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Saul M. Levin, M.D., M.P.A., is the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Chair of the APA Foundation Board of Directors, and Clinical Professor at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Saul M. Levin, M.D., M.P.A., is the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Prior to assuming this role in October 2013, Dr. Levin led the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH). There, Dr. Levin was responsible for the health of the nation’s capital, including the primary care for everyone from infants to seniors on Medicaid and Medicare, DC-funded health care, HIV/AIDS, addictions, health professional licensing and regulation, policy, and planning. He was also responsible for health emergency preparedness, planning, and coordination alongside dozens of federal and local agencies—ensuring the public’s good health during major events such as President Obama’s second inauguration. Moreover, he promoted the development of a citywide health information exchange that connects health care providers, shares critical information to promote patient care, tracks outcomes, prepares for disasters, and provides for public health surveillance.
Dr. Levin also served on the D.C. Health Exchange Board and chaired the Essential Health Benefits Package Subcommittee, where he successfully led the effort to ensure that residents of the District of Columbia had access to a full range of substance abuse and mental health services. He also co-chaired the committee that oversaw the integration of substance abuse and mental health services into the new Department of Behavioral Health.
In 2012, Dr. Levin served briefly as Senior Deputy Director of DOH’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration. During his tenure, Dr. Levin promoted substance abuse prevention efforts in all eight wards of the city through the work of the Prevention and Access to Recovery teams, including implementation of over $20 million in federal grants for services, assessed and referred an increasing number of individuals into treatment services, and connected more clients to recovery support services.
Dr. Levin has long been involved in organized medicine and psychiatry. He served as Vice President for Science, Medicine, and Public Health at the American Medical Association. As VP, he oversaw programs related to evolving health delivery systems, such as in the areas of prevention and health care disparities. He also led efforts to improve the interface between clinical medicine and public health.
Among other positions Dr. Levin has held includes serving as a special expert appointee in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he led the initiative to integrate primary care, substance abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS response. While serving as President for Access Consulting International Inc., he worked with federal, state, and local governments and private companies to provide health policy, program, and research and evaluation services.
He is a former President and CEO of Medical Education for South African Blacks, an anti-apartheid education trust that provided scholarships to South African black students in health care. He helped award more than 11,000 scholarships to students studying to become physicians, nurses, substance abuse counselors, and other health care professionals.
In 1982, Dr. Levin received his M.B.B.Ch. (M.D.) from the University Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. In 1994, he received his master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians – Edinburgh, and Clinical Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington DC.
Dr. Gabrielle Shapiro is an Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health Systems. She is a Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Dr. Shapiro’s clinical focus is in depression, Adjustment Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder.
Dr. Shapiro is very involved in the Medical Society of the State of New York, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the New York Psychiatric Society on advocacy issues for physicians affiliated with Mount Sinai Health Systems. She served as Secretary Treasurer of the Assembly of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 2010-2011.
After earning her Bachelors in Psychology from Vassar College, Dr. Shapiro received her medical degree from New York Medical College. She completed an internship in Psychiatry at University of California, Irvine and her residency at University of California, San Diego. This was followed by a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Children’s Hospital & Health Center of San Diego (now Rady Children’s Hospital).
Dr. Lama Bazzi completed her training in adult psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. She then pursued further training in Forensic Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. During her fellowship she developed an interest in the role a forensic expert plays in educating judges and lawyers on the complexities of mental illness.
Dr. Bazzi then moved back to the New York area where she served as the Director of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment program in Suffolk County It was in this capacity that she evaluated, treated, and testified on hundreds of cases involving respondents with extensive criminal histories, co-occurring substance use disorders, and severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Bazzi currently serves as the Inpatient Unit Director at Maimonides Medical Center, a Community Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, New York. She works as a Forensic Psychiatrist, where she serves as a court appointed expert in civil and criminal cases.
