Being an effective Area 6 Trustee is like being a good cook - it takes more than following a recipe.
I know what members want and need from their membership in the APA.
From long experience - with District Branches, State Associations, and the APA itself - I know how to get it done, either through existing channels or, when necessary, by effectively challenging the system.
I am a tireless advocate for members. I'm not afraid of taking a controversial stand in my advocacy for members.
How the APA is constituted and how it works (or doesn't) is complex. Still have questions? Contact me... If I don't know the answer, I can find someone who does! Click here
Who Runs the APA?
The best known of APA’s leadership groups are the Board of Trustees and the Assembly. Less well known, but equally important, are the Councils and their components and the Joint Reference Committee. Together, these are the primary bodies of member-leaders within the APA.
The Board of Trustees The APA is “run” by its Board of Trustees, as are all nonprofit corporations. The primary function of the Board is management of the affairs of the APA, plus formulation and implementation of its policies. Board members include the APA’s four nationally elected officers (President [who chairs the Board], President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary), three Immediate Past Presidents, Speaker and Speaker-Elect of the Assembly, one Trustee elected at-large and ten members elected from member or constituency groups (a member is elected from each of the seven geographic Areas that comprise the APA, from the Resident-Fellow Members, the Early Career Psychiatrists and the Minority and Underrepresented Caucuses). Others who attend Board meetings and have a voice but no vote include Past Presidents elected prior to 2000, the Resident-Fellow Member Trustee-Elect, and a representative each from the American Psychiatric Leadership Fellows, the APA/SAMHSA or Diversity Fellows and the APA Public Psychiatry Fellows. The Board meets four to six times a year, more frequently when necessary, while its work groups, task forces and committees meet throughout the year. While many members of the Board of Trustees are elected from groups of members or constituency groups, each and every member of the Board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the entire APA and does not specifically represent the group of members from which he or she was elected.
The APA has eight standing committees, all reporting to the Board. These committees include Bylaws, Elections, Ethics, Finance and Budget, Membership, Nominating, Tellers and the Joint Reference Committee. The President-Elect appoints most committee members, filling vacancies as they arise when another member’s term ends; new appointees’ terms begin when the President-Elect becomes President. Most appointments are for a two or three year term with one additional term permitted. (The Joint Reference Committee follows a different set of rules, to be described later.)
The Assembly (formerly called the “Assembly of District Branches”) represents and serves the needs of the APA’s 72 District Branches and 2 State Associations as well as other groups of members within the APA, including Resident-Fellow Members, Early Career Psychiatrists, Minority and Underrepresented Caucuses, Allied Organizations (other membership organizations representing psychiatrists which meet certain membership criteria) and APA Sections. It is a deliberative body that recommends actions to the Board of Trustees. Unlike members of the Board of Trustees, Assembly members do represent the constituencies that elect them. To assure diversity of thoughts and ideas, members of the Assembly are selected regionally and by special groups identified by the Assembly as representing the diversity of the membership of the APA. The Assembly customarily meets twice a year, in November and May, with active work groups, task forces and committees meeting throughout the year.
Councils and Components
Councils are composed of APA members selected for their expertise in subjects of importance to the APA. Each Council member serves a three-year term and may be eligible for two additional reappointments. Appointments are made by the President-Elect with each member’s term commencing when the President-Elect becomes President. Councils meet in-person at the annual Fall Components Meeting and at the APA Annual Meeting in May, and electronically throughout the year, as needed. They provide expertise in their area of interest, reporting to the Board, the Assembly, other Councils, and staff. Councils consider ideas for publications and may author manuscripts, write Position Statements and resource documents in their area of expertise, develop newsletter articles and news releases, brochures or fact sheets, develop and present scientific programs, develop model legislation, and collaborate with allied professional organizations within their field of expertise.
The 13 APA Councils are Addiction Psychiatry; Advocacy and Government Relations; Children, Adolescents and their Families; Communications; Geriatric Psychiatry; Healthcare Systems and Financing; Medical Education and Lifelong Learning, Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities; Psychiatry and Law; Psychosomatic Medicine; Research; and Quality Care; each may have one or more component committee, task force, etc.
Joint Reference Committee (JRC) The Joint Reference Committee sits at the center of the APA’s bodies of member-leaders, serving as a clearinghouse for items and information between the Board and/or Assembly and the Councils and oversees, monitors and evaluates the functioning of Councils. While it is a committee that reports to the Board, it occupies a unique position in the structure of the APA; it can consider the merits of an item brought forward by a Council, component or the Assembly, reach a conclusion and act without further reference to other APA components, the Board or the Assembly.
Unlike other Committees of the APA, the JRC’s composition is defined by the Operations Manual and includes three Board members (the President-Elect, serving as chair, the Secretary of the APA, and one additional Board member), three members of the Assembly (the Speaker-Elect who service as Vice-Chair, the Immediate Past Speaker, and the Recorder]), and the CEO/Medical Director. The JRC meets in person three times per year, with electronic meetings as necessary.