APA Reflects on the Legacy of Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, Who Died at 93

Washington, D.C. – Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii passed away on April 6 at the age of 93. The senator, the first-ever native-born Hawaiian elected to Congress, was the uncle of American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board Member Jeff Akaka, M.D. The APA today issued this statement from CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.:

“We offer our condolences to the family of Sen. Akaka,” Levin said. “The senator was a champion for mental health services in the U.S. He was one of the early co-sponsors on The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which would become the parity bill that mandates that insurers treat mental and substance use disorders the same as other health or surgical issues. He also spoke before the 2008 APA Assembly, urging our members to be advocates for mental health. His work left behind a lasting impact.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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