In addition, she is a Medical Review Officer and treats patients with Substance Use Disorders. Dr. Bazzi serves as an expert witness in several courts in New York City, as well as in federal and national cases. Dr. Bazzi has been active in the American Psychiatric Association since she was a resident. She served as an APA Leadership Fellow and sat on the Council for Psychiatry and the Law as well as the Board of Trustees as a nonvoting member during that time. She served a three-year term as the APA Early Career Psychiatry Trustee at Large. She is passionate about advocacy, education, increasing awareness, and improving the relationships between the justice system and the mental health system to better serve patients.
Gregory W. Dalack is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He began work at the University of Michigan in 1992 and served in a variety of leadership roles in the Mental Health Service at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System through 2005.
From 2005-2016, he was Associate Chair for Education and Academic Affairs for the Department of Psychiatry, from 2006-2007, he was Vice Chair of the department, then served as Interim Chair until his appointment as Chair in 2010.
Dr. Dalack has had research interests in the treatment of chronic and persistent mental illnesses, particularly focusing on schizophrenia. He has conducted studies examining nicotine addiction and smoking cessation interventions in schizophrenia, health behaviors in schizophrenia, and metabolic effects of second-generation antipsychotic medications in severe mental illness. More recently, he has been involved in developing collaborative care programs to provide psychiatric and behavioral health expertise within primary care clinics at UMHS, the local community, and throughout the State of Michigan.
Dr. Dalack received his B.S. in Chemistry at Yale University, and received his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He completed his internship in Medicine at the Presbyterian Hospital in the City of New York and his Psychiatry Residency at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI). Also at Columbia and NYSPI, he completed a fellowship in Psychopharmacology.
Dr. Dalack previously served on the APA Council on Quality Care, chaired the APA Workgroup to Establish a Psychiatry Registry (2014-2015), and serves on the APA Registry Oversight Committee (2016-present).
Nicole Del Castillo, M.D., M.P.H. is the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. She has been involved in various leadership positions locally in Illinois and Iowa as well as nationally through the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP).
Her research and health policy efforts have helped to reduce disparities that prevent underserved populations from receiving needed health services by eliminating the barriers of stigma, enhancing education and improving access. During her General Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Iowa (2009-2014), she was involved in mentoring activities with medical students the CCOM and starting a Cultural Psychiatry Lecture Series for the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Del Castillo is a former APA/APAF SAMHSA Minority Fellow.
Dr. Del Castillo received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and her M.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She also completed a M.P.H. from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University.
Dr. Durham is the Vice Chair of Education, Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center. She is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, the Associate Director for the Global and Local Center for Mental Health Disparities at BUSM/BMC and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at BUSM. She is a Diplomate of the ABPN in the Specialty of Psychiatry and the Subspecialty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
She received her M.D. from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, La., completed her residency training at BMC/BUSM and completed her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut. She received her Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the Emory Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Ga.
Prior to completing her medical education, she worked as the Assistant Director for the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. under the leadership of Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General.
Dr. Durham’s interests lie in advocacy, mental health care integration into the pediatric primary care setting, health disparities among minority populations and training/education. She provides consultation to school based health centers in Boston high schools and is the consulting psychiatrist for the BMC TEAM UP Initiative to bring integrated care to pediatrics in urban based community health centers.
She is involved at the state and national level in the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to improve the standard of care for children and adolescents. For her contributions and dedication to the field of psychiatry, Dr. Durham has been appointed a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
Eleni Greenwood Jaswa, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.O.G., received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with Distinction from Stanford University simultaneously in 2007. She worked briefly as a healthcare investment banking analyst before attending medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, where she received numerous awards for academic excellence.
Dr. Jaswa completed her OB/GYN residency at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), followed by her Fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UCSF, and she now serves on the Faculty at UCSF as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Dr. Jaswa has authored numerous research publications and actively presents her work at national and international conferences. Her research interests include mental health, wellness, fertility preservation, polycystic ovary syndrome, oocyte cryopreservation, and fertility biomarkers. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, and personally enjoys running, travel, drums, biking, and reading about physics and human behavior.
