Arizona Psychiatric Society thanks its corporate sponsors for supporting behavioral health education and programs in our community.


Fall 2017 Newsletter features emerging data on the opioid crisis, updates from the APA and Area Assembly, and a variety of Society events and accomplishments.  With POTUS Trump's recent declaration of the opioid crisis being a public health emergency, the Fall Newsletter shares a similar focus. Meet a fellow APS member, Dr. Elena Volfson, Addiction Psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, and learn of her impressive career highlights. Dr. Michel Sucher discusses medication-assisted treatment and reminds us of the recent Arizona mandate on checking a patient's PMP report prior to prescribing certain controlled substances. Haley Coles, executive director of Sonoran Prevention Works, discusses their strategic partnerships within the Valley in an effort to promote harm reduction in the opioid crisis directly effecting our population.  Thanks to APS members for their active voices on health care reform and we report on some key efforts made through physician groups and Arizona legislators. We include a call to action to extend CHIP (KidsCare) in Arizona and an invitation for those interested in impacting advocacy by serving as a key contact with Arizona legislators to serve as Congressional Advocacy Network delegates.  Highlights and a full report from Dr. Mona Amini and Dr. Payam Sadr's visit to Vancouver, BC for the Area 7 Assembly meeting are provided. Dr. Espinoza reports from his summer meeting in Las Vegas on Dementia, and the potential traumatic effects of brain trauma.  
Summer 2017 Newsletter focuses on the many efforts to ensure access to care through legislative and policy efforts and celebrates the accomplishments of our members.  In this edition, we meet Dr. Joseph Bloom, a forensic psychiatrist from Oregon now making his home in Arizona, who brings with him a passion for understanding the Arizona commitment laws, and whose exemplary contributions to forensic psychiatry were recognized at the APA Annual Meeting with the Isaac Ray Award. We celebrate highlights from the APA Annual Meeting, including the two newest Arizona Distinguished Fellows, Dr. Marcelle Leet and Dr. Roland Segal; the contributions of Arizona Assembly Representatives Drs. Payam Sadr and Jasleen Chhatwal; and Dr. Mona Amini discussing health care legislation with U.S. Representative Tim Murphy at the Presidential Reception. Dr. Espinoza shares the educational highlights from the INES Annual Meeting. We celebrate APS Lobbyist, Joseph Abate, being awarded the Maricopa County Republican Party Lincoln Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by US Congressman David Schweikert. Photograph highlights from the APS Annual Meeting awards, among them, Dr. Jehangir (Jay) Boman Bastani receiving the Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award, and Dr. Ron Wright from University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson receiving the Howard E. Wulsin Excellence in Education Award. More photos from the APS Annual Meeting and recognition of both our physician and RFM poster presenters.  Dawn Noggle continues updates on Arizona's participation in the Step Up Together initiative with the great news that Arizona celebrates being the first state to have 100% participation by County and the Step Up Together Arizona Summit is set for August.  Lastly, Dr. Robin Reesal shares a poignant editorial, this time focusing on the abuse of women around the world. 
Spring 2017 Newsletter celebrates our members and the advocacy work in our community.  The Women’s Group shares photo highlights from their celebrated spring event at the Phoenician for Afternoon Tea hosted by American Professional Agency, Inc., the APA-endorsed malpractice carrier. The Mental Health America Hall of Fame Ceremony honoring attorney Chick Arnold is highlighted, with members of the APS supporting this long-famed member of the behavioral health community.  We also meet Dr. Alicia Cowdrey, an early-career psychiatrist who leads MIHS' First Response Center treating first-episode psychosis. We include Dr. Noggle's comprehensive update on the "Step Up Arizona" initiative and many other happenings in the behavioral health community, a report from APS Lobbyist Joseph F. Abate, a report from Area 7 Assembly, photo highlights for Doctor of the Day, and other legislative updates including what psychiatrists may do to enforce parity.  Our newest APA Life Members as well as the distinguished 50-year Members of the APA/APS are listed. Dr. Espinoza, for continuing medical education, reports from the famed Nevada Psychopharmacology Conference, and to Dr. Reesal, for the global perspective on psychiatry, reports on human trafficking.  Resident-Fellow Members celebrate their community connection with the NAMI Southern Arizona Walk, and we feature an advocacy piece from the Southern California Psychiatric Society, penned by Arizona-trained ECP, Dr. Matt Goldenberg. 

