2019 MPS Election Slate with Bios

Candidate Biographies for 2019 MPS Election – Ballots must be postmarked by March 31, 2019 to be counted.

President-Elect (1-year term)

Mark J. Ehrenreich, M.D.

Current Positions: Chief of Medical Education, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Director of Residency Training, University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency Training Program
MPS Positions: MPS Peer Review Committee, 2000 – 2002. MPS Council, 2007 – 2011 & 2015 – present, MPS Ethics Committee, 2009 – present, MPS Distinguished Fellowship Committee, 2009 – present, Chair of MPS Distinguished Fellowship Committee 2016 – present. Board Member, Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, 2011 – 2018. MPS Secretary-Treasurer 2018 – present.
Personal Statement: Over the past 29 years, I have worked primarily in the field of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry and in Psychiatric Education, while also maintaining a small private practice. As someone who has been involved in the training of future psychiatrists, I am deeply committed to the mission of the MPS. The MPS’s advocacy for our patients and our profession is important not only for the present but also for the future of psychiatric practice in our state. I have been a member of the MPS since residency and I have had the pleasure of serving the MPS in a variety of roles. I would be honored to further serve in the MPS as your President-Elect.

Secretary-Treasurer (1-year term)

Virginia L. Ashley, M.D.                

Current Positions:  Private Practice for over 30 years; 2017 Retired from UMMS part-time Consult Liaison position of 25 years.
MPS Positions:  MPS Council – 2015 to present.  Book Club Co- Chair 2010 to present.
Personal StatementMPS has been an important organization for me since I was a resident. My early involvement was through MAPPS, a MPS group where I learned the value of good collegial support.  I hope to continue to work for the professional needs of our diverse group of psychiatrists.  My career has been patient-centered and I hope to continue to support our advocacy work.  I am looking forward to giving back to the MPS community. Thank you for your support.

Council (2-year term, 4 vacancies)


Thomas F. Krajewski, M.D.

Current Positions: Private Practice of General, Geriatric and Forensic Psychiatry, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Healthcare Policy Consultant.
MPS Positions: Payer Relations Committee Co-Chair, Public Affairs Committee chairman (past), Distinguish Fellowship Committee member (past), Geriatric Psychiatry Committee member (past).
Personal Statement: With past experience as Superintendent of Springfield Hospital Center, Director of the Medical/Psychiatric Program for the State of Maryland, Assistant Secretary of Health for the Maryland Health Department and Assistant Secretary of Mental Hygiene, Developmental Disabilities and Addictions for the Maryland Health Department, my career has allowed me to balance psychiatric care to my patients while developing healthcare and quality assurance policy for the state and federal government as well as private enterprise. I would be honored to work with my colleagues on the MPS Council.

Ronald F.  Means, M.D.

Current PositionsCatholic Charities – Assistant Medical Director of Community-Based Services, Private Practice – Child, Adolescent and Adult, Forensic Psychiatry Consultation, Clinical Instructor – Johns Hopkins, Clinical Assistant Professor – University of Maryland
MPS Positions2003-05 Resident and Fellows Committee Co- Chair, 2016 – present Ethics Committee
Personal Statement: It would be my pleasure to serve as a Council member for the Maryland Psychiatric Society. I envision that as my career progresses, I will do more work in policy for standards of care in mental health treatment.  I am hoping that serving as an MPS Council member will be an entrée into that field.  I will add diversity to the Council based upon my personal background but also based upon my work as a community, child and adolescent psychiatrist and forensic psychiatrist.  My training and work experience provide a unique perspective from which the Council can benefit.

Savitha Puttaiah, M.D.

Current Positions: Psychiatrist, Sheppard Pratt Health System and Integrated Health Care Clinic through GBMC, Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
MPS Positions:  Early Career Psychiatrists Committee Member
Personal Statement: My career in psychiatry has spanned three continents and systems (India, UK and the US) and primarily focused on patient care. On an everyday basis, I find that our patients battle stigma and face discrimination on various levels. I believe that the MPS has created a strong platform for our patients’ and our voices to be heard, and does valuable work in resetting the balance. I hope to further the mission of the MPS by joining the Council and, as an early career psychiatrist, would like to lessen the interface between trainees and local psychiatrists by facilitating more gatherings. I appreciate your support and hope to serve the MPS in this capacity.

Carolina Vidal, M.D.

Current Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division; Associate Program Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University
MPS Positions: Public Psychiatry Committee Member
Personal StatementAfter completing my residency and fellowship at the University of Maryland, I chose to continue working in Baltimore to follow my passion to serve urban communities. I am interested in finding ways to improve the mental health of individuals who have difficulties accessing traditional ways of health care delivery. I believe in systems of care that take into consideration the blend between the biological and social causes of mental disorders, and see the role of psychiatrists as expanding beyond the clinic and into the community. If elected to the Council, I hope to advocate for services with this perspective. I thank you for your consideration.