Ray Hsiao, M.D. serves as the Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program & Co-Director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Seattle Children's Hospital. In addition to his responsibilities at Children's, he serves as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Dr. Hsiao is a former President of the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) and received the 2011 American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Leadership Award. He is a current AMA delegate and has helped to start a Paul O’Leary, M.D. (former APA Assembly Speaker) fund through the AMA Foundation. Dr. Hsiao currently serves on the APA Council on Quality Care and is former APA/APAF Minority Fellow (Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship).
Dr. Hsiao received his medical degree from Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He completed his residency at University of Washington and is triple board certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry.
Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, retired from the Supreme Court of Ohio after 23 years in the judiciary to pursue criminal justice reforms, particularly as they relate to mental health, juveniles, and veterans.
She came to the bench by a very different route. Born to missionary parents in Bangkok, Thailand, Stratton spent her childhood in Southeast Asia. She attended boarding school in South Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War and later in Malaysia, visiting America on occasion with her parents. At age 18, she returned to America alone with only a few hundred dollars in her pocket. Working her way through school, she earned a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law.
She began her legal career as a trial lawyer in the courtrooms of Central Ohio. In 1989, she was the first woman to be elected Judge of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, where she became known as “The Velvet Hammer” for her approach to sentencing in serious felony cases. Her success on the trial bench led to an appointment in 1996 to the Supreme Court of Ohio, where she was elected to a third term in 2008. She retired in 2012.
Justice Stratton believes that the courts, in partnership with the mental health system, can affect positive change in the lives of many defendants whose mental illness has led to criminal activity. For 8 years, she and former Attorney General Mike DeWine served as co-chairs of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Mental Illness and Criminal Justice, who are law enforcement and criminal justice professionals dedicated to mental health initiatives in the court system. She has now been appointed to now Governor DeWine’s Ohio Recovery Advisory Council, which will advise the governor on addiction and mental health policy issues.
Nationally, Stratton is a co-founder and former co-chair of the Judges’ Leadership Initiative, a professional association that supports cooperative mental health programs in the criminal justice system. She also works in Ohio and nationally on establishing veteran’s courts, to help those returning veterans with Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and other issues, whose problems may lead to involvement in the criminal justice system. She also currently serves as Ohio’s Project Director of Stepping Up, a national collaborative effort to reduce the number of mentally ill in the jail system and to connect them with mental health and other services.
Since retiring from the bench, she works through EStratton Consulting, LLC on criminal justice reforms. She is also Of Counsel to a major Ohio law firm, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, where she provides trial and appellate guidance to lawyers, using her years of experience on the trial court and Supreme Court of Ohio to assist attorneys and their clients in their litigation matters. She was recently named to the Best Lawyers in American Appellate Division, 2017. Eve is also a member of Vorys’ drone and autonomous vehicle working group, with a focus on government and insurance.
Among her many honors are the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Angels Award, as well as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Adoption Excellence Award.
Additionally, in May 2008, Stratton received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor at a ceremony in New York City. Established in 1986 by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, the Ellis Island Medals of Honor pay tribute to American citizens of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world. Ranking among the nation’s most prestigious awards, recipients are listed in the Congressional Record.
Justice Stratton is the wife of John A. Lundberg III, and the mother of two adult sons. She enjoys painting, Thai cooking, and fly fishing with her husband. But surely her most interesting accomplishment was her first-place finish in a college Stampede Girls Goat Tying Competition — a talent she later put to good use as a trial lawyer.
Edmond H. Pi, M.D. is a Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine. He is also a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at University of California Los Angeles. He previously served as Executive Vice Chair, Associate Chair for Clinical Affairs, and Director of Residency Training Program of the Department of Psychiatry at different medical schools in the U.S.
Dr. Pi is certified in the specialty Board of Psychiatry (1980- ) and Psychosomatic Medicine (2008-2018). Dr. Pi is former Medical Director of the Department of Mental Health (DMH), State of California. Professor Pi is an accomplished researcher in the fields of clinical psychiatry and psychopharmacology, particularly ethnic and cross-cultural aspects.
