Committees are the backbone of our organization. The work of committees has a direct impact on the decisions made by the officers and Council. To have the kind of association we all feel is desirable, we need the active involvement of members!
Following is a list of committees. We hope you will review the list and if you would like to become a member of a committee, contact your Chapter president or email the OPPA office. To the extent possible, we try to have at least one member from each Chapter on each committee.
Addiction Psychiatry Advisory Committee
The Addiction Psychiatry Advisory Committee is made up of members with experience and expertise in treating Substance Use Disorders. The role of the committee is to address addiction-related issues that affect patient care and the practice of psychiatry. Committee members serve in an advisory capacity as needed to respond to requests from OPPA leadership and executive director to review current events and proposed legislation, as well as administrative rules, affecting the practice of Addiction Psychiatry, and guides the OPPA’s response. The committee also advises on the educational, practice and support needs of Addiction Psychiatrists and keeps Council informed of all addiction and pain control issues and makes recommendations to Council for appropriate action.
Child & Adolescent Committee
Chair: Ujjawal Ramtekkar, MD
The Child & Adolescent Committee is made up of members with experience and expertise in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The committee meets as needed to discuss current issues in the state of Ohio that affect children and adolescents with mental illness, and the provision of care to those individuals. The committee reports to OPPA leadership to keep the OPPA informed of important issues that arise, and responds to requests from OPPA leadership to review policy and regulatory proposals, as well as administrative rules and guides OPPA’s response. The committee also advises on the educational, practice and support needs of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists. Keeps Council informed of all child and adolescent issues and makes recommendations to Council for appropriate action.
Correctional Psychiatry Committee
Co-chairs: Megan Testa, MD and Tanya Bodnar, MD
This committee is made up of members with interest in protecting the needs of individuals with mental illness and addictions who are jailed and incarcerated, as well as those on community control. The committee meets as needed to discuss issues related to the provision of care to these vulnerable individuals. The committee reports to OPPA leadership to keep the OPPA informed of important issues that arise, and responds to requests from OPPA leadership to review policy and regulatory proposals that affect provision of care in the correctional setting, and guide OPPA’s response. The committee also advises on the practice and support needs of Correctional Psychiatrists and helps the OPPA identify benefits and supports for members who work in these settings.
Disaster Preparedness Advisory Committee
Diversity, Equity and Social Justice Committee
Co-chairs: Blessing Igboeli, MD and Leslie Pillow, MD
In support of OPPA's condemnation of systemic, structural racism and the negative impact it has had on the health and well-being of Ohioans with mental illness, as well as the negative impact on organizational leadership and its membership, this committee works to eliminate structural racism and related health disparities. The committees strives to diversity its leadership and membership and works to advance the cause of anti-racism, bias, cultural respect and humility through resources, education and collaboration with other organizations that are actively addressing racism and health disparities for the betterment of Ohio.
Early Career Psychiatrist Committee
Chair: Selena Magalotti, MD
The Early Career Psychiatry Committee shall be comprised of members meeting APA criteria for ECP (first eight years of practice after completion of training (ACGME accredited residency/fellowship)). They shall be charged with representing the interests of ECPs. The committee meets regularly to identify areas of interest/concern ECPs. The committee informs OPPA efforts on recruitment and retention of ECPs by advising on the practice, support needs and benefits of membership for Early Career Psychiatrists. The Chair of the committee serves as a voting member of Council. At least one member shall also serve on the Membership Committee, and at least one shall serve on the Program and Continuing Education Committee.
Chair: Eileen McGee, MD
The Ethics Committee meets, when needed, to investigate complaints of unethical or improper personal or professional conduct alleged of any member, in accordance with the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry. The committee prepares a Report to Council advising of any activities, the results of investigations, and recommendations for action to resolve ethical issues that arise.Investigates and reports to Council on charges of unethical or improper personal or professional conduct of any member.
The Executive Committee is composed of the President, President-elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer and Executive Director (ex-officio). The committee meets regularly to discuss all issues of importance to the OPPA and members. The committee is responsible for acting on behalf of Council in urgent situations and making recommendations when deemed necessary, as well as for reviewing and selecting agenda items for the quarterly Council meetings. Additional members may be temporarily added or invited when needed for consultation.
Forensics Advisory Committee
The Forensics Committee is made up of members with interest and expertise in Forensic Psychiatry. Committee members serve in an advisory capacity to discuss issues related to the practice of Forensic Psychiatry. The committee reports to OPPA leadership to keep the OPPA informed of important issues that arise and responds to requests from OPPA leadership and Executive Director to review policy and regulatory proposals, as well as administrative rules, related to Forensic Psychiatry and criminal justice reform. The committee also prepares education for members on risk management and other forensic topics of interest to all psychiatrists.
Government Relations Committee
Chair: Steve Jewell, MD
The Government Relations Committee studies and reports to OPPA leadership on contemplated, pending or existing legislative matters, governmental regulatory issues, rules and regulations, and judicial decisions, which are pertinent to mental health and/or substance use disorders and to the practice of psychiatry in Ohio. The committee makes recommendations to Council on positions to be taken on such matters, and with consent of Council, represents the OPPA before governmental, policy-making, and regulatory bodies. The chair of the Government Relations Committee serves as a voting member of Council.
