rural areas.”
“Board Certification is largely required by accrediting bodies and hospital privileging, having become regarded as an objective measure of a physician’s knowledge, experience and skills. The process has nevertheless become increasingly onerous, both procedurally and financially, and does not achieve the goals of MOC purported by the ABMS: for physicians to ‘continue to update their knowledge, participate in ongoing professional development, demonstrate that they are improving the care they provide, and consistently meet standards of professionalism.’ MOC reform is a must.”
“Mental health is health. Yet insurance carriers continue to impose unfair barriers that compromise the mental well-being of our patients. Prior authorizations, step therapy, higher medication co-pays, and reimbursement limitations remain tactics that limit access to quality mental health care. We need mental health parity legislation that is equity-focused, with tight closing of loopholes and strong sanctions for infractions. There is no health without mental health.”
“I was the primary author of the May 2015 action paper titled ‘The Impact of Global Climate Change on Mental Health,’ which was unanimously approved by the APA Assembly and led to the creation and adoption of the March 2017 APA Position Statement on Mental Health and Climate Change. While the position statement pledged support and collaboration ‘with patients, communities, and other healthcare organizations engaged in efforts to mitigate the adverse health and mental health effects of climate change,’ there needs to be a significant infusion of reengagement and re-commitment by the APA towards the fulfillment of these goals. The APA also needs to make climate change and mental health educational resources more readily publicized and available to our membership.”
“We stand at a crossroads in our Nation as our populace, more specifically our Black sisters and brothers, demand an end to centuries of oppression and discriminatory practices and renew the call for social justice and equal treatment under the law. Our esteemed organization is a microcosm of these United States. It is not incidental that a similar cry is being heard from our APA members.”
“The APA is navigating through challenging times as we evaluate our organization’s issues with structural racism and financially reorganize to forge ahead in the unfortunate days of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. My MBA with a double concentration in Healthcare Management and, more importantly, in Leading Organizations, makes me a great asset on the Board, affording me the knowledge and expertise to adeptly and critically assist the APA with upcoming crucial decisions.”
“The next M/UR Trustee must be keenly aware of our history to serve as a catalyst for change and for reconciliation across our membership, including all seven M/UR groups: American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian, Asian-American, Black, Hispanic, IMG, LGBTQ, and Women. I possess the knowledge and the experience to be that catalyst.”
“I proudly identify as a Gay Latino psychiatrist, yet my commitment to diversity and inclusion within the APA has focused on the advancement of All. Together we are stronger than fragmented. I will strive to do the same as your next M/UR Trustee.”