Dr. Pi is a Distinguished Life Fellow of American Psychiatric Association (APA). He has been very active on both the national and international scenes in organized psychiatry in the past 30 years, including President of the Association of Chinese American Psychiatrists, Vice President and Treasurer of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists, Chairperson of the Committee of Asian American Psychiatrists, Chair of the Minority and Underrepresented (M/UR) Groups, and Member of the Executive Committee of the APA Assembly. Also, Dr. Pi served on the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) of the APA during the past 20 year, including Vice Chair of the SPC of APA's 2019 and 2020 Annual Meetings. He received the SPC Overachiever Award, APA Annual Meeting, 2019. Dr. Pi is an Honorary Fellow of WPA. He served as the Representative for Zone 2 – USA within the WPA Board (2014-2020), most recently, elected to the WPA Executive Board as the Secretary for Scientific Meetings (2020- ). Among his many honors, Dr. PI is the recipient of APA's 2009 Kun-po Soo Award and 2021 George Tarjan Award. Dr. Pi is listed among the Best Doctors in America (Psychiatry) and America’s Top Doctors (Psychiatry).
Monica Taylor-Desir, M.D., M.P.H. is a Senior Associate Consultant with the department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. where she serves as a community psychiatrist for the Olmsted County Assertive Community Treatment Team and as the co-chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology.
Prior to joining Mayo Clinic Dr. Taylor-Desir served as a community psychiatrist for tribal communities for 16 years. Dr. Taylor-Desir graduated from the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine. After completing her psychiatry residency and a fellowship in community psychiatry at Emory University, Dr. Taylor-Desir began her career with the Winslow Indian Health Care Center in Winslow, AZ working with a predominantly Navajo population. This work was through her commitment to the National Health Service Corps as a Scholarship recipient. Dr. Taylor-Desir then moved to Phoenix, Arizona to serve the Salt River PimaMaricopa Indian Community for eight years. She was the first tribally hired psychiatrist and provided outpatient psychiatric care to community members, worked with the crisis team, the Salt River Department of Corrections and the community residential treatment center. She also worked to secure psychiatric care between state and tribal jurisdictions. Dr. Taylor-Desir then moved to New Town, North Dakota to serve the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation for three years as their Chief Medical Officer and psychiatrist for the Elbowoods Memorial Health Care Center. She was instrumental in securing SAMHSA grants addressing mental health and substance use in tribal communities. One of her proudest honors is receiving the American Psychiatric Association 2019 Award for Excellence in Service and Advocacy from the Women of the Assembly. Dr. Taylor-Desir also serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee to the National Health Service Corps where she continues advocacy for and service to tribal and rural communities.
Maureen Sayres Van Niel, M.D. is a reproductive psychiatrist and a national leader and researcher in the field of women’s mental health and mental health care disparities in women and minorities.
She completed her training in the Harvard Medical School programs, first as a resident at Cambridge Hospital and then at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as chief resident, followed by a two-year clinical and research fellowship in Women’s Psychiatry. As a part of her role on the President’s Special Advisory Council on Women at Harvard, she founded and directed the Harvard University Center for Parenting.
Dr. Van Niel’s clinical work has been in general psychiatry and all aspects of women’s psychiatry, including as a member of the Brigham staff; as director of psychiatry at a community health center and a day treatment trauma program; and as chief psychiatric consultant to the Diocese of Massachusetts.
Dr. Van Niel was elected president of the APA Women’s Caucus where she served from 2016 through 2021. In 2016 Dr. Van Niel was the first psychiatrist appointed to the Multidisciplinary Steering Committee of the U.S. Dept of HHS Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI). During 2020, Dr. Van Niel was elected chair of the APA Minority and Underrepresented (M/UR) Committee, where she and her colleagues have developed materials to address racial discrimination in all areas of medicine. Dr. Van Niel also has been passionate about the work of the APA Foundation, serving as an ambassador and contributor from 2016 through 2020. Dr. Van Niel also is a prolific writer whose peer-reviewed articles have appeared in media outlets throughout the country.
Ben Zobrist began playing baseball at eight years old but never envisioned a professional career in the sport. Zobrist had a successful career at Olivet Nazarene for his first three collegiate years and transferred to Dallas Baptist University for his senior year where he graduated with a degree in Communications. Zobrist has established himself as one of the most versatile players in the league, having started at every position on the field except for pitcher and catcher.