Winter 2016-2017 Newsletter highlights diversity with a contributed article from Benjamin Walker, Austin PrEP Access, on HIV Prevention Medication and Mental Health: How PrEP Impacts Gay and Bisexual Men; information on how to join a Minority or Underrepresented Caucus of the APA; and a story celebrating Dr. Jeffrey Akaka, Hawaiian Physician of the Year 2016, and his family's historical connection to the flower leis worn by the marchers on Selma in 1965.  The Newsletter features a profile by Dr. Adam Graff, the Nathan Avery Physician of the Year for 2016.  Dawn Noggle provides a timely installment on the advancement of the Stepping Up Initiative in Arizona, which driven to help reduce individuals with mental illness in Arizona's jail system.  Dr. Bastani, Ethics Chair, reports from the 2016 APA Ethics Workshop featuring Dr. Glen Gabbard on social media and the practice of psychiatry.  Global psychiatrist, Dr. Robin Reesal, provides a glimpse of life in Liberia.  We share in the celebration of the newest Distinguished Fellows and Fellows of the APA; the opening of MIHS First Episode Center at Desert Vista Mesa; and thanks and photos from the Women's Group Fall Event hosted by Valley Hospital - Phoenix; Integrated Care Training hosted at University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix; and RFM Poster presenters at the Integrated Care training. 

Fall 2016 Newsletter highlights women's health and women in psychiatry, with a contributed article by Dr. Saira Kalia on Perinatal Anxiety Disorders: The Deserted Distressed; a member profile of the Past President of the APS; and a report from the AHCCCS Pharmaceuticals and Therapeutics Committee hearing, featuring testimony from Dr. Carol Olson.  The edition features news of the IMHR Phoenix Epicenter grand opening, photographs from the Pharmacogenomics dinner events in Tucson and Phoenix, news of the 12th Annual NAMI Valley Walk, report from Cleveland Clinic Breakthroughs in Neuro-Cognitive Disorders (ISEN) from Dr. Brian Espinoza, and Social Media and Mental Health contribution from Dr. Robin Reesal.  

