Pennsylvania Psychiatrist - November 2019

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by Deborah Shoemaker, Executive Director and Lobbyist

ACTIVITY UPDATE Is it better to just play the game or win? I have always loved sports. I played them in school. Our family is an ESPN, Comcast SportsNet house. There is always a game on the TV or commentary about our teams/players on the radio or on our smartphones. My father and grandfather instilled that love in me as a child. Many of my warmest memories involve watching the Eagles, Sixers and Flyers (Phillies too) with daddy or my Poppy. I played basketball and softball as often as I could – starting with my sister and the neighborhood boys and then into middle school and intramural college at Temple/Messiah. The principles of hard work and dedication needed to play a sport and the ideals in professional sports are a huge part of who I am and my work doctrine. Grantland Rice is credited with the quote, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” Although I do agree with that premise, that was not the end of the statement for our family. We were always taught to do our best, but we wanted to win! I am super competitive and hate losing. I hate it in sports. I struggle when we lose a legislative battle. I always want to win. Am I a sore loser? No, but I will give my 100% to my family, causes important to me, and to the psychiatric society’s mission and objectives. As we approach our advocacy agenda, our game plan is to play the game with fairness, integrity, respect, clinical knowledge and as good teammates to our coalition partners and elected officials. Below is a listing of our playbook over the next few months. NOTE: the game plan can change depending on what is thrown at us. First Quarter: Inching Down the Field to enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders Coach’s Playbook: Short passes, one first down at a time You should know that the Society has made the enactment of Extreme Risk Protection Orders [ERPOs] a top priority this legislative session. House Bill 1075 (sponsored by Representative Todd Stephens) and the companion bill in the Senate (Senate Bill 90) were re-introduced this past spring. Senate Bill 90, introduced by Senator Tom Killion (R-Delaware), has slight differences but is like Stephen’s version.

We have been engaged with our coalition partners on moving this bill across the finish line. Both bills were on a slow trajectory until … Dayton and El Paso. Needless tragedies often have the effect of state legislatures wanting to enact a flurry of gun violence bills or safety protection measures that, on their face, are well-intentioned but not well-thought out and based on emotion and quick reactions. Groups like Cease Fire and Moms Demand Action have been involved in the creation of ERPO legislation in most states across the country regardless of the tragedy. Although the National Rifle Association (NRA) is opposed to the bill here (although being neutral in other states) delicate grassroots lobbying is being done to get them to neutral. This will be a tough balancing act indeed. To their credit, the PA state legislature is trying to be more thoughtful in their approach to gun reform. After Dayton and El Paso, the House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing the day after Labor Day on the issue of gun violence. Dr. Jack Rozel, one of our members who is an expert on crisis from Pittsburgh, represented the Society. His testimony is attached here. This testimony is thoughtful, clinically appropriate, and extremely practical. I encourage your reading of this document. With Senate Bill 90 being assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairwoman Baker commenced a two-day public hearing event in late September on Behavioral Health, Guns and Overall Related Issues. Dr. Kenneth Certa, APA Area 3 Trustee and co-chair of our Government Relations Committee, sat on a panel and presented his thoughts on, among other topics, mental health funding, school screenings, and ERPOs. The committee peppered him with questions, requesting his clinical guidance. His presentation ended up about an hour. For you convenience the testimony is attached here. With the focus on public health/reduction of suicide, the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council, the Pennsylvania Medical Society and other key medical specialty colleagues have written letters of support or have expressed their support. Although the passage of this bill is unlikely with such a conservative, NRA-influenced state legislature, we will keep throwing one first down at a time toward the endzone. We will not give up until some reform is enacted in this state. Contact me for more information or to get involved. Continued on page 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 | Activity Update 4 | Editor’s Column 5 | Activity Update (continued) 7 | Bestowment of PaPS Presidential Award Highlights of Annual Patient Safety/Risk Management Program 7 | Area 3 Holds First Legislative Institute 8 | Welcome New Members 9 | Chapter Updates

