Donna M. Norris, MD



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Campaign Statement

Dear Colleagues/Friends,


It is an honor to be nominated for President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association as our nation engages in health care reform that will impact the care of our patients and our profession. My extensive leadership experience in APA and allied psychiatric and medical groups prepares me to lead the APA. As a Distinguished Life Fellow and an APA member for 37 years, I have led the APA as Secretary-Treasurer, Area 1 Trustee, Assembly Speaker, chair of the Membership Committee, vice-chair of the Commission on Government Relations, and served as a member of the Budget Committee for 8 years. As Secretary, I chaired the Board Task Force on the DSM-V vetting policy. This work initiated current conflict of interest and disclosure affiliation policies now being implemented in the APA and consistent with changes in all of medicine.


Our profession faces many challenges: 1) advocating for health care reform to ensure quality care for patients and their families, 2) providing APA members the best education and support and, 3) building the future of our profession (services, training, and research) despite current fiscal constraints.


1) Psychiatry must continue to have a strong and educated voice regarding mental health services and treatment. Although parity passed in 2008, we must remain vigilant and proactive with our legislators to assure that any reform process will address these concerns, including confidentiality, the use of electronic medical records, and fair reimbursement in the private and public sectors. The states’ roles are crucial to implementing any reform, and yet the economic crisis and rising unemployment undercut state budgets needed for reform. This places publicly supported clinics, academic centers and hospitals at risk and jeopardizes the care of our patients. We must coordinate our patients’ care with our primary care colleagues. Our district branches and state organizations will need greater support from APA to increase their grassroots advocacy in state legislatures to ensure that care of the most seriously and persistently mentally ill patients will not be abandoned.


2) APA’s mission to educate its members demands that the best science is translated rapidly for clinical use. In addition to medical student and residency training, APA must expand opportunities for continuing medical education and lifelong learning. The changing field of print publishing requires that the APA accelerate development of methods of publication and dissemination that utilize web based and other technologies to provide more timely access to information.


3) As a former APA treasurer, I advocated for fiscal stability and budgetary transparency as essential priorities. During these difficult financial times, my leadership experience in APA will support efforts to recruit and retain members, especially early career, subspecialist, women, IMG, and other underrepresented minority group psychiatrists, who drop out of the APA at higher rates. With greater membership engagement and commitment, I will lead the APA in efforts at all levels to develop new revenue streams.


As APA President-Elect, I will advocate strongly for the mental health needs of our patients, including children, the elderly and returning veterans. I will advocate for increased support for districts branches and state associations. I will advocate for fair reimbursement and continue to work with our allied psychiatric and medical organizations. I am committed to work with you to meet these challenges to safeguard the future of our profession. I ask for your vote and thank you.


Best regards,


Donna M. Norris, M.D.

Donna M. Norris, M.D.
Candidate for President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association



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