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What is the APA Assembly?

Electronic Fall 2022  |  Issue 52

What is the APA Assembly?
This is an introduction to our members, as well as a request for your input.
Your IPS delegates are elected to represent you on a regional and national level in the APA Assembly. Your delegates are Shastri Swaminathan, Linda Gruenberg, Arden Barnett, and Joshua Nathan. Also our Area 4 Representative is Ken Busch who is responsible for the entire area including IPS. Christine Farag is our Area 4 RFM Deputy Representative.
This article will give a brief summary of what the APA Assembly is, as well as the Area Councils.
First, the Assembly, for those of you not familiar, is a national body of psychiatrists elected by the district branches. The Illinois Psychiatric Society (IPS) is a district branch, for example. The Assembly is under the leadership of the Speaker and Executive Committee. Assembly delegates represent and pursue the interests that arise from the psychiatrists in each state. It is similar to the House of Representatives in Washington or the AMA House of Delegates, in how it functions.
Your IPS delegates are to pursue and make known the interests of Illinois psychiatrists, on the regional and national stage.
The Assembly meets twice yearly, in person before the annual meeting in May and virtually in November. At the meetings, updates are given about developing events in the country regarding psychiatry. This includes federal issues, legislative developments, matters within the APA as reported by administrative staff, etc.
Most important, delegates can generate resolutions that call on the APA to act on a particular issue or examine it. Also, delegate approval is requested by administration on APA position statements. This is how we can speak for you as a member psychiatrist, and why we need your feedback on issues important to Illinois psychiatrists.
We will be working actively to let you know what is happening in the Assembly and the issues being discussed in the coming months, but we need your input as to what is important for Illinois psychiatrists and our patients. Also, if there is an issue occurring in Illinois that has not arisen yet in other states, we need to hear about this from you to address it. Please let us know before the virtual Fall Assembly meets nationally on November 5th-6th.
Your delegates also represent you at the Area 4 Council meetings. This is a group of regional delegates from twelve states (essentially from the Midwest) that meet to discuss what is going on in the region, as well as Assembly business. There are seven area councils in the Assembly. They meet three to four times yearly at the Spring and Fall Assembly meetings and also separately in the regions.
The most recent Area 4 Council meeting was in Cleveland on August 12th and 13th. There we discussed the importance, now more than ever, of reaching out to members for input on matters of importance to them in psychiatry. Also at that meeting we learned of efforts to ensure patient safety in the region, with the increasing efforts in several States to expand psychotropic prescriptive authority. At our meeting in Cleveland the need to advocate with our local legislators was discussed. It is important for legislators to hear from their constituent psychiatrists, at both the state and federal levels, about our concerns. We also reviewed in Cleveland the need to engage medical students, residents, fellows and early career psychiatrists in both district and APA activites.
Our area is especially interested in hosting virtual events of relevance to the region. The next one will focus on the challenges RFMs face in the transition from residency to early career and practice. It is being planned virtually for the morning of Saturday, December 10th and we are hoping for a good turnout from RFMs in Illinois.
We will be updating you in the future with articles in Mind Matters as well as emails about issues at our state, regional and national level.
However, we need to hear from you. 
What are your concerns? 
What is affecting your practice of psychiatry in Illinois? 
How can we represent you at the regional and the national stage?
Let us know.
We want to represent you.

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