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Ann Marie Sullivan, MD

APA Experience

Distinguished Life Fellow APA

I am currently the Senior Vice President/CEO of the Queens Health Network, the public sector hospitals of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and a Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  I have been an active member of the APA for over 20 years because I value the APA as the major voice for psychiatry.

For over twenty years I have been working and advocating through the APA for our members and our patients.  I am currently the Immediate Past Speaker of the APA Assembly, and was Speaker of the Assembly of the APA from 2011-2012. From 2002 to 2008 i was the Area 2 Trustee to the APA Board.  I was a member of the Assembly from 1995 to 2002 and served as an officer of the NY State Psychiatric Association. I have regularly advocated at the state and national level on mental health issues. In my committee and leadership positions I have worked to improve member voice and benefits in the APA at the level of the practicing psychiatrist, and worked for a valued role for psychiatrists in the systems of care of our seriously ill patients.  I also currently on the Board of the Mental Health Association of NY City,  a Fellow of the NY Academy of Medicine and a member of the American College of Psychiatrists.

Positions held in the APA:
  • Immediate Past Speaker APA Assembly- current
  • Speaker APA Assembly 2011-2012
  • Speaker-Elect Assembly 2010-2011
  • Recorder Assembly 2009-2010
  • Area 2 Trustee APA Board of Trustees 2002-2008
  • Assembly Rep NY County District Branch 2008-2009 and 1995-2002
  • Treasurer New york State Psychiatric Association 1998-2002
  • Legislative Representative NY county District Branch-1989-2009

Committee, Workgroup and Task Force Membership

Current Membership:
  • Conflict of Interest Committee
  • APA CEO/Medical Director Search Committee
  • Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Workgroup on Strategic Planning
  • Joint Reference Committee
  • Assembly Executive Committee
  • Chair Assembly Long Term Planning Workgroup

Select Past Memberships:
  • Budget and Finance Committee
  • Chair Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Workgroup on Membership
  • Board Executive Committee
  • Liaison to select Components of the APA

ASSEMBLY MAY 4-6, 2012

Welcome to the May 2012 Assembly!  This year the Assembly has been active on many key issues that face psychiatrists and our patients as we move forward into a challenging time for our profession and all of healthcare.   The following highlights the hard work of assembly members on behalf of our profession and our patients.

Maintenance of Certification is a critical issue for members.  The Assembly has passed action papers advising the Board to alert the ABPN and the ABMS of the serious concerns of members about some of the performance in practice requirements, particularly as they relate to patient feedback about their care.  In addition the Assembly  has  formed a workgroup chaired by Dr. Bob Batterson, to not only advise of these concerns but to work within the APA to provide active supports for members as they pursue recertification.  Due to strong support of the Assembly and the APA Board of Trustees, the APA Board has made the Performance in Practice modules free to all members as a member benefit.   There are currently four modules available or in production: Substance Use Disorders; Suicide Risk; Care of patients with Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder.  Additional APA support as a free member benefit for recertification requirements will be proposed and discussed at this Assembly.

The DSM 5, a major initiative of our APA, a will be published in the spring of 2013.   The Assembly, representing APA membership, has been actively involved in the DSM 5 process through a workgroup chaired by Dr. Glenn  Martin.   At the November  Assembly, and at this May Assembly as well, the workgroup will present and also have a special session for open discussion and input from assembly members on key proposed changes.   Ongoing feedback and questions occurs throughout the year. The DSM 5 will come before the full assembly for its approval in November 2012.

Healthcare Reform and state budget reductions are extremely serious issues at the state and local level.  Dr. Mindy Young has chaired the legislative workgroup of the assembly that is focused on developing a strong network of legislative reps across all areas and states to work together to advocate at the local level for access to care, appropriate services, parity in insurance , scope of practice,  managed care reform, state hospital bed availability  and many more issues.  So many of these issues are local and need strong advocacy.  In November the Assembly passed an action paper to hold a state legislative institute to address these issues and it was approved by the APA Board that a plan and budget be developed.

Access to Care is such a vital issue that Dr. Mawhinney has developed an exciting pilot project in California as a workgroup of the Assembly.   It is a grass roots effort throughout the state to address issues such as services for patients released from the prison system,  parity issues, access to needed medications, funding for services and on and on.  The group has initiated action at the local level and also generated several action papers on these issues for national advocacy by the APA.  Dr.Mawhinney will have his work group meet at the Assembly as a model for other states and local chapters to adopt.

