Spring 2020 Issue
By John Urbach, MD, DLFAPA
Outgoing PSV President
Dear Members and Friends,
When I began drafting this column about 12 weeks ago, Virginia and the world were in a very different state. We were thinking about a new decade, an election year, a busy legislative session in Richmond, and an exciting Spring Meeting for the PSV.
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted our focus and priorities. Concerns about community spread and containment, “flattening the curve,” social distancing, healthcare shortages, and maintaining critical services have dominated our lives. As we scramble to provide ongoing treatment and support for patients, we are rapidly learning and adapting new means of remote care and outreach. The people we serve, both vulnerable and resilient, face new and unusual stressors. Our members, working in a host of public, academic, and private settings, are working to maintain concerned and compassionate engagement. (PSV Disaster Committee Chair, Dr. Antony Fernandez and APA Assembly Representative, Dr. Adam Kaul, offer a statement in this newsletter)
Your PSV Board, following best practice guidelines, chose to cancel our March 2020 meeting in Richmond. The APA has also canceled its Philadelphia meeting. We all remain committed to lifelong professional learning, and can continue with online and other resources. We do look forward to improved conditions, and to again being able to meet in person, at our 2020 Fall Meeting in Roanoke.
To return for a moment to my initial theme: We usually associate “20/20” with visual acuity, with seeing things clearly. As we enter this new decade, how accurately do we see the challenges that face us? The Coronavirus-19 dominates for now, but there are many other challenges that will be ongoing. Will we defend truth over “alternative facts”? Science over politics? The needs of our patients over financial forces? The unique value of our professional expertise?
Your PSV, through continuing education, advocating for our patients and profession, encouraging the next generation of psychiatrists, and supporting one another, will remain a vital force in the Commonwealth. Our membership continues to grow, especially with residents and fellows. Gifts to our Foundation are allowing more support for their work. Our legislative team achieved some victories in oversight for mental health parity, TDO rules, and monitoring bed availability. We have even updated our organizational seal, to reflect our place in this new era.
In my 36th year as an adoptive Virginian, it has been an honor to serve as your president. Thank you for the opportunity, and congratulations to my successor, Dr. Stephen Cunningham. Again, we wish our members, our families, and our patients good health and coping during this demanding time.
September 25-26, 2020
Hotel Roanoke &
Curio Collection by Hilton
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