2023 MPS Election to Begin March 1

The Maryland Psychiatric Society annual election will be held electronically with a secure ballot link emailed to each member on March 1. The voting deadline is March 31.  This is one of the easiest and most vital ways that members can participate in the organization.  MPS elections are very competitive and every vote counts!!!  Following are the candidates for each position with their information:

President-Elect (1-year term)


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: Current: Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Committee member, Council member, Co-Chairman of the Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition. 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

Personal Statement: I have been an active member of MPS for 27 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 equitable high quality mental health services for people of color, immigrants, and other underrepresented people of our community, destigmatizing mental illness, improving somatic care for our patients, and fair treatment by law enforcement and the legal system. This has been a focus of mine in my clinical work, training future physicians and psychiatrists, and in my work at MPS. I want to include multiple diverse perspectives in our organization so that we can continue to be a support, place of discussion, and advocacy for psychiatrists in the community and the people we treat. I would be honored to be able to continue this work as President-elect.


Secretary-Treasurer (1-year term)


Ronald F. Means, M.D.

Current Positions: Catholic Charities – Chief Medical Officer; Private Practice – Child, Adolescent and Adult, Forensic Psychiatry Consultation; Clinical Instructor – Johns Hopkins; Clinical Assistant Professor – University of Maryland

MPS Positions: 2003-05 Resident and Fellows Committee Co- Chair; 2016 – present – Ethics Committee Co-Chair; 2018 – present – Legislative Committee; 2021 – 2023 – Council

Personal Statement: It would be my pleasure to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Maryland Psychiatric Society. Over the years, I have enjoyed my ongoing involvement with the MPS as a committee member and chair and, more recently, as a Council member.  I have been pleased to offer my unique perspective, having worked in a variety of settings, including the state and community mental health systems as an evaluator, treatment provider and administrator.  My participation has also furthered my knowledge as I work to help improve the provision of mental healthcare.  I am now excited to be considered for the Executive Council as the Secretary-Treasurer and hope that my guidance will benefit the future endeavors of MPS.


Council (2-year term, 4 vacancies)


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

Current Positions: Senior Psychiatrist, Sheppard Pratt; Medical Director, The Retreat by Sheppard Pratt; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

MPS Positions: MPS Council Member; MPS Legislative Committee Co-Chair; APA Distinguished Fellow

Personal Statement:  Caring for patients through clinical work has been at the heart of my 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 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 continue serving on the MPS Council and continue 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, comprehensive care and also helping to decrease stigma toward those suffering with psychiatric conditions.

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 13 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, Sheppard Pratt Medical Staff Association Peer Review Committee. Adjunct Associate Professor, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Treasurer, Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA).

MPS Positions: Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition Member, Volunteer Curbside Resource.

Personal Statement: My career spans schizophrenia research, graduate education, and clinical care delivery with a dedication to reducing barriers and improving outcomes for persons with unmet mental health needs. I was recently appointed to the Executive Committee of the BPA, and I am eager to apply a business understanding to the outreach, advocacy, and educational mission of MPS. My dedication to destigmatizing mental disorders to promote mental wellness and fair treatment by the legal system position me well to engage legislators and policy makers in discussions of the practice of psychiatry and medicine aligned, with MPS’ mission. If elected to the Council, I will work effectively with members of the Council, other committees, and the General Assembly to advance our mission goals.

Traci J. Speed, M.D., Ph.D.

Current Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

MPS Positions: Academic Psychiatry Committee Member since 2020 and Academic Psychiatry Co-chair since 2022

Personal Statement: My clinical work as a Pain Psychiatrist has introduced me to the many challenges our psychiatry patients face to receive timely, equitable, and quality multi- or interdisciplinary care. This clinical work has transformed my research interests to develop strategies to improve the delivery of timely and equitable psychiatric care for our underserved populations. If elected to the Council, I hope to continue to work to improve timely access to high quality psychiatric care in Maryland through patient advocacy initiatives and community outreach. It would be an honor to work with our colleagues in achieving the MPS mission. I thank you for your consideration.

Mary Cutler, M.D.