The dismantling of the state mental health systems is occurring all across the country.  The public psychiatry committee of the Assembly chaired by Dr. Larry Miller is developing a concerted response, in conjunction with the legislative work group and the healthcare systems and financing council to aid state associations in their struggle to maintain needed services.  Again, numerous Assembly action papers on this issue have been passed and are being worked on throughout the APA.

Increasing and keeping members, especially among our psychiatrists beginning their careers, is critical. Dr. Harry Brandt chairs a workgroup on mentorship which is focusing on mentoring young leaders within the APA as well as mentorship at the local chapter/state association.  His committee has formed the Assembly Ambassador program for this May’s assembly that will offer new attendees and members a way to connect with assembly members.  Ambassadors will wear a button “Questions about the annual meeting? Ask me”.   The group will also do a mentoring session at this assembly and is planning a tool kit for chapters on mentoring.  Any and all suggestions are welcome!

International membership is a growing opportunity.   Dr. Ken Busch is chair of the Assembly work group on Global Psychiatry, which is fostering a closer relationship with our international colleagues and working on areas of mutual concern.   They will work closely with the Board and other APA initiatives on international members and issues.   An action paper is coming to this assembly to institute a council on global psychiatry focused on membership, education and advocacy on global issues.

Communication among members of the Assembly has made these and other initiatives possible. Dr. Forster chairs our workgroup on communications that has focused on communication across the spectrum from members to reps to areas to assembly to board and vice versa.  We are using venues like Assembled Writings to communicate ideas, discuss controversial issues, and ensure all are informed.  With Dr. David Cochran as chair of the Assembly MITs, MITs have been exceptionally active in communicating among members, and especially members in leadership in the APA. 

Action items passed at the November 2012 Assembly focused on multiple issues facing psychiatrists and our patients.  Highlights of Action Papers asked for advocacy on access to healthcare as a right of each individual; allowing for clinical flexibility on 90  day prescription refills; dealing with inaccurate and inadequate managed care panels; and with the ABPN to monitor and advocate for reasonable processes for maintenance of certification.  Action papers also asked the APA to provide to its members assistance in maintenance of certification; templates and training for E and M coding; assistance for electronic record implementation for private practitioners; and continuing support for public psychiatry and other fellowships.  

Action items coming to the May 2012 Assembly include 35 papers that continue to focus on access to care of our patients and appropriate prescription processes; maintenance of certification as a member benefit;  supporting our APA training fellowships as pharmaceutical support is withdrawn; increasing and retaining our members; DSM 5 and international membership.  Assembly ECPs with the leadership of Dr.Takamura have been particularly active in proposing papers supporting Maintenance of Certification as a free benefit for all members.

Alignment of all areas of APA governance toward common goals is critically important for our success. APA Board and Assembly are stronger together!  The entire Board attended the Assembly in November and participated in the reference committees, plenaries and workgroups. A special Board and Assembly AEC dinner meeting was successful in aligning some key directions for our APA including a strategy for maintenance of certification as a member benefit; increasing membership; supporting our state associations and chapters and advocacy for state legislative issues.  Our APA President Dr. John Oldham has been an outstanding friend and advocate for this positive working relationship between the Assembly and the APA Board.  His vision for the APA, and his engagement with our Assembly in meeting that vision has been much appreciated. 

Finally, Assembly work could not be done without
our Assembly leadership and our outstanding APA staff.  It has been my pleasure to work with such a talented and committed leadership team including Dr. Scott Benson, Speaker-Elect, Dr. Mindy Young Recorder, Dr. Donna Norris Parliamentarian, Past Speakers Dr. Bruce Hershfield and Dr. Gary Weinstein. I wish to say a special thank you to all the members of the Assembly Executive Committee who have moved forward so effectively our Assembly initiatives. And there is no way to say thank you enough to our outstanding APA staff Ms. Margaret Dewar and Ms. Alison Moraske who are tireless in their support of the Assembly’s work.

It has truly been my pleasure to serve as Speaker of the Assembly.  I am proud to be part of an Assembly that represents with vigor and determination our members and patients concerns and needs and takes action to ensure that those needs are met!    Thanks to all!   
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