Dr. Louisa Barnhart appointed to Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine
MMA Weekly Update, August 15, 2011
Governor Paul LePage recently appointed Louisa Barnhart, M.D. to fill the remainder of the unexpired term on the Board of Licensure in Medicine of George "Joe" Dreher, M.D. who resigned. Dr. Barnhart is a psychiatrist who practices at Maine General Medical Center in Augusta and Waterville.
(Editor's note: Dr. Barnhart is a member of MAPP and MMA. She is a former member of MAPP's Executive Committee and previously served as chair of the MAPP Ethics Committee.)
MAPP Honors NAMI-Maine and Diane Schetky, M.D. for Contributions to Maine People with Mental Illness
Drs. Jeffrey Barkin and Julie Pease present the MAPP Presidential Appreciation Award to Mr. Bob Tiner, NAMI- Maine Director of Operations and Criminal Justice Programs, and Dr. David Moltz, NAMI-Maine Board of Directors and MAPP Councillor
On April 28, 2010, at its annual membership meeting, the Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians presented the Presidential Appreciation Award to the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in recognition of NAMI-Maine's contributions to mental health parity and their service to the community. "As the social safety net continues to be shredded, many of our patients and clients will inevitably come to the attention of our criminal justice system. NAMI's nationally-recognized Crisis Intervention Training program trains officers how to respond to people with mental health crises in a safe and collaborative manner that ensures successful diversion from jails to appropriate services," said Dr. Julie Pease, MAPP president. "In addition, NAMI's advocacy role with state government has helped our legislators and politicians to appreciate the value and importance of maintaining mental health parity." Mental health parity laws require insurance benefits for mental illnesses to be no lower than benefits for other conditions.
MAPP looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with NAMI-Maine in the months and years ahead. The psychiatrists' MAPP Walkers team will be joining NAMI-Maine at the Back Cove in Portland on May 14th for its ninth annual walk - Changing Minds One Step At A Time.
MAPP also honored Dr. Diane Schetky of Rockport with the Ulrich Jacobsohn Lifetime Achievement award "in recognition of, and profound gratitude for her extraordinary and tireless efforts in providing and advocating for excellent treatment for Maine citizens with psychiatric disease".
For immediate release: 3/13/2010
Maine Psychiatrists Respond to Those Affected by Japan Earthquake
The Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians (MAPP) joins all Mainers, Americans and the international community in mourning the tragic loss of life that occurred as a result of the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan.
We express our deepest sympathy to the residents of the communities affected by the catastrophe, as well as to our Japanese students and expatriates who live in Maine. We express our support to those who are still awaiting word on the fates of family members, friends, and colleagues in the affected areas. We also wish to convey empathy with those who are experiencing the effects of disruptions of social supports and destruction and loss of property. The grief associated with this disaster is universal, and touches all of our lives. Psychiatrists, as part of the world medical community, reach out to those who are affected by all forms of disaster.
Maine psychiatric physicians have an important role to reach out to our communities, including schools and universities that are hosting Japanese students, as well as those who work with these students. In particular, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals may be called upon to provide treatment for individuals with particular vulnerabilities, including pre-existing mental illnesses, who might become more severely disabled without specialized care. At a broader level, health care and social service providers, and other responders in the community should be aware of strategies for helping to promote people’s psychosocial wellbeing and resilience and further reduce distress or harm to disaster victims. In addition, MAPP offers a reminder to parents, teachers and the media to limit children's exposure to upsetting images on the television and the Internet.
Anthony T. Ng, MD FAPA, Medical Director of Psychiatric Emergency Services at Acadia Hospital, is a nationally recognized expert in psychiatric responses to disasters and traumatic events. "People who have been affected directly and indirectly by disasters or traumatic events may experience an array of psychological or bodily reactions, including fear, anxiety, sadness, emotional numbing, sleeplessness, and various bodily ailments such as headaches. Reactions may also include distrust of others and a loss of confidence in themselves," advises Dr. Ng. "As the world psychiatric community engages the challenge of reaching out to individuals in Japan, it will be particularly crucial that any supportive as well as therapeutic interventions appreciate and respect cultural variations in grief reactions and coping strategies. It is important for health care providers and others to avoid defining as pathological normal stress responses in disaster situations. Many of these reactions are transient and may resolve. In some instances, however, it may be appropriate for affected persons to seek treatment for trauma-related emotional states."
Individuals seeking information or other resources are encouraged to contact MAPP at 622-7743. Also, the American Psychiatric Association and other organizations have helpful websites where interested individuals can obtain more information about coping with the mental health aspects of disasters:
APA Tools for Disaster Psychiatry
American Red Cross Disaster Resources
The MAPP site has had page visits since 2/3/12