Current Positions: School Psychiatrist, The Children’s Guild; Instructor/Part-time Faculty, Johns Hopkins University; Maryland Regional Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (MRCCAP) Delegate to American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP); AACAP Disaster Committee Member; MRCCAP Private Practice Ad Hoc Committee Liaison.

MPS Positions: MPS Member, APA Fellow

Personal Statement: In clinical practice, I have worked in a number of different settings, including a hospital-based IOP, solo private practice, a managed care organization, and now a school-based OMHC and a non-public level V school serving students with Autism. Through these positions, I have experienced a broad array of clinical psychiatry through which I have gleaned valuable insights into the needs of our patients and community. I have experienced the power of our profession through psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic cures, but also the limitations. Because so many mental health issues cannot be solved solely through work in the psychiatry office, I have been utilizing support systems in the public and private sectors and want to work to make these resources widely known and easy to access. I am grateful to the profession of psychiatry and would be honored to serve as a member of the MPS Council.

M. Haroon Burhanullah, M.D.

Current Positions: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University; Director, Consult Liaison Service/ED at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Memory and Alzheimer’s expert- Memory Clinic at Johns Hopkins; Executive Committee member of Perioperative cognition and Delirium professional interest areas at Alzheimer’s association ISTAART.

MPS Positions: MPS & APA member

Personal Statement: It will be my pleasure to serve as a Council member at the Maryland Psychiatric Society. I work at the memory center and consult psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.  My research interest is association of neuropsychiatric syndrome and delirium on cognition and clinical trials in AD. I have previously served as resident chapter president of New Jersey Psychiatric Association for 2 consecutive terms and served on council of Advocacy. I was awarded APA residents recognition award, excellence in leadership award, and more recently received official citation by Maryland State assembly for contribution in geriatric neuropsychiatry during COVID 19. Thank you for your consideration.

Tyler C. Hightower, M.D., M.P.H.

Current Positions: Springfield Hospital Center – Director of Forensic Services

MPS Positions: 2005-07 Resident and Fellows Committee Co- Chair; 2017 – present Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition; 2021-present Councilor; and 2021-present Ethics Committee

Personal Statement: To serve is to connect to others, to help build a stronger community.  It is with that goal in mind, that I am asking you to re-elect me to serve as a MPS Council Member.  In my practice as a general and a forensic psychiatrist, I have worked with underserved and underrepresented individuals who require navigation through both the mental health and justice systems.  In these settings, I have observed the impact of advocacy efforts on systemic issues affecting those with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. I believe that these experiences, and my understanding of the need for inclusion and diversity, would make me an asset to the MPS leadership team.  I look forward to serving.

Rachna S. Raisinghani, M.D.

Current positions: Chair, Department of Psychiatry at Greater Baltimore Medical Center; Medical Director, Division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at Sheppard Pratt; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine; APA Fellow; Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellow and Interdisciplinary Education Committee Member; Indo-American Psychiatric Association Councilor, and Maryland Chapter President

MPS positions: Councilor 2021-present; Legislative Committee member 2023-present

Personal statement: I am honored to be nominated to continue to serve on the MPS Council. It has been an excellent opportunity to get to know colleagues, practices and current challenges, beyond what goes on in just my sphere of work. I have also appreciated the opportunity to use the platform to utilize the awareness of such challenges to explore possibilities for meaningful change for patients and our health care system. I remain dedicated to the cause of patients experiencing medical and psychiatric issues simultaneously, trying to find an appropriate place to receive all round care, in an often siloed environment. Based on my experience serving on the Council, I certainly hope to encourage as many of my colleagues as possible to become active in the MPS and use the resources for strengthening their peer networks, advocacy for patients and bringing about meaningful change in the field of mental health.  Hope to have your support. Thank you!


Early Career Psychiatrist Councilor (2-year term)

Jamie D. Spitzer, M.D.  

Current Positions: Psychiatrist at Health Care for the Homeless

MPS Positions: Resident-Fellow Member Councilor and RFM Facilitator 2019-2021, Community Psychiatry & Diversity Coalition member 2019-present

Personal Statement:  I completed residency at University of Maryland and I am now an early career psychiatrist at Health Care for the Homeless. I am passionate about my work and as well enhancing it through education, advocacy and building community. As I begin my career, I have learned so much from the MPS and gained a lot of professional support and mentorship. I am eager to contribute to the MPS and foster a community of early career psychiatrists who can support one another as we begin our careers and continue our lifelong pursuit of learning. Additionally, 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 early career psychiatrists to become more involved in advocacy opportunities. It would be a privilege to learn from this community, contribute to it, and further effect positive change in the field of psychiatry.


