President's Message
Don J. Fowls, MD, President
Arizona Psychiatric Society

I hope you all are safe and doing as well as possible during these very challenging times. The Arizona Psychiatric Society has been actively involved with other associations and organizations in our community, trying to do whatever we can to help those in need. Some of you have volunteered to provide mental health services to Arizona residents, health care workers and first responders. This process is being organized by crisis providers in our State, most notably the Crisis Response Network, which handles crisis calls for Central and Northern regions of the State.

We have also provided significant input and suggestions to the Governor’s Office, our State senators and congressional representatives, ADHS, AHCCCS, and DES from our unique perspective as psychiatrists and leaders in healthcare. We are very concerned about the rising need for behavioral health services as people have been isolated and are working with these entities and others to address this need. Through his Executive Orders, the Governor has been very supportive of providing care via telehealth, and there are good indications this will continue beyond the crisis. 

Governor Ducey has also been very supportive of parity in Arizona and strongly endorsed Jake’s Law, the parity bill which passed this past Legislative session. This was a tremendous victory for our profession for sure. But the cause is not over, work remains to be done, and we must do what we can to ensure the law’s implementation and compliance. Some of us at APS have been working together and with our colleagues at the national APA office developing a strategy and action plan for this year and next. More information will be provided as we proceed.

Turning attention to our Annual Meeting, it is unfortunate we are unable to meet in May. The event has always been well attended and given us an opportunity to not only learn from excellent speakers but to spend truly good time with each other. I know I have missed that, and I believe many of you probably have as well. 

We do have some updates about the Annual Meeting, and these are provided below. I hope we are able to see each other soon, but in the meantime please do all you can to safe and be well. And as leaders, always remember, as you do so well, to be kind and provide a great example of people treating people well. We are indeed all in this together – and to do what we all can to make it better.

All my best,

Annual Meeting New Date: October 2-3, 2020
The Arizona Psychiatric Society leadership has carefully considered the health and safety of our members, the fiduciary responsibility of our organization, and the continued risks of COVID-19 exposures, and has decided, for the health and welfare of our members and community, to postpone the 2020 Annual Meeting to Saturday, October 3, 2020 (for the educational sessions, with Posters, Awards, and Business Meeting in the evening on Friday, October 2, 2020) and to host the meeting in a virtual setting. The health and safety of our members remains the driving consideration in adapting this meeting from a live event, and we are hopeful that the Society will return to gathering together in person for its 2021 Spring Annual Meeting.

Please save the dates of October 2-3, 2020, and plan to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home. Our invited faculty have been very flexible about these changes and have indicated each are available to support this change in schedule. The Agenda for October 2-3, 2020 is included here.

As we adapt to bring these noted speakers and current topics to you in an online setting, we are excited about the education and insights to be shared. We thank you for your support and flexibility in supporting the 2020 Annual Meeting.
Nominating Slate for 2020-2021
The Annual Meeting of the Arizona Psychiatric Society, including the election of officers, will be held on October 2, 2020. To support the Arizona Psychiatric Society through to that date, the 2019-2020 executive officers have agreed to serve an extended term. The Nominating Committee thanks these executive officers for their support, and thanks the following members who have accepted the invitation to be the nominating slate for 2020-2021:
President: Jasleen Chhatwal, MD
President-Elect: Jasleen Chhatwal, MD*
Vice President: Maya Heck, MD
Treasurer: Stephen (Larry) Mecham, MD
Secretary: Yazhini Srivasthal, MD

Co Resident-Fellow Member Representatives:
Nathan Jones, MD (UACOM – Phoenix),
Alexandria (Lexi) Erickson, DO (Creighton University School of Medicine Maricopa Medical Center (Phoenix) ), and
Ramsha Rao, MD (UACOM - Tucson)

APA Assembly Representatives:
Gurjot Marwah, MD (Term through 2022),
Jason Curry, DO (Term through 2021), and
Gretchen Alexander, MD (Term through 2021)**

*To maintain a continuity of leadership through COVID-19 and to 2022, Jasleen Chhatwal, MD has accepted the invitation to serve through close of the Arizona Psychiatric Society Annual Meeting in 2022.  Terms of office for the other executive officer Arizona positions begin at the close of the Arizona Psychiatric Society Annual Meeting (as the 2020 APA Annual Meeting did not occur) and end at the close of the 2021 Annual APA Meeting (May 2021).

**The elected Arizona APA Assembly Representatives positions are served in staggered two-year terms. The term of Jason Curry, DO (elected in 2019) will continue through the close of the 2021 APA Annual Meeting (May 2021). The term of Gurjot Marwah, MD (newly nominated) will continue through the close of the 2022 APA Annual Meeting (May 2022).

The membership of the Arizona Psychiatric Society as of December 31, 2019 resulted in the allocation of a third Arizona APA Assembly Representative, for a one-year term beginning May 2020 through the close of the 2021 APA Annual Meeting. Gretchen Alexander, MD accepted the invitation to serve for this one-year term.
Call for Career Achievement Nomination
Deadline extended for Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award
The Annual Meeting is also our opportunity to celebrate the best among us, and we invite you to submit a nomination for the Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award. We have extended the submission deadline for this award to August 1, 2020. Established in 2014, this annual award has been created for the purpose of recognizing from within the Arizona Psychiatric Society a member whose career achievements have ennobled the profession of psychiatry and best exemplify the APS values of providing compassionate patient care and support of peers, leadership, community service, education, advocacy, and clinical excellence. Information about the criteria for the award is available here. Submissions may be made directly to

Past recipients of the Career Achievement in Psychiatry Award are: David J. Coons, MD, DLFAPA, 2014; Barry Morenz, MD, DFAPA, 2015; Martin B. Kassell, MD, DLFAPA, 2016; and Jehangir “Jay” Boman Bastani, MD, DLFAPA, 2017; Michael Edward Brennan, MD, DLFAPA, 2018; and William C. Offenkrantz, MD, DLFAPA, 2019.
Yukari Kawamoto, MD Memorial Poster Session
The Arizona Psychiatric Society invites all Arizona resident-fellow members and medical students to submit an abstract for consideration for a judged and scholarshipped poster Powerpoint presentation, and all psychiatric physicians to submit an abstract for consideration for a peer juried poster Powerpoint presentation as part of the Arizona Psychiatric Society 2020 Annual Meeting.  Please review the APS Resident-Fellow and Medical Student Poster Guidelines for complete information regarding participation and prizes and the APS Psychiatric Physician Peer Poster Guidelines for complete information regarding participation.

Visit the submission link at:

and provide the requested authorship information and submit your abstract of 3000 characters or less (including spaces). The submission deadline is midnight on August 15, 2020. We welcome all to present their best work from recent meetings or preview new work. Upon acceptance of an abstract, the Society will schedule poster Powerpoint presentation times with the authors. Results of the judged or juried presentations will be presented at the Arizona Psychiatric Society Annual Meeting Awards on October 4, 2020.
Thank you to our Annual Sponsors
The Arizona Psychiatric Society would like to thank our Premium Annual Corporate Sponsors for their support of the Society's programs, member support, and outreach throughout the year, including the Annual Meeting.

For more information about these Premium Annual Corporate Sponsors and their mobilization of resources around COVID-19, click on the banner advertisement below.