DAILY / MAY 21, 2019  
Psychiatric News Update

800 Psychiatrists and Guests Celebrate APA's 175th Anniversary in Historic Venue

APA Gala
Nearly 800 psychiatrists attended APA’s 175th anniversary Gala at historic San Francisco City Hall Monday night.

Turnout for the gala far exceeded expectations: The event, also a fundraiser for the APA Foundation, had the largest attendance of any foundation event to date. “With so many physicians suffering from burnout, this is exactly what our members needed to revitalize themselves. APA is their home,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “Celebrating the 175th anniversary gives them more vitality and energy to go back and do what is needed to help their patients.”

APA had much to celebrate, and so it did in opulent style, with many enjoying the opportunity to slip into ball gowns, tuxedoes, or cocktail attire for the black tie-optional event. With its elegant architectural adornments, ornate rotunda, and grand staircase, the San Francisco City Hall served as the perfect backdrop for the occasion.

“The crowd was intergenerational, … and even among the younger folks you could tell they thought it was a really important event,” Levin said. “There was so much camaraderie, with everyone enjoying themselves, seeing old friends and colleagues, and networking with new acquaintances.”

In addition to the record ticket sales, the gala garnered support from 25 generous sponsors. Funds raised will be put toward the Foundation’s 12 mental health initiatives, which include giving grants to medical students working in underserved areas, training educators to recognize students in need of treatment, and working to improve workplace mental health.

“The venue was elegant, and the ambience was incredible,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr., the Foundation’s executive director. “The Foundation team and its hardworking volunteers really went above and beyond expectations, pampering members from the time they were greeted at the motorcoaches throughout the entire evening to make it an unforgettable night.”

The floral arrangements were gorgeous, and the food stations were upscale with a local flavor, reflecting delicacies culled from various San Francisco communities, such as Japanese sushi, Mediterranean tapas, Chinese dim sum, and an Italian station featuring ravioli and prosciutto. A local group, the Starlight Strings, provided the musical backdrop for the evening as they performed from the grand staircase. Members took to the dance floor to enjoy a DJ in the later hours. “There was a lot of fun happening in that room,” Gillison said.

Attendees were suitably impressed. “An edifice as noble as APA—the oldest medical association in the country—was a worthy location for the 175th anniversary celebration of the American Psychiatric Association,” said psychiatrist Mark Komrad, M.D. “I’ve been to a number of these throughout the years, but this is one ring that rules them all.”

(Image: David Hathcox)


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