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Council on Advocacy and Government Relations

The Council will serve as the advocacy hub and as APA’s coordinating body for legislative activities for Association membership and other components – specifically:

  • Provide advocacy leadership on behalf of APA members and recommend advocacy strategy.
  • Coordinate advocacy between councils, the Board of Trustees, the Assembly, the Department of Government Relations (DGR), and District Branches and State Associations.
  • Facilitate collaboration and communication with other APA components to stay informed about advocacy issues to ensure necessary support and input.
    • Reflect the expertise and knowledge of the APA membership while galvanizing and facilitating membership advocacy efforts on behalf of all individuals impacted by psychiatric conditions and on issues pertinent to our members
    • Collaborate with DGR staff in developing advocacy-related deliverables (e.g., action papers, resource documents, trainings), and leverage advocacy tools and skills for active, well-informed advocacy engagement
    • Interface with DGR to set and advise on federal advocacy and legislative activities, and message national priorities to members
  • Collaborate with DGR staff to support state advocacy efforts.
  • Expand opportunities to engage APA fellows in advocacy through mentorship and/or guidance from the Council, APA central, DGR staff, and state government relations.
  • Promote advocacy education at all levels of training; and
  • Actively collaborate with allied organizations with shared goals to improve the practice and quality of psychiatric care.


Council Members

  • Katherine Gershman Kennedy, M.D. – Chair
  • William Arroyo, M.D.
  • Enrico Castillo, M.D.
  • Jasleen Chhatwal, M.D., MBBS
  • Mary Helen Davis, M.D.
  • Matthew Goldman, M.D.
  • Dionne Hart, M.D. (ASM)
  • Debra Koss, M.D.
  • Michael Mensah, M.D., M.P.H. (ECP)
  • Karen Pierce, M.D.
  • Patrick Runnels, M.D., M.B.A.
  • Veronica Searles-Quick, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Laura Willing, M.D.
  • Eric Rafla Yuan, M.D.

Corresponding Members

  • Brian Hart, M.D. - APAPAC Chair
  • Steve Koh, M.D.
  • Lannis L. (Lee) Tynes, M.D.


  • John Wesley Boyd, M.D.
  • Micah Hoffman, M.D.


  • Omotola Ajibade, M.D.
  • Taiwo Alonge, M.D.
  • Nicholas Apping, M.D.
  • Amanda Benavides, M.D.
  • Adam Chan, M.D.
  • Helen Liljenwall, M.D.
  • Celeste Peay, M.D.
  • Cecilia Rangel-Garcia, M.D.
  • Ashley Shatola, M.D.
  • Jessica Steinsiek, M.D.
  • Alyssa Tate, M.D.
  • Carolina Vicens Cardona, M.D.
  • Chidi Wamuo, M.D.

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