(Freeport) The Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians delivered its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award to Gordon Smith at its Annual Meeting on October 24, 2019. Gordon is well-known for his lengthy tenure as Executive Vice President of the Maine Medical Association. MAPP has always maintained a strong relationship with MMA in advocacy for Maine psychiatrists and their patients, and Gordon has been instrumental in our advocacy successes through the years.
Gordon left the MMA after 39 years of service in February to become Maine’s first Director of Opioid Response in the Office of Governor Janet T. Mills. While he has left the world of direct physician advocacy, he remains very much engaged in the fight against a major public health crisis in our society today – (substance use disorder) SUD opioid crisis. Gordon is as passionate about his work on the State’s response to this crisis as he was during his years of physician advocacy.
Gordon deserves substantial credit for his successful advocacy about issues of specific concern to the psychiatric community. In the early 1990s, he worked with Representative Susan Dore, Andrew MacLean (then Assistant Legal Counsel to Governor John R. McKernan, Jr.), and others to draft Maine’s first mental health parity bill, which became one of the first laws in the nation when signed by Governor McKernan. He assembled a “Mental Health Parity Coalition,” a broad-based coalition of organizations committed to promoting behavioral health, to expand Maine’s mental health parity laws during the Baldacci Administration. As another example of his commitment to our work, Gordon guided MAPP in its advocacy about the capacity of the State psychiatric facilities and the development of necessary community-based services when the Riverview Psychiatric Center was designed and constructed. Finally, he guided MAPP in the successful defense against psychologists’ campaign for prescriptive authority in the mid-2000s.
Gordon is a native of Winthrop, Maine and later moved [a long way down the road] to East Winthrop where he resides today with his wife Janet. Gordon and Janet have two grown daughters and two grandsons. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine and his law degree from the Boston College Law School.