Jessica Merkel-Keller, M.D.

Current Positions: Attending Psychiatrist, Thomas B. Finan Center, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Part-time Clinical Instructor
MPS Positions: Current Early Career Psychiatrist Councilor since 2015, Co-editor of The Maryland Psychiatrist since 2018, Editorial Advisory Board Member since 2013
Personal Statement: It is my honor to be nominated for a Council position. The focus of my clinical practice is treating, empowering, and removing barriers to access for indigent patients, and practicing rural medicine. Recently, I have served as an Assertive Community Treatment psychiatrist, and worked in a correctional facility. Currently, I am developing and piloting an inpatient telepsychiatry program in partnership with The University of Maryland and Behavioral Health Administration. At Johns Hopkins, I currently serve on the Faculty Senate and the Part-time Faculty Advisory Board. While serving as the ECP Councilor, I have hosted and facilitated social events to help our members connect and foster relationships between newer and established members. As a member of Council, I hope to continue to work to foster a sense of community and connectedness among fellow psychiatrists.

Michael A. Young, M.D., M.S.

Current Positions: Attending Psychiatrist, Sheppard Pratt Health System; Volunteer Faculty, University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency Training Program
MPS Positions: MPS and APA General Member
Personal StatementCaring for patients through clinical work has been the lifeblood of my early career as a psychiatrist and something that brings a great sense of meaning and purpose to my life on a daily basis.  I believe that it is also important for psychiatrists to carve out time to pursue research interests, mentor up and coming clinicians, engage in patient advocacy initiatives, and participate in community outreach in the interest of improving the quality of and access to psychiatric care.  I would be honored to serve on the MPS Council and join the effort to improve psychiatric care in Maryland by working with my colleagues in achieving the MPS objectives.  My personal interest in participating would include working to expand patient access to high quality individual, group, and family psychotherapy, as I believe this can be an essential component in the recovery process that has oft been forgotten.

Crystal C. Watkins, M.D., Ph.D.  

Current Positions: Director, The Memory Clinic in Neuropsychiatry at Sheppard Pratt; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Institutional Review Board Member, Sheppard Pratt
MPS Positions: MPS Council Member 2017- present; MPS Diversity Committee, 2015- present; Member, APA Council on Research 2014-16; Fellow, APA, 2014- present.
Personal Statement: I am passionate about my community and my profession as a Geriatric Psychiatrist. If elected to an additional term on the Council, I will continue to build bridges with our political leaders and medical peers and advance access to mental health treatment in Maryland.  As a life-long Baltimore resident, I will continue to utilize my network in the Greater Baltimore area to partner with schools, patient advocate groups and community organizations to address the stigma associated with psychiatric care. I will continue to foster diversity in the Council with my unique perspective of working at both Sheppard Pratt and Johns Hopkins in clinical research, residency education, inpatient care, community outreach and administration. With your support, I will help to expand the valuable mission of the MPS by offering new ideas and fostering camaraderie among members. Thank you for your consideration.

Jason H. Addison, M.D.

Current Positions:  Service Chief of the Sheppard Pratt Young Adult Inpatient Unit and Assistant Director of the Adult & Co-Occurring Day Hospital.  Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
MPS Positions:  Member of APA and MPS; currently serving on MPS Council and as Co-chair of the Program and CME Committee.
Personal Statement: I continue to enjoy being a member of the MPS, serving on Council and continuing to work as co-chair of the CME Committee; I would be interested in continuing on the Council in order to further advance the work of the MPS.  I have particularly enjoyed meeting and learning from colleagues from a variety of practice environments and feel that this welcoming atmosphere is one of the strengths of our organization.

Early Career Psychiatrist Councilor (2-year term)

Marissa A. Flaherty, M.D.

 Current Positions: Springfield Hospital Center, Acting Unit Director Psychiatrist; Voluntary Faculty University of Maryland School of Medicine
MPS Positions: Past Residents & Fellows Committee Member
Personal Statement: I would love the opportunity to represent the Early Career Psychiatrist sector in the MPS. Having recently completed my residency, serving as executive chief resident and commencing my job at Springfield Hospital Center, I remain very interested in helping early career psychiatrists become involved in the larger psychiatric community. My interests include medical student and resident teaching and mentoring, psychotic spectrum disorders, community mental health and improvement of delivery of services to different psychiatric populations. If elected to the MPS Council, I would seek to help psychiatrists in Maryland lead the way for positive change in mental health care which ultimately will pave the way for improved treatment and outcomes for our patients.

Resident-Fellow Member Councilor (1-year term)

Jamie Spitzer, M.D.   