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Second Quarter: Full court press against excessive substance use legislation Coach’s Playbook: Tough defense and fast breaks to score quickly without hesitation Unlike any other administration, the Wolf Administration has put its money where their mouth is related to substance use funding and support for all methods of evidenced-based treatment and services. The public health state of emergency has been renewed numerous times and will continue throughout his tenure. Last month, an additional $75 million was received by the commonwealth to fight substance use issues (part of the State Opioid Use Grant program). As a strong act of dedication to our citizens, over 13,000 free naloxone kits were distributed across the state over three days in September. The list of accomplishments can be seen on the governor’s website, the PA Department of Health website, or the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs website. The administration has done a full court press on tackling this crisis. Sounds all good, right? Well, no game is a guaranteed win without practice, hard work and watching a lot of game tape on your opponents. Although it is not the top priority it was last session, the composition of this year’s state legislature is problematic for evidenced-based treatment. There are many new conservative legislators, who, although well– intentioned, are introducing legislation that further stigmatizes those in need of substance use treatment. The Society is looking closely at these initiatives to determine if we need to perform some grassroots lobbying and provide clinical input and experience. So far, most of these harmful pieces of legislation are not moving out of committee. However, there are still a few initiatives that keep us playing defense: • Regulation of Office-Based Buprenorphine Providers: Senate Bill 675: This proposed legislation seeking to requiring certification of buprenorphine office-based prescribers by the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs passed the Senate and currently rests in the House Human Services Committee. The Society, along with the PA Medical Society and the PA Society of Addiction Medicine, have done a full-court press on opposing this bill. We continue our collective efforts with PAMED in opposing the bill. At the request of the City of Philadelphia, we also recently signed onto a coalition letter expressing opposition. Prior to its consideration in the House Human Services Committee a few weeks ago, Representative Schlossberg introduced a proposed amendment that would have gutted the bill with provisions to add an updated list of providers and requiring insurance to cover buprenorphine. We do support his amendment. However, with the outpouring of opposition to the bill, Representative DiGirolamo (R-Bucks), committee chairman, chose to hold the bill over until consensus can be made moving forward. We have won this first game but need to stay strong to ensure this does not move into the final series. In meetings with the House Human Services Committee executive director the last week of October, we were informed that the committee will be holding a public hearing in late November to discuss this important issue. The Society, along with our friends at PAMED, PSAM and other health-related provider organizations, will be asked to provide oral or written comments. We will again take this opportunity to present our concerns about the proposed legislation and the direct and indirect adverse effects that will cause additional barriers to care for those in need of often life-saving treatment.

• Legalization of Marijuana: Over the past few months, Lieutenant Governor Fetterman has been on a listening tour around the commonwealth about the possibility of legalizing marijuana. A report came out after the tour expressing overwhelming support for a statewide initiative to expand our current medical marijuana program into full recreational status. If you delve into the document, it is abundantly clear that the “overwhelming support” is misleading. There were only a small number of citizens at each tour, with most testifiers only showing one side of the story…and of course without clinical research on the effects of marijuana, especially on our youngest citizens. Representative Jake Wheatley (D. Allegheny) re-introduced his marijuana legalization legislation with a renewed hope of passage. The Society will oppose this measure if it gets legs to move throughout the Capitol. Although we applaud Governor Wolf for his efforts, this is one area where we are going to have to agree to disagree. We feel so strongly on this issue that Dr. Marina Goldman and Dr. Certa have collaborated on a PAMED House of Delegate (HOD) resolution to create a policy to oppose recreational marijuana use. Our original resolution is enclosed here. Although the final version that was passed at the HOD this past weekend was not as written, there was a consensus that educating the public and providers on the dangers of using recreational marijuana on a regular basis, to oppose the use of marijuana and to support decriminalization. Updates will be given as this proposed legislation evolves in the state legislature and in the public arena. • Medical Marijuana: We have stepped up our game over the past year related to recent efforts by the Department of Health’s (DOH) Medical Marijuana Advisory Board (MMAB/Board). Unbeknownst to the Society, the Department of Health has interpreted Act 16 of 2016 (Medical Marijuana Act) to allow the MMAB the ultimate authority to add eligible conditions for the certification of Medical Marijuana without any clinical research or oversight. Earlier this year, we petitioned the Board to remove Opioid Use Disorder from the Medical Marijuana program. The Board met on August 15th to consider our petition. We narrowly lost our request, based on misinformation about the lack of clinical research and the role that the newly created research centers hold in these conditions. It has happened again: at the same meeting, the MMAB voted to add two new qualifying conditions for use of medical marijuana: Tourette’s Syndrome and a diagnosis of Anxiety (yes, can you believe it?). We are not backing down on our fight vs. the, in our opinion, unrestricted, arbitrary and unregulated power of the Board to determine uses of Medical Marijuana across the commonwealth. Our first secret weapon is Dr. Marina Goldman. She has been a tireless advocate, serving as the PAMED/PaPS representative of the DOH’s Medical Marijuana Physician Task Force. Additionally, the Philadelphia Psychiatry Society’s annual Addiction Symposium was the brainchild of Drs. Goldman and Abby Kay. She has been relentless is contacting DOH Secretary Rachel Levine, MD, expressing our opposition to these egregious changes to the use of medical marijuana and the arbitrary interpretation of “clinical” research to substantiate the changes. Based on her persistence she has been invited to speak at the next MMAB meeting on November 13th. Although it is a short presentation, we are going to take advantage of this opportunity to effect change. Our second, soon to be secret weapon is the creation of a PAMED HOD resolution that will formally engage PAMED in our fight to hold the MMAB accountable for their actions. Although this resolution was tweaked a little bit prior to its passage, the major

