The Maryland Psychiatric Society annual election will be held electronically with ballots sent by email again this year. Following are the candidates for each position along with bio information:
Carol Vidal, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Current Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
MPS Positions: MPS Secretary-Treasurer, MPS Council Member, MPS Community Psychiatry and Diversity Coalition Member, MPS Legislative Committee Member, Fellow, APA.
Personal Statement: I have worked in Baltimore City since I completed my training. I have a strong interest in mental health prevention and service access, especially for vulnerable youth, and believe in innovative systems of care that take into consideration the blend between the biological and social causes of psychiatric disorders. I see the role of Maryland psychiatrists as expanding beyond the clinic and into the settings most transited by the general population (emergency rooms, primary care, schools, and neighborhoods). I believe MPS as an organization is tasked to serve as an advocate for our profession, for good quality of mental health and substance use care for our patients, and for the promotion of social factors that contribute to optimal mental health.
Theodora G. Balis, M.D.
Current Positions: Medical Director Grace Medical Center/LifeBridge Health ACT team and Director Medical Education in Psychiatry at Grace Medical Center. Part-time faculty, Assistant Professor University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, Trinity School of Medicine.
MPS Positions: Past: Co-Chair and member of the Diversity Committee, Member of the Public Psychiatry Committee, Member of the Committee for Disaster Psychiatry, Member of the Committee for International Medical Graduates, Member of the Committee for Continuing Medical Education, Chairman of Diversity Committee since 2015; Current: Co-Chairman of the Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition
Personal Statement: I have been an active member of MPS for 26 years. I have focused my career on public sector psychiatric work and cultural issues that affect treatment as well as in the education of various trainees in psychiatry from Social Work students to Medical students and Psychiatry Residents. I am passionate about the importance of destigmatizing mental illness as a means to contribute to better somatic care, fair treatment by law enforcement, and the legal system, and equitable high quality mental health services for people of color and other underrepresented people of our community. This has been a focus of mine in my clinical work, training future physicians and psychiatrists, and in my work at MPS. I would be honored to be able to continue this work as Secretary-Treasurer.
Council (four vacancies)
Sushma N. Jani, M.D.
Current Positions: Medical Director, Community Behavioral Health & Maple Shade Youth and Family Services
MPS Positions: None
Personal Statement: It is my honor to accept this Council nomination. As a child, adolescent, addictions, and forensic trained psychiatrist and pediatrician in the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I practice in 12 clinics in a region spanning 300 miles to serve rural and underserved communities. I oversee multidisciplinary teams to offer a variety of individual, group, family, and couple psychotherapies, TMS, psychiatric rehabilitation programs, addiction services, and resident and student training. Apart from my clinical work, I partner with the University of Maryland and the George Washington University Departments of Psychiatry to implement research interventions in artificial intelligence and telemedicine, have obtained numerous grants to implement trauma informed training and early childhood intervention services, and work with local providers and communities to improve the implementation of evidence based psychiatric care. I am hopeful my contributions to and from the Council will improve rural practice outcomes through the empowerment of more Maryland psychiatrists.
Ikwunga Wonodi, M.D., M.B.A.
Current Positions: Service Chief, Orchard Suite and Thought Disorders Day Hospital; Chair, Peer Review Committee, Sheppard Pratt Baltimore/Washington Campus. Adjunct Associate Professor, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Distinguished Fellow of the APA.
MPS Positions: Member, Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition; Volunteer Curbside Resource.
Personal Statement: My career spans schizophrenia research, graduate medical education, and clinical care focused on eliminating barriers and improving outcomes for persons with unmet mental health needs. I contributed to an NIMH-funded multisite Clozapine trial with implications for reducing racial disparities in Clozapine treatment of African American patients. Our team reduced rehospitalization rates in PG County by incorporating social determinants in treatment planning. And I am rising in the leadership at Sheppard Pratt. I am eager to apply a business understanding to the outreach, advocacy, and educational mission of MPS. My dedication to destigmatizing mental disorders, and advocating fair treatment by the legal system position me well to engage legislators and policy makers in discussions on the practice of psychiatry and medicine, aligned with MPS’ mission. If granted the opportunity to serve, I will work effectively with members of the Council, other committees, and the general assembly to advance our mission goals.