Resident-Fellow Member Councilor (1-year term)

Hannah Paulding, M.D.

Current Position: PGY3 Resident at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt program

MPS Positions: none past

Personal Statement: I have enjoyed my involvement with MPS as RFM deputy representative. It has afforded me the opportunity to connect with residents and fellows across programs both socially and professionally. I have seen how a strong network of psychiatrists behooves patient care as trainees are empowered to advocate for our patient’s rights, collaborate and coordinate care. I would be honored to serve as the Resident-Fellow Council member. 


APA Assembly Representative (3-year term)

Brian Zimnitzky, M.D.

Current Position: Private Practice – Annapolis, MD; Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

MPS Positions: Area 3 Representative; Legislative Committee.

Personal Statement: After I joined the Maryland Psychiatric Society, I became a member of the Legislative Committee, where I learned the critical role our organization serves in reviewing legislation pertaining to psychiatrists and our patients.  I subsequently served on the MPS Council and Executive Committee.  I am proud to have had the privilege of serving as an MPS President.  For the past six years, I have represented the MPS in the APA Assembly, where we address critical issues pertaining to APA members, our patients and mental health.  As an APA Assembly Representative, I will continue to represent the interests of our members.


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


Ann L. Hackman, M.D.

Current positions:  I am currently an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.  I serve as Division Director for Community Psychiatry and am a career long Assertive Community Treatment Psychiatrist.

MPS Positions:  I have served as a Council Member and I co-chair the Community Psychiatry and Diversity Coalition along with Doris Balis.  I am currently on the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Personal Statement:  I am a longstanding member of MPS and am deeply committed to our membership.  I enjoy being a member of the active Community Psychiatry and Diversity Coalition and am proud to work with wonderful members of this group in activities including bringing relevant CME events to MPS.   I have served as Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee for the past three years and if re-elected will continue to work to enhance the diversity of the Council.

Susan B. Wait, M.D.

Current Positions:  Senior Psychiatrist, Sheppard Pratt Hospital; Psilocybin Psychotherapist in COMPASS research trials at Sheppard Pratt Hospital

MPS Positions:    Council Member, 2013-2015, MPS Peer Review Committee 2006-2012; Nominations and Elections Committee 2020-2022; active member of MPS Book Club since its inception.

Personal Statement:   My membership on the MPS Council and Nominations and Elections Committee has helped me to understand the importance of the elected leadership to the organization in representing the views of its members and achieving its goals and objectives.  My past committee work at Sheppard Pratt has exposed me to a variety of leadership styles and talents.   I hope to strengthen and broaden the representation of MPS members by serving on the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Jason H. Addison, M.D.

Current Positions:  Service Chief of the Sheppard Pratt Crisis Stabilization Unit and the Adult Day Hospital.  Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

MPS Positions:  Member of APA and MPS; previous service on Council and previous chair of the CME Committee.

Personal Statement: I have enjoyed being a member of the MPS, serving in various capacities, and helping to advocate for our patients and our profession.  I have particularly enjoyed meeting and learning from colleagues from a variety of practice environments.

Virginia L. Ashley, M.D.

Current Positions: I currently have a very busy private practice which I have built since 1989.  I did consult liaison at University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopedic Institute from 1992 to 2017.

MPS Positions:  MPS Executive Committee 2019 to present.  MPS President 2022.  2 terms on MPS Council prior to Executive Committee; serving currently as Council Chair.  Currently active in Book Club.

Personal Statement: I have been a member of Maryland Psychiatric Society since 1986 when I joined as a resident at Sheppard Pratt.  My tenure on the Executive Committee is ending and would be honored to join the Nominations & Elections Committee, which is important for the future of our organization.  I look forward to continuing work which would benefit psychiatrists and their patients and would be honored to continue work with the organization on this committee.