Summer 2016 Newsletter highlights collaborative care, with a feature on integrating physician and behavioral health information for better patient care from Melissa A. Kotrys, CEO of Arizona Health-e Connection; and a global look at collaborative care from Robin Reesal, MD, currently practicing psychiatry in Liberia; and further updates information on the ongoing efforts for improved processes and services for the mentally ill in the criminal justice system, with a report from Dawn Noggle, MHD of Maricopa County Correctional Health Services, on the Stepping Up Initiative national summit; recognizes the award recipients from the APS 2016 Annual Meeting, the newest Distinguished Fellows of the APA from Arizona, Dr. Jack Potts (Step Up Arizona's Outstanding Forensic Psychiatry and Community Advocacy Award recipient); profile by Dr. Devna Rastogi, Howard E. Wulsin Excellence in Education award recipient for 2016; reports from APS Lobbyist Joseph F. Abate, Esq. on 2016 Health Care Legislation, Drs. Marwah and Sadr on APA Assembly, and Drs. Espinoza and Segal on ArMA House of Delegates; shares photos from the Women's Group Kick-Off Event sponsored by Meadows Behavioral Healthcare and the RFM Mixer at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting; and provides information on current events and education.
Spring 2016 Newsletter:  The APS Spring 2016 Newsletter features advocacy-related articles, including an important update from the Arizona Medical Association; the Health Care Legislative Report from APS Lobbyist Joseph F. Abate, Esq.; Meet Fellow APS Member Dr. Carol Olson, APS Legislative Chair; an introduction to Tim Miller, APA Regional Field Director, State Government Affairs; and an article by Mary Lou Brncik, the Director and Founder of David's Hope shares a message of hope and commitment to reform for the treatment of mentally ill in the criminal justice system, promoting the Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition, of which APS is an endorser, and highlighting the important event, Step Up Arizona 2016.
Winter 2015 Newsletter:  The APS Winter Newsletter features the topic of addiction psychiatry, including "Treating Substance Related Disorders in Veterans," by Carlos J. Carrera, MD, DLFAPA; "New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) or 'Designer Drugs,'" co-authored by Tariq Ghafoor, MD and Bahoo Ghafoor, MS-IV; and "Bridges to Recovery," by Michael A. Sucher, MD, FASAM, FACEP, originally published in the Maricopa County Medical Society Round-up Magazine, Volume 61, October 2015.  
Fall 2015 Newsletter:  The APS Fall Newsletter features an important article from Dr. Ole Thienhaus, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine, discussomg the change in view of correctional psychiatry from a last resort to its own field of study.   Dr. Reesal continues to provide us with a global perspective on various aspects of mental health with an article on the global perspective of violence. We highlight the efforts of the Stepping Up Initiative to fight the criminalization of mental illness and the local NAMI Valley Walk (October 17, 2015).  
Summer 2015 Newsletter:  The APS Summer Newsletter celebrates the APS and APA Annual Meetings and reports on the distinctions awarded at each to APS members.  Dr. Nicholas Breitborde from EPICENTER in Tucson, Arizona writes a follow-up article to his presentation at the APS Annual Meeting highlighting early intervention services in Arizona and the Phoenix site in the works.  Dr. Stuart Twemlow also expands upon his presentation at the APS Annual Meeting on "Adolescents Who Threaten Homicide and Other Violence in Schools and Their Victims" with an insightful Question & Answer session.  Barry Morenz, MD, DFAPA of the University of Arizona pens a personal profile that shines a light on some of the many reasons he was chosen as the recipient of the 2015 Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award.  Community organization, Mental Health America Arizona, and its May gala celebrating Mentally Ill Kids in Distress is featured as well.  
Spring 2015 Newsletter:  The APS Spring 2015 Newsletter highlights two types of therapy to enhance the treatment of patients experiencing trauma: an article by Medical Anthropologist Giulia Nervo and Art Therapist Viateur Munderere on the use of clay therapy in Rwanda, as well as an article about Gabriel's Angels, providing pet therapy for at-risk children in Arizona.  