Current Positions: PGY2 Resident at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Residency Program
MPS Positions: Incoming Residents & Fellows Committee Chair
Personal StatementPrior to medical school I worked in microfinance empowering underserved women in rural China and as a Program Manager and Case Manager resettling refugees in Baltimore, which not only inspired me to pursue a career in medicine and psychiatry, but also gave me a unique perspective on the social determinants of health and related advocacy work. I continue to aspire to develop a career that incorporates my experiences as a case manager and advocate to be a psychiatrist and community leader serving the underserved. I want to learn from the leaders in the field at the MPS, advocate for resources and programs that can improve psychiatric care in Maryland, and engage residents and fellows to become more involved in advocacy opportunities. It would be a privilege to learn from this community and further effect positive change in the field of psychiatry.

APA Assembly Representative (3-year term)

Annette L. Hanson, M.D.

Current PositionsDirector of the University of Maryland Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship; Assistant professor of psychiatry at University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins; Active with American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law; consulting psychiatrist in the Division of Correction.
MPS Positions: Former chair of the MPS Forensic Committee, served on the Communications and Women’s Issues Committees. Current MPS Council member and Legislative Committee Chair. Current APA Assembly Representative for Area 3, Area 3 liaison for the APA steering committee for practice guidelines.
Personal StatementMy priority will be to improve communication between the MPS legislative committee and the general membership, to keep members informed in an on-going fashion about the state general assembly issues that affect daily practice, and to increasingly involve members-in-training. As Area 3 rep I will coordinate local concerns with APA actions on a national level.

Nominations & Elections Committee (3-year term, 2 vacancies)


Sally Waddington, M.D.

Current Positions: I have been in full time private practice in Laurel, MD for over 20 years.
MPS Positions: Past President and Council Chair of the MPS, finishing a total of 4 years on the Executive Committee. Served on MPS Council for two terms and was Committee Chairperson for the MPS Membership Committee for 4 years.
Personal Statement: Having served recently on the MPS Executive Committee, I have a clear understanding of the challenges we face maintaining a vibrant organization. Encouraging member engagement was a cornerstone of my Presidency, and I am proud to have enlisted a greater number of women to participate in Committees and Council elections. I would be honored to continue the mission to foster broad membership participation by serving on the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Patrick T. Triplett, M.D.

Current Positions: Clinical Director and Physician Advisor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
MPS Positions: Served as Residents and Fellows Committee Co-Chair, Legislative Committee Member, Council Member.  Current MPS President.
Personal Statement:  I am currently the clinical director for psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and have been an active member of MPS since residency.  I also have the honor of serving as the current president of MPS and have seen firsthand the importance of the Nominations and Elections Committee in ensuring the continuation of effective leadership for MPS.  It would be my great privilege to serve on this committee.

Brian Zimnitzky, M.D.

Current Positions: Private Practice, Assistant Clinical Professor – Johns Hopkins University.
MPS Positions: APA Assembly Representative, Past President, MPS Council, Legislative Committee, Membership Committee (previously)
Personal StatementI have been an active MPS member since I completed my forensic psychiatric fellowship at the University of Maryland.  I first became involved with the MPS through the Legislative Committee.  I have enjoyed working with the committee over the years to address legislation that affects the practice of psychiatry and the patients we treat.  I have been a member of the Council for several years, and I also had the honor of serving as MPS President.  On the Nominations & Elections Committee, my goal is to recruit members of our organization to serve in leadership roles to ensure that our organization continues to be strong and address the needs of our profession and patients.  

Elias K. Shaya, M.D.

Current PositionsRegional Medical Director & Senior Associate Executive Director for Behavioral Health at MedStar Health, Inc. Distinguished Fellow of the APA with maintained clinical practice and special interest in Geriatric and Neuropsychiatry. Research activity with special interest and expertise in clinical pharmacotherapy and functional brain imaging. Special interest in physician coding and physician compensation models.
MPS PositionsCurrent Member Payer Relations Committee, Past President of MPS, Past Payer Relations Committee Chair, Past Council Member, current APA Assembly Representative, current MedChi Delegate,
Personal StatementLet me express my sincere gratitude to the nominating committee members for their trust; it would be a privilege and a pleasure to serve the MPS on the Nominations and Elections Committee. My journey with the MPS has been most gratifying since my “initiation” into the Payer Relations Committee, under Dr. Philip Dvoskin’s leadership. I look forward to representing our members’ interests and priorities in the deliberations about future MPS leadership. My years of experience and work on payers-related matters, from reducing administrative burdens to parity and physician compensation, will hopefully serve me well to serve the interests of our members and ultimately those of our patients.

Council voted to approve these candidates at its November 13, 2018 meeting.