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IPS - President's Message Fall 2021


Electronic Fall 2021 - Issue 48

IPS President's Message
By: Steven Weinstein, MD
 
The Illinois Psychiatric Society had an active few months.
 
As IPS expands our scope and reach to support the needs of individuals who reside in disadvantaged communities, IPS leadership is actively engaging with state legislators and community-based organizations. Here are some highlights:
  • IPS leadership and members have stepped up our commitment to partnering with state and federal legislators. IPS leadership met with State Senator Dave Syverson and our colleagues in psychology, regarding our strong opposition to SB2272. This bill seeks to expand scope of practice for psychologists licensed to prescribe psychotropic medications in Illinois to include children and seniors, and to allow them to prescribe a limited number of class II medications, including stimulants. IPS looks forward to continuing these important discussions regarding improving access to safe psychiatric care. 
  • IPS leadership also met with State Legislator and legislative leader Mary Flowers, as a first step towards building a relationship which benefits the children of Illinois as well as disadvantaged communities; both are prime concerns of Representative Flowers and IPS.
  • Constituents of State Senate President Don Harmon, Michael Raida, MD, and Martha Zuehlke, MD, met with the State Senator. During this very positive meeting, we discussed our common interests in mental health issues concerning citizens of Illinois.
  • Through outreach from Adrienne Adams, MD, co-Chair of the Health Equity Anti-Racism Committee, the Committee and IPS leadership met with State Representative Maurice West, who represents the 67th District, in Rockford, IL. We had a robust and fruitful discussion regarding ways to address stigma and myths around mental health, as well as the need for active participation in Medicaid reform.
IPS also actively impacts legislative efforts on the national level, which is the main strength and focus of APA. IPS members Susan Scherer, MD and Ken Busch, MD met with Representative Marie Newman; while IPS Executive Director Meryl Sosa, Josh Nathan, MD; Daniel Yohanna, MD; and Ken Busch, MD met with Representative Brad Schneider.
 
Contacting our state and federal legislators remains key to IPS influencing mental health care in Illinois, so please find out the names of your legislators and be on the lookout for an email from IPS; we may be asking YOU to meet with them.
 
On the community side, IPS met with representatives from 100 Black Men, Chicago, to discuss areas of mutual interest and commitment. As a result of these discussions, IPS will be participating in the Health Fair on November 13th.  The mission of the national organization is “to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance education and economic opportunities for all African Americans.” We anticipate IPS membership will be needed to participate in health fairs across the state. Anyone interested in learning more, or interested in participating in these events, should contact Kristen Malloy.
 
With strong work from Kristen Malloy, Director of Operations at IPS, and Joy Houston, MD, Chair of the IPS Planning Committee, we completed our first Virtual Series, “Outside Clinical Practice”, with an important focus on retirement from psychiatric practice. Over the summer, IPS members enjoyed Trivia Night and our virtual Women’s Brunch & Brushes.
 
I hope you have all registered for our Virtual Annual Meeting 2021 Ethics and Equity: Moving Psychiatry Forward, scheduled for Saturday October 9th. Once again, we offer several inspiring and talented speakers. Regina James, MD, serves as the APA’s Chief of the Division of Diversity and Health Equity and Deputy Medical Director. She will address the essential topic, "Reflect, Integrate & Execute: Moving from Strategic Planning to Action APA Division of Diversity and Health Equity". David Baron, MD, former Chair of the IPS Ethics Committee will lead us on a thought-provoking discussion titled “Choices-Psychiatry Ethics”. Christina Girgis, MD, a thought leader in medical social media will speak on “Social Media Ethics”. Finally, Susan Rogers, MD, President of Physicians for a National Health Program, will present the case for why “We need Medicare for All.” Find out more about the meeting.
 
Of note, the APA recently approved medical students to become members of District Branches, such as IPS. Before now, medical students could join APA but not local/state branches. Looking to bring students into the fold, IPS leadership recently met with medical students who are active in psychiatry student interest groups in Illinois. We welcome them to our ranks, and look forward to the wonderful opportunity to connect IPS psychiatrists, residents and medical students.
 
Thanks to Jasleen Singh, MD, Chair of the Resident Committee and Editor of Mind Matters, IPS now offers opportunities to be a mentor or a mentee. Contact Dr. Singh at jasleen2.singh@rosalindfranklin.edu  if you are interested in this excellent opportunity to develop connections with those at different stages in their medical careers. Personally, I find engaging in mentorship one of the most rewarding aspects of my professional life.
 
The Private Practice Committee strives to provide a supportive community for psychiatrists in private practice. Recent Committee meetings have focused on managing changes and challenges in our practices as result of COVID, including telehealth, and bringing patients back in the office. The committee welcomes new members to join, to discuss with issues around starting or maintaining a private practice.
 
IPS has a vibrant Early Career Psychiatrist Committee, which focuses on needs and experiences of psychiatrists starting out in the field. Anyone interested in being a part of the committee should reach out to Sid Shenoy MD at dr.sudhakarshenoyk@gmail.com.
 
It is an honor to serve as IPS president. I look forward to moving ahead with so many wonderful member-driven initiatives. I encourage anyone considering being more involved with IPS to contact Kristen Malloy, at kmalloy@ilpsych.org.
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