Winter 2014 Newsletter:  The APS Winter 2014 Newsletter highlights cultural diversity in psychiatry and includes articles from Dr. Mohamed Ramadan, Medical Director of Mohave Mental Health Clinic, "Makers and Takers:  A New Progressive Look," which challenges us to make a paradigm shift in the culture of psychiatry by investing in preventive mental health care.  Diana Yazzie Devine, President and CEO of Native American Connections, delineates that organization's history and service to the Native American community in the Phoenix area, and Drs. Sandra Combs, PGY-4, and Amelia Villagomez, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine, UAHN - South Campus, provide insightful information on cultural perspectives in providing psychiatric care to the Latino population.  From Rwanda, APS Member Dr. Robin Reesal shares his thoughts on Global Health and Cross Cultural Psychiatry and the intertwined nature of cross-cultural psychiatry and global mental health.  
Fall 2014 Newsletter:  This Newsletter includes highlights of the various avenues through which the Society, its members, and the community advocate for the highest quality care for individuals with mental disorders and their families and work to reduce the stigma relating to mental health issues, including an informational article relating the medical harms of marijuana; a community spotlight on the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona and its 15th CPSA Community Mental Health Arts Show; introducing APS member Dr. Ankur Bindal, practicing community psychiatry in Yuma as part of a giving back program; and a second installment on integrated care risk management issues from Allied World, affiliated with American Professional Agency, Inc.
Summer 2014 Newsletter:   This Newsletter features updates on integrated care and reports from the Arizona Psychiatric Society Annual Meeting, the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting (a resident's perspective), the APA Assembly at the Annual Meeting, the INES Annual Meeting NYC, the ArMA House of Delegates, as well as an opportunity to celebrate the awards and accomplishments of fellow APS Members from these meetings.  David J. Coons, MD, DLFAPA, first recipient of the Arizona Psychiatric Society Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award, is the subject of the Meet Your Fellow APS Member Feature, where Dr. Coons reflects on his career and what this distinction means to him personally.  Important information regarding when you need prior patient authorization when communicating protected health information is in the integrated care risk management feature from AWAC Services Company, member of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG (Allied World is the APA-endorsed carrier through its strategic alliance with American Professional Agency, Inc.).  
Spring 2014 Newsletter:  This Newsletter features the topics on a transcultural psychiatry theme, with contributions from Dr. Hammerschlag on the transgenerational resilience of Native Americans, and Dr. Daniel Conrad sharing the perspective of his meaningful work as a child and adolescent psychiatrist on the Navajo Nation.  The Newsletter also features updates on Arizona mental health issues with an informative article reprinted from the Mental Health American Arizona Newsletter on the final RHBA transition in Maricopa County, and a personal reflection from Charles Arnold, Esq., the primary named-Plaintiff in Arnold vs. Sarn, regarding his years of hard work and perseverance and the resulting settlement and the future ahead.  
Winter 2013 Newsletter:  This Newsletter features the topics of child and adolescent psychiatry and smoking cessation, including articles on the utility of neuropsychological and psychological testing, DSM-5 and eligibility for services from the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities, a Resident-Fellow Member article on nicotine dependence and smoking cessation, and information regarding ASHLine, a free quit tobacco program in the State of Arizona. 
Fall 2013 Newsletter:  This Newsletter features the topic of ethics and includes some noteworthy contributions, including an article from Arizona Psychiatric Society Resident-Fellow member on the ethical issues encountered in his correctional institution psychiatric rotation; an article from the Early Career Physicians Co-Chair on what is ethics; and the reflection on the psychiatric residency rotation years from 1955 to 1961 by a Life Member of the Society.