Emily E. Haas, M.D.
Current Positions: Interim Co-Service Chief of the Sheppard Pratt Trauma Disorders Unit
MPS Positions: APA and MPS General Member
Personal Statement: My clinical work is mostly around caring for hospitalized adult survivors of severe childhood trauma. Even though I am early in my career I have already found this work incredibly meaningful, rewarding, and motivating to continue to grow as a psychiatrist and therapist. In doing this work, as in most areas of psychiatry, I have witnessed the many inequities and unjust aspects of the medical system. Advocacy for our patients and our profession, while protecting its integrity, are important topics to me. I am also passionate about medical education and advancing the training of future psychiatrists. I would be honored for the opportunity to join the MPS council to help further efforts in these areas and to learn from and connect with more psychiatric colleagues. It would truly be a privilege to be able to contribute to our professional organization in the role of council member.
Samuel L. Williams, III, M.D., MBA
Current Positions: Medical Director, Magellan Health; Chief Psychiatric Medical Officer, MedStar Family Choice-DC; Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, Mary’s Center (Maryland/DC).
MPS Positions: Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition Member; Legislative Committee Member
Personal Statement: It is an honor to be nominated for an MPS Council position. After completing my residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan, I followed my passion of serving in urban and underserved communities initially in Detroit and for the past nine years in Baltimore and Washington, DC. I am driven to improve mental health access and psychiatric care in Maryland, reduce the stigma of mental health disorders and further the MPS mission. I will add value to the Council based on my varied background as a community, child and adolescent psychiatrist and physician leader. I would be honored to serve on the MPS Council and appreciate your support.
Catherine L. Harrison-Restelli, M.D.
Current Positions: Clinical Assistant Professor, UMDSOM, and Attending Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Emergency Services, UMMC (part time), psychiatrist in private practice (part time)
MPS Positions: Member of MPS Council (2020-present), longtime member of MPS and APA
Personal Statement: I’ve spent my career working at the interface of psychiatry and medicine, caring for complex medically ill patients admitted to the hospital (GBMC, UMMC, VAMHCS), integrating mental health and substance use care into primary care clinics, and seeing patients in the Emergency Department. I would be honored to continue to serve on the MPS Council and work to improve psychiatric care in Maryland. My interests are related to patient flow and access to services and physician wellness. It is untenable that children with autism and older adults with neurocognitive disorder may wait 4 weeks in the ED before getting a psychiatric bed, or that suicidal patients with comorbid medical illness get “stuck” in general hospital beds and may never make it to inpatient psychiatry. To maintain a healthy psychiatric workforce, we need to address documentation burden, ensure we have adequate time to see patients, provide fair compensation and reduce burnout.
Kim L. Bright, M.D.
Current Positions: Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents – Psychiatrist, Volunteer Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Distinguished Fellow of the APA with maintained clinical practice
MPS Positions: MPS Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition (CPD) – member 2017 to present.
Personal Statement: In my career as a board certified Child/Adolescent/General Psychiatrist, I have had the privilege of working with children, adolescents, transitional age youth, adults, individuals with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. Over the last 27 years, my leadership experiences as the Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Administration, Clinical Director of Springfield Hospital Center, Interim Director of Behavioral Health Services at the University of Maryland, College Park has provided me a unique understanding of the behavioral health needs of various populations. Additionally, my continuous civil and community service has allowed me to have a positive impact on local communities. My goal is to ensure that residents in diverse populations, particularly the underserved, are provided access to safe and effective behavioral health services. I would be honored to serve as a MPS Council member.
Benedicto R. Borja, M.D.
Current Positions: Program Director, Psychiatry Residency Training, George Washington University; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine
MPS Positions: MPS, APA and AMA General Member; Awarded MPS Special Recognition Award for Recruitment (2000)
Personal Statement: My career for the past 20 years has been focused on emergency psychiatry, telepsychiatry and graduate medical and student education. I have been instrumental in the development of Baltimore’s first Psychiatric Emergency Service at the University of Maryland and the Crisis Services at Sheppard Pratt where I served as the inaugural medical director for both. I would bring my experience to helping the mission of the MPS in serving our population of all ages with mental health problems that have been stigmatized and marginalized, providing access to good quality mental health care and tackling inequalities. I also believe it is crucial to help our colleagues with mentoring, career development and preventing burnout.