Integrated Care Committee
Chair: Doug Smith, MD
The Integrated Care Committee is made up of members with interest and expertise in using integrated care models to fully or partially blend mental health and/or substance use disorders with general medical services. The committee meets as needed to discuss issues related to development and implementation of Integrated/Collaborative Care models (for both public mental health and private psychiatric practice), as well as practical matters including skills training, reimbursement and quality assurance. The committee reports to OPPA leadership to keep the OPPA informed of important issues that arise and responds to requests from OPPA leadership to review policy and regulatory proposals, as well as administrative rules, related to Integrated Care.
Co-Chairs: William Resch, DO and Grant Gase, DO
The Membership Committee recruits, reviews and recommends to Council applicants for membership, and reviews and recommends to Council nominations for Distinguished Fellowship in the APA. The committee develops strategies for membership recruitment and retention with input from other OPPA specialty committees. The committee develops methods for recruiting diversity in psychiatry training programs and in the Association’s membership, committees, and leadership. The committee informs Council of member issues, including issues affecting underrepresented minority members, makes recommendations for serving and retaining all members, and develops methods to promote maximum participation in the association.
Chair: Christina Weston, MD
The Nominating Committee members are appointed by Council for a two-year term to provide nominations to Council for candidates to run for leadership positions (officers) within the Association. The Nominating Committee is chaired by the Immediate Past-President. If he/she is unwilling or unable to serve, another experienced member will serve for one year. There shall be a representative of each Chapter of the OPPA on the Nominating Committee. The term of office for each member shall be two years and the Council will appoint approximately one-half of the committee in alternate years to provide for continuity. No member of the Nominating Committee shall be eligible to be nominated for OPPA office.
Private Practice Committee
Chair: Mackenzie Varkula, DO
The Private Practice Committee is made up of members with interest in the practical matters that affect psychiatrists in private practice, which include economic and reimbursement issues, third-party payor policies, access to care and more. The committee meets as needed to discuss issues and reports to OPPA leadership about important issues that arise, as well as identifies member benefits to psychiatrists in private practice. The committee responds to requests from OPPA leadership to review policy and/or regulatory proposals, as well as administrative rules related to private practice issues. Committee members may be asked to represent the OPPA by serving on various coalitions when relevant and productive.
Program & Continuing Education Committee
Co-Chairs: Karen Jacobs, DO and Awais Aftab, MD
The Program & Continuing Education Committee plans the scientific programs of the Association, including the Annual Psychiatric Update, that serve the membership as identified through needs assessment, to provide quality continuing education for psychiatrists in Ohio. The committee arranges for appropriate accreditation of the program and keeps necessary records of attendance. The Chair may also be asked to serve on the APA Subcommittee on Joint Sponsorship.
Public Information & Liaison Committee
Chair: Alan Levy, MD
The Public Information & Liaison Committee serves to reduce the stigma of mental illness and raise public understanding of mental health, addiction, and the practice of psychiatry. The committee interprets, advises and alerts the public to important issues affecting psychiatric practice and those living with mental illness and substance use disorders. The committee reports to OPPA leadership about important public interest issues that arise and responds to media requests that have come to the OPPA. The committee provides experts for the working press and other professional groups when needed.
Public Psychiatry Committee
Chair: Nita Bhatt, MD
The Public Psychiatry Committee is made up of members serving in the public mental health sector and those with expertise in community mental health. The committee represents the OPPA in important matters pertaining to provision of psychiatric care in the public sector settings (including state hospitals and community mental health centers). The committee reports to OPPA leadership to keep the OPPA informed of important issues that arise that affect public psychiatry, and responds to requests from OPPA leadership to review policy and regulatory proposals, as well as administrative rules, related to public psychiatry.
Resident-Fellow Member Committee
Chair: Manny Akpan, DO
The Resident-Fellow Member Committee is made up of one representative from each psychiatric residency training program in Ohio, elected by a process approved by each individual residency program. The goal of the committee is to promote interest and participation in the association among psychiatric residents in Ohio and to advise the association how to best serve and retain members in and beyond training. The committee meets regularly to identify areas of concern to psychiatric trainees and reports to OPPA leadership. The Chair of the committee serves as a voting member of Council.
State Medical Board Issues Advisory Committee
The Committee advises the President, Council, and Executive Director on issues taken up by the State Medical Board of Ohio that impact psychiatry and OPPA members. Current and past issues have included discriminatory language in the licensure application, telemedicine rules, and one-bite rules. The committee meets as needed, on request of association leadership, to review and provide rapid response to Board issues.
Strategic Planning Committee
Chair: Alyse Stolting, MD, President
The Strategic Planning Committee is chaired by the current president and is made of up members of the Executive Committee and chairs of select OPPA committees, as needed, to review the OPPA’s Strategic Plan, and updates the plan as needed to identify current priorities of the Association, including strategic objectives and action steps that guide leadership, OPPA committees and staff in their work.