Given that Ben Zobrist’s resume reflects his career as a professional baseball player, he also provided this personal statement about his background and interest in mental health awareness:
“Hello, my name is Ben Zobrist. I’m 38 yrs. of age with a wife and three young children and currently unemployed thankfully by choice! I’m known to most people as a former Major League Baseball player, 3x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion, And World Series MVP for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. In the baseball world, people know me as one of the first Super-utility players in the game.
Those who know me personally know that I’m just a small town midwestern kid who had a passion for sports and blue-collar work ethic combined with competitive focus that has driven me to succeed at the highest levels of professional sport. Throughout my playing career, I actively pursued public speaking engagements to youth and faith communities. I have always loved to inspire people toward change in areas of personal and community health, healing and growth. More recently, mental and emotional health have become a research passion of mine due to my own personal struggles with a high-profile career filled with daily performance pressure.
In the last few years of my playing career, I launched a charitable non-profit called Patriot Forward that existed to help young minor league baseball families navigate the pressure of the performance life. We have been helping mentor around 25 young players and their families through a very transitional time of life.
I am entering into my first official year of retirement from baseball since I was 5 years old so I’m in quite the transition myself right now, but so far I’m excited about what’s next! I look forward to becoming more educated in the areas of mental, emotional, and relational health in the near future and I plan to use that education to continue speaking for the purpose of inspiring generations of people toward a more healthy and balanced life! In my downtime, I enjoy working out, reading, listening to podcasts, deep conversations, jumping on the trampoline with my kids, flying my drone, and generally re-organizing my life after being on the road for the last 15 years.”
Richard F. Summers, MD is Senior Residency Advisor and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He served as Co-Director of Residency Training at Penn from 1998 to 2017.
Dr. Summers is a nationally recognized educator, author and clinician. He is a member of the ACGME Psychiatry Residency Review Committee, and a Past President of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatry Residency Training (AADPRT). He is currently Chair of the APA Workgroup on Psychiatrist Wellbeing and Burnout.
Dr. Summers has written on psychodynamic therapy training, therapeutic alliance, psychodynamic formulation, positive psychology and psychiatry residency training. His book, Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence Based Practice, co-authored with Jacques Barber, is currently used in over thirty training programs. Summers and Barber’s second book, Practicing Psychodynamic Therapy: A Casebook was published in 2014, and Positive Psychiatry: A Casebook, edited with Dilip V. Jeste, MD, is forthcoming.
Dr. Summers was awarded the Earl Bond Outstanding Teacher Award of the Department of Psychiatry at Penn in 2000, the Robert Dunning Dripps Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Psychiatric Educator of the Year by the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society in 2007. He was Teacher of the Year at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia in 2008, and Outpatient Teacher of the Year Award in 2002, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2017 in the Penn Department of Psychiatry. Most recently, he received the University of Pennsylvania Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014. He is a Philadelphia Magazine Top Doc.
Dr. Summers’ clinical interests focus on psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, and adult lifecycle development. His research interests include the contemporary revision of the theory and technique of psychodynamic psychotherapy and new approaches to psychotherapy training and education. He is an Associate Editor of Psychiatry, 4th Ed., eds. Tasman, Kay, Lieberman, First and Maj.
Dr. Summers received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1979, graduating magna cum laude in sociology, and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Following psychiatry residency at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Summers completed psychoanalytic training at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, on whose faculty he currently serves.
Vivian B. Pender, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical College and a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at Columbia University. Dr. Pender has mentored and taught medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows and post-graduates for thirty-five years.
A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Pender served as the Trustee for New York to the Board of Trustees from 2014-2020. Since 1985, she has served in leadership roles in the APA on the Committee on Women, Committee on Private Practice, Legislative Committee, Public Affairs, Finance and Budget Committee and the APA Political Action Committee. She also served on groups that focused on parity, confidentiality, special delivery settings, education, psychotherapy, advocacy, litigation and funding, international psychiatry, and women’s mental health. She was a member of the APA Assembly, representing NY County from 2006-2014.