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EDITOR’S COLUMN by Edward C. Leonard, Jr., MD, DLFAPA

Is it the good turtle soup? A very long time ago on a continent far away, my ancestors struggled to survive infections. They had no organized medical knowledge, but by chance, their macrophages and microglia worked better than their peers’ did to destroy agents of infection. It was good that this response also released cytokines to signal the deployment of more phagocytic cells. It was outstanding that this inflammatory response sometimes was triggered by events (like the stress of fighting) that might precede infection. Thus, my ancestors survived to add their children to my family tree. However, I needed to turn off this inherited response a few years ago, when it was causing painful sausage-shaped fingers, a rash, aching joints, and tenderness along the ends of some tendons and ligaments. Psoriatic arthritis swamped my blood with a cytokine perpetuating the symptoms. Not having time to wait for natural selection, my rheumatologist gave me a medicine to curb that TNF, and it worked. Does this “Just So Story” apply to patients with depression? Edward Bullmore, a Professor of Psychiatry at Cambridge University, is leading an academic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline to develop new anti-inflammatory drugs to treat depression. His book, The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression, builds the case that clinical depression and its associated sickness behaviors have been inherited because they provided a genetically determined anti-infective benefit to our distant ancestors. Perhaps avoiding social contact and losing appetite let infected persons with depression direct most of their energy into fighting their infections. He pictures them sleeping on the periphery of their group, becoming targets of nocturnal animal and human predators, and that they survived because of insomnia and anxiety keeping them alert. He criticizes medicine’s long-standing separation of physical from mental disorders. He shows how the blood-brain barrier that was thought to prevent most of the body from contacting its brain is permeable. The Vagal Nerve always crossed the barrier, some anti-inflammatory treatments loosen it, and cytokines slip through. He tries hard to show that treatments for infection and inflammation are “the good turtle soup” for depression, not “merely the mock,” but the research Bullmore reviews isn’t robust. His advice that all physicians recognize depression as possibly being an inflammatory condition seems well taken. However, his image of all physicians even-handedly recognizing and treating physical and mental disorders misses the reality that many physicians are uncomfortable with patients that cry, talk crazy, and are agitated. You will enjoy reading Bullmore’s ideas, but the proof of this pudding requires effective treatments. I hope he can develop them.

