In keeping with our expanded vision to serve those with epilepsy and “associated psychiatric disorders,” staff members from ROW and OWP attended the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in New York.
The APA Annual Meeting is the largest psychiatric meeting held annually, with over 16,000 anticipated attendees from around the globe, most of whom are physicians from psychiatric and other mental health disciplines, social workers and nurses … In addition to the more than 400 scientific sessions, over 200 APA committee meetings and allied group meetings were held.
ROW and OWP shared a booth in the exhibit hall. We presented our model and projects with psychiatrists and students, almost half of whom were international members. ROW staff attended the Africa Discussion Group organized by advisory board member Sam Okpaku. Attendees discussed how to address the lack of treatment options for patients and the need for professional training; areas where ROW could be involved in funding.
OWP sponsored a dinner for the psychiatry section of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, with Scott Boyer as a featured speaker. We currently partner with a CMDA member neurologist on our projects in Kenya and Haiti.
We had the privilege of sharing some of our epilepsy projects with various doctors. One from Mexico got very excited about what we are doing in Haiti. His reaction was: “You hear about organizations doing amazing work like this, but you don’t usually get to meet the people involved in it.” He was very excited and encouraged ROW to attend the World Psychiatric Association annual meeting. He offered to introduce us to psychiatrists working in under-resourced areas in Latin America. As word of our work gets out, more opportunities like this are opening to us!
“Expanding our charitable purpose to include psychiatry is exciting!” says Lori Hairrell, ROW Program Developer. “We will be funding projects that improve training for psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals working in under-served areas, in addition to providing grants of high-quality medications.”