At the United Nations Dr. Pender represents the International Psychoanalytical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, both associations designated NGOs with Special Consultative Status. From 2007-11 Dr. Pender was Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, a coalition of 100 non-governmental organizations affiliated with the UN. From 2015-19 she was Chair of the NGO Committee on Mental Health, also a coalition of NGOs with the UN. She is a registered consultant with the UN. She has produced four documentaries of conferences she organized at the United Nations on mental health, human rights, human trafficking and intergenerational transmission of violence. Since 2015 she has been a Special Advisor of the APA to the UN.
In 2015, Dr. Pender founded Healthcare Against Trafficking, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and advocacy in the healthcare sector. To this end she has presented Grand Rounds and symposia on the prevention of child abuse. Dr. Pender organized, directed and produced Human Trafficking: Training Healthcare for Policy and Prevention, a webinar available to the public on Vimeo and YouTube. She is a co-investigator on a Weill Cornell Department of Internal Medicine innovative grant to study "Experiences of Sex Trafficking Victims in Healthcare Settings."
Dr. Pender is a volunteer Asylum Evaluator with the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, a medical student run network organization of Physicians for Human Rights. She was a volunteer psychiatrist with Psychiatric Outreach to the Homeless. She is a volunteer with New York Cares and the Medical Reserve Corps. She served in medical missions in twenty countries in Africa. She is active in many professional organizations including the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Psychoanalytical Association, the American College of Psychoanalysts, the Payne Whitney Faculty Council, the American Association of University Women, the Association of Women Psychiatrists, the Medical Society of the State of New York, Committee for Physician Health and the American Medical Association.
She has published journal articles and book chapters on pregnancy, affect, child abuse, sex trafficking, and leadership. In 2016 her book, The Status of Women: Violence, Identity and Activism was published. She is currently working on two books entitled Healthcare Against Sex Trafficking: Law, Medicine and Social Justice and Exploitation of Women and Children. One of her ongoing projects is to standardize a global psychiatry curriculum for graduate training. She has four children and six grandchildren.
Awards and Honors
Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., serves as professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and associate dean for professional development at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is also the chief of service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Levounis came to Rutgers from Columbia University where he served as director of the Addiction Institute of New York from 2002 to 2013.
Dr. Levounis is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University where he studied chemistry and biophysics before receiving his medical education at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Medical College of Pennsylvania. During medical school, he researched the effects of social class on patient-physician relationships in Oxford, England, and received an MA degree in sociology from Stanford. In 1994, he moved to New York City to train in psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute of Columbia University. He graduated from Columbia earning the National Institute of Mental Health Outstanding Resident Award and went on to complete his fellowship in addiction psychiatry at New York University.
Dr. Levounis has written numerous articles, monographs, and book chapters; has lectured extensively throughout the United States and abroad; and has been interviewed by CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX, The Martha Stewart Radio Show, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others, about addiction and other psychiatric matters. Dr. Levounis has served on the boards of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and from 2005 to 2009 chaired the national Committee on Addiction Treatment of the APA. Dr. Levounis is a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, and a distinguished fellow of the APA and ASAM. In 2017, he was elected as an honorary member of the World Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Levounis has published 11 books with the APA, as well the self-help paperback “Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister—and Not Lose Yourself” and the textbook of “Substance Dependence and Co-Occurring Psychiatric Disorders.” Dr. Levounis is currently working on the first book on “Nature Therapy,” which is going to be available by APA Publishing in late 2022. Several of his books have been translated into French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Dr. Levounis is married to actor Lukas Hassel and lives in New York City.
Awards and Honors
Stephanie Asonye, M.D. obtained her doctorate at Brown University. Dr. Asonye is a fourth-year psychiatry resident at NYU’s Department of Psychiatry. Her primary research interest is in understanding the impact of race on clinical decision-making, especially with invasive interventions.
Dr. Asonye is interested in the management of agitation in hospital-based settings. Her research will examine differences in management practices based on race. The Division of Research meets bi-weekly with Dr. Asonye to develop her proposed research and begin planning data analysis.