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components remained intact. Thanks to Drs. Certa and Goldman for their hard work! Third Quarter: Defending the goal vs. outside shots affecting our scope of practice Coach’s Playbook: Only pull the goalie if there are no other options and/or if we need an extra defender Most of our work in the arena of scope of practice has involved working closely to support our colleagues in their fights vs. non-physician providers looking to expand their scope. Since Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapist recently had scope expansions to allow for diagnosing within their current scope (yes I am a sore loser and am still hurting from losing that battle), our efforts have been focused on the independent practice scope battles of, among others, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners/ Advance Practice Nurses (CRNPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). PAMED is taking the lead on these issues, however we are supporting their efforts. Senate Bill 25 (CRNP bill) quickly passed the Senate then stalled in the House prior to the summer recess. The PA bills have only recently been introduced in the House and Senate and reside in their perspective professional licensure committees. Meetings between stakeholders, along with various public hearings/ informational meetings over the years and social media campaigns have been going on for various legislative sessions without a need for compromise. Although PAMED has not had to pull the goalie yet, we are prepared to add an extra defender to stop the game from going into overtime. I know that some of our members look at these scope issues differently than the position of the Society. If you have any questions or need more information, do not hesitate to contact me. Fourth Quarter: Aim for a no-hitter, but be happy with a win on issues that affect daily practice Coach’s Playbook: Equip your bullpen with the best pitchers and prepare your catcher for stolen bases or overthrown pitches Although the above issues are top priorities of the Society, we are watching other important policy/regulatory issues this year. Here are a few highlights: First Inning: E-Prescribing: We have been working closely with PAMED on the implementation of Act 96 of 2018 (Act-E-Prescribing). This has caused much angst for most of our members, especially those in private practice. PAMED was involved in the final version of the Act, and it was

not to cause too many waves except for the lack of internet access or lack of an Electronic Health Record. (EHR). However, we were thrown tons of curve balls, including, a DOH clarification/interpretation of the Act that went vs. the original intention of the law. Although I have done tons of research and worked closely to help our members, PAMED continued to do the heavy lifting, pestering DOH to change their interpretation. LOOK at our revised article in this document for changes to this law just this week! I still also want to hear if you run into any snags or patients are stopped at a pharmacy with a written script. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions. Second Inning: Minor’s Consent Act amendments: The Society is still watching potential changes to Act 147 and/or clarifications from both the state legislature and OMHSAS on the current Minors Consent Act. Although well-intentioned, we continue to educate key legislators and staffers on the provisions within the current Act and what changes could impede children between the age of 14-17 access to crucial mental health treatment in certain situations. We think we have kept these issues at bay for now but are willing to act. Third-Ninth Innings: Keeping our lead: We continue to labor on issues such as prior authorization, telemedicine, out of network/surprise billing, integration of physical/behavioral health, loan forgiveness, criminal justice issues, and access to care. The Society has also signed onto various Amicus Briefs with our friends at the Medical Society, AMA and APA on mental health procedures act issues or other related issues that would affect your daily practice. Sometimes we are the pitchers, sometimes we are the catchers. I played catcher in middle/high school and beyond, so feel more comfortable in that role. If you ever come upon proposed legislation, regulations or proposed policy and are not sure if we have taken a position, call or email me! The Society is always looking for more team members. You do not have to have experience to join. Just be willing to share your clinical experience and practical input as how proposed policy changes could affect individuals with mental health and substance use needs. Legislators and staffers are well-intended but need to be educated on healthcare. They need issues to have human faces on them. No participation is too small- just volunteer of your time in some fashion. The most crucial way to join our team is to contribute to our PAC. Please join my team!!!!! To tryout, contact me via email at or via phone at 1.800.422.2900.

Wishing you a

Happy Thanksgiving! from the PaPS Staff P E N N S Y L V A N I A P S Y C H I A T R I S T | N O V E M B E R 2 019


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Bestowment of PaPS Presidential Award Highlights of Annual Patient Safety/Risk Management Program Our annual state educational meeting was held on Saturday, November 2nd at the Chubb Conference Center, Lafayette Hill. Beside the excellent presentations, we are pleased to announce that Lawrence Altaker, MD, DLFAPA, past PaPS and Central Psychiatric Society president and long-time Ethics Committee co-chair, was presented the PaPS President Award, by past president and fellow Ethics Committee co-chair Kathleen C. Dougherty, MD, DLFAPA. This award recognizes a member with outstanding contributions to psychiatry. Dr. Altaker’s dedication to his patients and to our profession is a testament to this award. He will be bestowed this honor during the morning break. On behalf of Rajnish Mago, MD, Committee chair, and the PaPS Council, we thank all who attended the recent Patient Safety Risk Management program on November 2nd. We hope you enjoyed this year’s event and want to let you know that planning has already begun for the 2020 education meeting. We are always seeking input on how to better this program to benefit our membership. If you have any suggestions as to any potential risk management/ patient safety CME topics or another methods of providing this educational opportunity, please contact PaPS Staff at

