2016 APA/APAF Fellowship Chair Updates

Each year, APA/APAF Fellowships elect Chairs and Vice Chairs for their respective programs to represent and lead their group throughout their projects and time with the APA. The Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Fellowship awards one fellow per year introducing fellows to the structure of federal and congressional health policy focused on mental health issues. This year, the APA/APAF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Chair position rotates every two months, giving the fellows an equal opportunity in this leadership role.

Read our 2016 Chairs’ and fellowship recipient’s updates on their activities, experiences and accomplishments from the first half of their program.


I believe in the power of being mentored. So imagine a place, an organization, where you can find a highly contagious and rewarding powerful mentoring effect. This place is the APA. The National Minority Mentor Network is a great extension of it. The Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) offers a collage of opportunities and experiences for residents and fellows interested in public health, leadership, the community, and research. During the last two years as a fellow, I have created deep connection with my fellowship colleagues, physicians, APA staff, medical students from all generations who hear my questions, sympathize with my confusions, and even set me on a path toward satisfying adventures and challenges. It has also been encouraging to collaborate with them and share their successes.

The APA has fostered in me a sense of belonging as well as responsibility for the health care system and the rapidly challenging field of mental health. I invite you all to read more about the APA/APAF and its different fellowships. Apply for this exciting and transforming life changing experience, trust me you will not regret it.

Hector Colon-Rivera, M.D., 2016-2017 Minority Fellowship Program Chair

The APA/APAF Public Psychiatry Fellowship was one of the most enriching experiences of my psychiatric training. The fellowship supports 20 fellows (10 per year) in a 2-year program which exposes us many opportunities in the field of Public Psychiatry. We meet leaders in the field in a variety of settings, which allows us to learn from their experience and to develop mentoring relationships with these individuals. We meet our peers and develop a network of residents and fellows with similar interests across the country. We serve on APA councils which allows us to see the inner workings of the organization and provides another wonderful opportunity for mentorship. We have the opportunity to submit presentations to The Institute on Psychiatric Services in our second year of the fellowship, which is an exciting way to contribute to a field you are passionate about. The fellowship is truly a great way to prepare for and begin a career in Public Psychiatry.

Pilar Abascal, M.D., 2016-2017 Public Psychiatry Fellowship Chair

The APA/APAF Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Fellowship has been a wonderful and fulfilling educational experience. As the 2015-2016 Congressional Fellow, I go to work every day in the U.S. Senate to make progress towards passing mental health care reform, increasing mental health parity, and improving access to health care. I also work on topics related to health care in general, and I am learning a lot about the FDA, Medicare, Medicaid, and current health care law. I absolutely recommend this fellowship to anyone interested in mental health advocacy and public policy.

Laura Willing, M.D., 2015-2016 Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Fellow

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship has been an amazing opportunity to network, educate and contribute to the growing field of child and adolescent psychiatry. This year, I was one of out of five to be selected to partake in this amazing experience. Thus far, we have all gained a better understanding of APA Governance by attending the September Components Meeting and through service with our respective APA council. We are also in the process of receiving clinical mentors, specific to our field of interest, which will aid us in preparing a workshop/symposium for the APA Annual Meeting in 2018. I am so excited to work with my fellow colleagues, across all APA/APAF fellowships, to promote education and positive change in the field of psychiatry. I encourage all to apply to this unique and valuable experience!

Lila Aboueid, M.D., 2016-2018 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Recipient

The APA/APAF Leadership Fellowship has been an incredible experience. This year we have 20 fellows (the largest group of fellows in recent APA/APAF Leadership history!) and they really are the best part of the fellowship. Each fellow is extremely motivated and accomplished in areas ranging from media advocacy and leadership development to neuroscience research. Each month, we come together on a conference call to hear from an expert in psychiatric medicine, someone who can inspire us and advise us as we move through residency training. This also allows fellows to help each other make the most of their APA Council assignments and to collaborate on projects. This year, one of our fellows Aparna Atluru, M.D. even created a leadership development curriculum that we’re rolling out this Fall and turning into a workshop for the APA Annual Meeting in May 2017. Chairing the APA/APAF Leadership fellowship this year has been extremely rewarding. The fellowship provides a wealth of opportunities for professional growth. Perhaps most important to me has been the opportunity to learn from brilliant, talented, and compassion RFMs from all across the country

Jeremy Kidd, M.D., 2016-2017 APA/APAF Leadership Fellowship Chair

2021 Annual Meeting
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Sat,  May  01 - Wed,  May  05
2021 Mental Health Services Conference
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Fri,  Oct  08 - Sat,  Oct  09
2022 Annual Meeting
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Sat,  May  21 - Wed,  May  25