Resident-Fellow Member Councilor
Karen Dionesotes, M.D., M.P.H.
Current Positions: PGY3 Resident at the Johns Hopkins Medicine General Psychiatry Residency Program
MPS Positions: RFM Councilor, Residents & Fellows Committee Chair, Legislative Committee Member, Residents & Fellows Section APA Delegate to the AMA House of Delegates, APA Leadership Fellow
Personal Statement: Early in medical school, I grew frustrated witnessing a healthcare system that often does not meet our patient’s needs. This led to both my active involvement in organized medicine as well as taking time away from my medical education to pursue a MPH in health systems & policy. It is through these activities that I have become acquainted with how healthcare policy directly affects patient care, and the importance of advocacy. It would be an honor to continue to serve on MPS Council as the Resident-Fellow Member. I look forward to the continued opportunity to further engage residents and fellows with the organization.
APA Assembly Representative
Annette L. Hanson, M.D.
Current Positions: Director 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 Committees. Current APA Assembly Representative and Legislative Committee Chair.
Personal Statement: My 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 Resident-Fellow Members. As Assembly Representative I will coordinate local concerns with APA Area 3 and APA actions on a national level.
Nominations & Elections Committee (two vacancies)
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 – 2020. Board Member, Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, 2011 – 2018. Secretary-Treasurer 2018 – 2019, President-Elect 2019 -2020, President 2020 – 2021, Council Chair 2021 – present.
Personal Statement: Since leaving training, I have worked primarily in the field of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry and 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. During my time on the MPS Executive Committee I have worked to engage trainees and early career psychiatrists from diverse backgrounds in the work of the MPS. I would be honored to continue to serve the MPS as a member of the Nomination & Elections Committee.
Geetha Jayaram, M.D.
Current Positions: I am a Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, with joint appointments at the Schools of Public Health and Nursing.
MPS Positions: I have served the Maryland Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association since I was a fellow for decades. I have chaired numerous committees, served as Assembly Representative, and been a member of the Council, Women’s, Community Psychiatry and Peer Review committees.
Personal Statement: I am honored to be asked to run as a member of the nominating committee. I bring to the position my vast experience in leading, managing both organizations and groups of people, and working in every aspect of the field of psychiatry, with experience in teaching, research, and mentoring. I hope to build our society with others and carry our mission of advocacy for our patients and our profession forward to the best of my ability.
Hinda Dubin, M.D.
Current positions: Volunteer Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Maryland, Department of Psychiatry and Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Associate Training Director University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Coordinator Psychiatric Education and Training Behavioral Health Administration State of Maryland, Private practice in Mt Washington, Maryland. Running in my role as a private practitioner.
MPS Positions: Councilor 2014-2016, Public Affairs Committee Member and Women’s Committee Member 1997-2000, Residents and Fellows Committee member during residency.
Personal Statement: Having trained, worked and practiced in Maryland for many years, in many different capacities, I would like to use that breadth of experience to attract a diverse group of colleagues to become active and run for office at the Maryland Psychiatric Society. It is essential to attract psychiatrists from all perspectives to work on behalf of our profession and the people we serve.
Patrick T. Triplett, M.D.
Current Positions: Clinical Director and Physician Advisor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
MPS Positions: Past President (2018-19) and Council Chair (2019-20) of MPS, past Council Member for two terms, Early Career representative to Council, Legislative Committee Member, and Residents and Fellows Committee Co-Chair.
Personal Statement: Among the many things I’ve learned from my 20+ years with MPS is that engagement with MPS remains vitally important for all psychiatrists in Maryland. In addition to our efforts to maintain and expand our membership, the work of the Nominations and Elections Committee plays an important role in ensuring the continuation of effective leadership for MPS and in creating opportunities for members from diverse backgrounds and practice settings to participate in an organization committed to advocating for psychiatrists in Maryland and our patients. It would be my great privilege to serve on this committee.