Lawrence Altaker, MD, DLFAPA and Kathleen C. Dougherty, MD, DLFAPA

Area 3 Holds First Legislative Institute by Deborah Shoemaker, Executive Director On September 7th, our district branch hosted the Area 3 regional meeting in Plymouth Meeting. For the first time, Area 3 held a half-day legislative institute. Highlights included a presentation/spirited discussion by keynote speaker Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery/Bucks) on Extreme Risk Protection Orders, a grassroots advocacy seminar by APA’s Government Relations staffers Tim Clement, Erin Philp and myself and a roundtable panel presentation by various Area 3 members in the areas of Access to Care, Harm Reduction, Medical/Legalization of Marijuana, Guns/Involuntary Commitment/Substance Use and Forensic Issues. The event was capped off by an APAPAC reception featuring Congresswoman Madeline Dean, former state legislator who was recently elected as a crucial member of the PA Congressional Delegation. Click here to read the Psychiatric News article.

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Welcome New Members We welcome the following new PaPS members and congratulate those Members-In-Training who have recently achieved General Member status (effective June 1, 2019 - August 31, 2019). CENTRAL Member in Training Harsimar Kaur, MD LEHIGH VALLEY Members in Training Joseph Ardolino, DO Erik C. Auker, DO Jason Zhen Gu, MD Jordan C. Holter, DO Gaurav Jain, DO Kristal Khan, MD Eugene H. Kim, MD Flor Mizrahi, MD Kyra Munzemaier, MD General Member Rahul Kodali, MD NORTHEASTERN Members in Training Zackary Byard, DO

Jacob Patrick, MD Aditi Sharma, MD Anisa S. Suparmanian, MD PITTSBURGH Members in Training Isabelle M. Bollendorf, MD Ida Brockman, MD Claudia J. Chapa Garcia, MD Brittny K. Harrison, DO Jessica Patrizi, DO Denise M Polaski, MD Caroline H. Walker, MD General Members Michael B. Esang, MBCHB, MPH Jennifer C. Prins, MD Kamali Swaminathan, MD PHILADELPHIA Members in Training Adeshewa Adekunbi, MD

Elizabeth A. Apraku, MD Johanna L. Beck, MD John Q. Berlin, DO Claire K. Bogan, DO John J. Byun, MD Connie U. Chang, MD Sondra L. Corgan, MD Kristina Q. Cowper, DO Danielle Fahoome, MD Jaryd M. Frankel, DO Mikal A. Hicus-Black, DO Atasha Jordan, MD Arushi Kapoor, MD Christina Lanzillotta, MD Senthil Vel Rajan Rajaram Manoharan, MD Christina M. Mercogliano, DO Mark Morales, MD Benjamin H. Parker-Goos, MD Maria Paskell, MD Karuna S. Poddar, MD Jehoshaphat Reich, MD

Peter S. Schartel, MD Katrina Shchupak, MD Collin B. Sherman, MD Erika F. Sims, MD Brittany R. Smith, MD Tae Kim Uhm, MD Yingcheng Xu, MD Albert Yu, MD General Members Bernard DiCasimirro, DO Ahmed Fayed, MD Arun Handa, MD James McKay Harrison, MD Beth Mark, MD Lina Perez, MD Nidhi Tewari, MD Distinguished Fellow Neftali Ortiz, MD

Contact PaPS Staff at or call 800-422-2900 to update your contact information! 8

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CENTRAL CHAPTER President Update | Ailyn D. Diaz, MD, Presiden On August 22, 2019, CPPS held its annual Resident’s Night with participation of psychiatric residents from Penn State and Geisinger Health System. Both resident leaders, Dr. Andreea F. Bucaloiu from Geisinger and Dr. Salima Jiwani from Penn State encouraged their fellow residents to submit scientific posters. Dr. Kaur, chairwoman of the Educational Committee, contributed to the event. The event was held at the Colonial Country Club, sponsored by GeneSight and Allergan, was well assisted with the participation of around thirty colleagues from different specialties who acted as judges for the scientific poster competition. A total of six posters were submitted and three proved to be winners. Dr. Mostafa Khalil won first place, Dr. Tuna Hasoglu second place and Dr. Hassaan Gomma won third place. The event provided a platform for psychiatric residents to sharpen their presentation skills in preparation for national conferences such as the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting and to socialize with our members. The Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society held a CME Dinner & A Movie with the presentation of Hungry Hearts on October 7. The movie won Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher the Volpi Cup for Best Actor and Actress at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. The movie examines how a new mother’s increasingly unstable behavior threatens her relationship with her husband and the life of her infant.