Summer 2013 NewsletterThis Newsletter includes a special feature on wellness and mental health, with several feature articles, including an article from Mercy Care Plan; member profile from Dr. Negri, including information on Health for a Lifetime; an article regarding the importance of treating perinatal mood disorders; and a resident perspective on community psychiatry; reports from the 2013 ArMA House of Delegates, from the APA Annual Meeting Assembly; and updates on events, including DSM-5 Workshops in each of Phoenix and Tucson, and important reminders to APS members regarding the opportunities for fellowship and the membership renewal cycle.  For a printable version of the Summer Newsletter, click here

Spring 2013 NewsletterThis Newsletter includes a special feature on psychotherapy, with several feature articles; and updates on parity reporting and CPT Coding for the benefit of APS members.  

Winter 2012 Newsletter:  This Newsletter includes important updates on psychologists prescribing efforts, community advocacy, NAMI Arizona, health care updates, and a member article on CPT Coding. 


Fall 2012 NewsletterThis Newsletter includes a special feature on the Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI). 

Announcement of Newest Arizona Psychiatric Society Distinguished Fellows and Fellows of the APA
American Psychiatric Association has elected the following Arizona Psychiatric Society members to the status of Distinguished Fellow of the APA. 

Joel Edward Parker MD DFAPA
Cynthia M Stonnington MD DFAPA
Monica J Taylor-Desir MD DFAPA
Karen L Weihs MD DFAPA
Rodgers McKinley Wilson MD DFAPA

Joel Edward Parker, MD DFAPA
Cynthia M. Stonnington, MD DFAPA
Monica J. Taylor-Desir, MD DFAPA
Karen L. Weihs, MD DFAPA
Rodgers McKinley Wilson, MD DFAPA

Joel Edward Parker, MD DFAPA

Cynthia M Stonnington MD DFAPA
Monica J Taylor-Desir MD DFAPA
Karen L Weihs MD DFAPA
Rodgers McKinley Wilson MD DFAPA
These Distinguished Fellows will be honored at the APA Annual Meeting in May with a President's Reception and a Convocation of Distinguished Fellows.
In addition, the following members of the Arizona Psychiatric Society were approved for Fellow status by the APA, and these Fellows will be honored during the Convocation ceremony in May:

Margaret E. Balfour, PhD MD FAPA
LaDan Goble, MD FAPA
Leticia G. Jacinto, MD FAPA
Joanna K. Kowalik, MD MPH FAPA
Steven Kwoh, MD FAPA
Randall Kenneth Ricardi, DO FAPA
Jerry J. Thomas, MD FAPA
Houshang Aminian, MD LFAPA
Houshang Semino, MD LFAPA

On behalf of the entire membership of the Arizona Psychiatric Society, we congratulate these newest Distinguished Fellow and Fellows of the APA on their distinguished careers and thank them for their continued support and membership in the APA and our Society. We would also like to recognize the extra efforts of the Dr. Jehangir (Jay) Bastani, Arizona Representative to the Assembly, as a champion of these deserved recognitions, and would also like to recognize and thank the many Distinguished Fellow members in the Society who provided letters of support.   




Nominations for Distinguished Fellow must be submitted through the District Branch.  If you are interested in more in formation on the requirements, please visit or contact the APS administrative office (, 602-347-6903).  Distinguished Fellow nominations for recognition at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting are due to be submitted to the APA on or before July 1, 2016; Fellow nominations are due on or before September 1, 2016.   

The following members of the Arizona Psychiatric Society will be recognized by the APA for reaching the following Life membership status (at the May 2016 APA Annual Meeting):


Ann Negri, MD DLFAPA
Glenn Lippman, MD DLFAPA
Aimee Schwartz, MD DLFAPA
Michael Howard Stumpf, MD DLFAPA
Pamela Anne Pappas, MD LFAPA
Edward Michael Gentile, DO LFAPA
Kevin A. Stahl, MD LAPA
Mavis Joan Donnelly, MD PC LAPA
Michael Mahl, MD LAPA

Of special note, we recognize the following members who achieved the pinnacle of 50-Year Members in the APA as of January 2016: 

Emanuel C Wolff MD DLFAPA
Howard E Wulsin MD DLFAPA
James M Pedigo MD LAPA

These members will be acknowledged in the Convocation at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting.
Ole J. Thienhaus, MD, DLFAPA - Distinguished Life Fellow
Jeffrey L. Schwimmer, MD, MPH, DLFAPA - Distinguished Life Fellow
Kevin J. Leehey, MD, DLFAPA - Distinguished Life Fellow
Bernard Martin Morenz, MD, DLFAPA - Distinguished Life Fellow
John V. Scialli, MD, DLFAPA - Distinguished Life Fellow
Carlos J. Carrera, MD, DLFAPA - Distinguished Life Fellow
Stephen Owens Morris, MD, LFAPA - Life Fellow
Peggy Anne Finston, MD - Life Member
Thomas J. Gaughan, MD - Life Member
Robert L. Winsky, MD - Life Member
Frederick C. Green, MD - Life Member
Pamela M. Powers, MD - Life Member
Ewa Szafraniec, MD - Life Member
Of special note, we recognize the following members who achieved the pinnacle of 50-Year Members in the APA as of January 2015: 
Marshall W. Jones, MD - 50 Year Member
Joe W. King, MD - 50 Year Member
Richard J. Schaeffer, MD - 50 Year Member
Carl S. Wellish, MD - 50 Year Member
These members will be acknowledged in the Convocation at the 2015 APA Annual Meeting. 

We recognize these fellow members for their years of dedicated service to the APA and the Society and to their contributions to the field of psychiatry and the enrichment of our mental health community.