PHILADELPHIA CHAPTER President Update | Pietro Miazzo, MD, President On August 28th, the chapter held its Residents’ Night at Le Peg. This annual event is for the residents of the Philadelphia programs to come together and network with colleagues. This year’s event was widely attended and all in attendance enjoyed themselves. Saturday, September 14th was the 5th Annual Addictions Symposium held at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. This years’ event featured speakers Marina Goldman, MD; Abigail Kay, MA, MD; and Lauren McNicholas, MD in the Generalist track. On the specialist track the speakers were: Fred Baurer, MD; Raymond Bobb, DO; Peter DeMaria, Jr., MD; Henry Kranzler, MD; and William Santoro, MD. This year’s symposium also featured three combined sessions with speakers Vishesh Agarwal, MD; Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD; and Terri Randall, MD. Planning has already started on the 2020 Annual Addictions Symposium. More details will be available next spring. Save the Dates! Saturday, March 14, 2020 – PPS Women’s Brunch Saturday, March 28, 2020 – PPS Colloquium of Scholars

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PITTSBURGH CHAPTER President Update | Maher Ayyash, MD, FAPA, FACLP The Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society held its annual Presidents’ Night at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square on Monday, September 23. The event was well attended, and everyone enjoyed an evening of networking, socializing with colleagues and great food. We presented awards to the top three poster presenters. I am pleased to announce the following winners: • 1st Place – Dr. Shinnyi Chou from University of Pittsburgh • 2nd Place – Dr. Caitlin Aguiar from Allegheny General Hospital • 3rd Place – Dr. Mitra Hefazi from Allegheny General Hospital We were also honored to present the following awards to active members of the chapter.

Dr. Rohan Ganguli and Dr. Maher Ayyash

Dr. Marc Garfinkel and Dr. Maher Ayyash

The Lifetime Achievement The Lifetime Achievement Award in Award in Private Psychiatry Academic Psychiatry was presented was presented to Dr. Prabir to Dr. Rohan Ganguli. Dr. Ganguli is Mullick. Dr. Mullick has been a currently a professor of Psychiatry at practicing psychiatrist for over the University of Pittsburgh, School of 30 years. He began his career in Medicine. His career spans almost 40 Pittsburgh at St. Francis Medical years and includes numerous awards Center, and later served as a for his academic, leadership and patient Clinical Assistant Professor at advocacy in the field of psychiatry. He has UPMC’s Western Psychiatric successfully mentored physicians from Institute and Clinic. Since 1986, the U.S. and Canada to successful careers. Dr. Mullick has been operating a Dr. Ganguli’s research has been focused complete psychiatric care private on pathophysiology, treatment and practice focusing on Adolescent, management of medication side effect in Dr. Prabir Mullick and Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry patients with schizophrenia. Dr. Maher Ayyash to name a few. Dr. Mullick is active in various medical societies and is revered as a true leader, mentor, and a teacher by many in the Pittsburgh community.

The Community Psychiatry Award was presented to Dr. Marc Garfinkel. Dr. Garfinkel, a past president of the Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society, completed his medical school training at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and his Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry residencies at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Garfinkel has served Saint Francis Medical Center and South Hills Health System in many capacities, while also serving as a community resource for psychiatric patients through his private practice.

Save the Date! Saturday, March 14, 2020 – PPS Symposium: Update on Psychiatry 2020


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Dr. Sarah Homitsky and Dr. Maher Ayyash

The Early Career Psychiatrist Award was presented to Dr. Sarah Homitsky. Dr. Homitsky graduated from UPMC with specialist training in Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and General Adult Psychiatry. Currently the Medical Director of the Perinatal Mental Health Program at West Penn Hospital, she has been instrumental in raising awareness about perinatal mental health issues and establishing high quality clinical service to help patients and families in need.













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