Psych Congress
New & Noteworthy

HMP's Psych Congress Announces Prominent Additions to Steering Committee

September 11, 2019
Three experts in mental health join advisory board for nation's premier educational conference on practical psychopharmacology

Malvern, PA (September 10, 2019) — As further demonstration of its commitment to improve patient care by providing comprehensive practical mental health education, Psych Congress today announced three new mental health experts will join its already impressive steering committee. Joining the committee are Steven Chan, MD, MBA, Addiction Psychiatry Physician, Palo Alto VA Health; Edward Kaftarian, MD, CEO, Orbit Health Telepsychiatry, Encino, California; and Arwen Podesta, MD, ABPN, FASAM, ABIHM, Clinical Faculty at Tulane Psychiatry.

Psych Congress is the nation's premier educational conference on practical psychopharmacology and serves as a forum to connect members of the entire mental health team with comprehensive education, state-of-the-art treatment approaches, and emerging research findings. The 2019 meeting will take place October 3-6 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

"I am both honored and excited to welcome Drs. Chan, Kaftarian, and Podesta to the steering committee," said Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, Psych Congress 2019 Co-Chair and Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. "They are all brilliant clinicians and educators in their own right and will play a large role in pushing the Psych Congress team and educational experience to the next level. I look forward to collaborating with and learning from them for years to come."

The three new members each bring unique experiences and expertise to this inspiring group of mental health leaders. Dr. Chan performs clinical research, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in areas of telehealth and digital mental health, with a focus on minority health and underserved communities. Dr. Kaftarian is a leader in the field of telepsychiatry and the founder of California's Statewide Prison Telepsychiatry Program, which is the largest correctional telepsychiatry program in the world. Dr. Podesta runs a private practice in New Orleans where she and her team offer: nutritional counseling, psychotherapy, acupuncture, and comprehensive psychiatric treatment. She also serves as the medical director of ACER Addiction Centers in Louisiana.

Rounding out the steering committee are:

James Cannon, PhD, MS, PA-C, CAQ-PSY, DFAPA, Associate Professor, A.T. Still University Mesa, Arizona; Associate Professor, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia; Managing Partner, Assure Wellness Group; Southside Behavioral Health.

Julie Carbray, PhD, FPMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, APRN, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago; Administrative Director, Pediatric Mood Disorder Clinic, Pediatric Brain Research and Intervention Center, Department of Psychiatry, Chicago, Illinois.

Jon W. Draud, MS, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee; Medical Director of Psychiatry, Pain Management Group, Trust Point Psychiatric Hospital, St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital; Medical Director and Principal, Draud Sudbury Psychiatric Solutions; Private Practice, Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry, Nashville, Tennessee.

Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, Midland, Texas.

Saundra Jain, MA, PSYD, LPC, Adjunct Clinical Affiliate, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing; Private Practice, Austin, Texas.

Catherine Judd, MS, PA-C, CAQ-PSY, DFAPA, Clinical Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; Senior Physician Assistant, Mental Health Services, Parkland Health and Hospital System, Dallas, Texas.

Vladimir Maletic, MD, MS, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, South Carolina.

Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, CNS, Associate Clinical Professor, University of California, School of Nursing, San Francisco, California.

Charles Raison, MD, Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families; Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

Steering Committee profiles can be found here.

Highlights of the 2019 program include two dynamic pre-conferences being offered on October 2; one focused on the next wave of psychopharmacology treatment options, the other aimed at helping clinicians better identify, manage, and treat patients at risk for suicide. Psych Congress featured sessions include presentations by leading authorities in mental health: Rick Doblin, PhD; Nassir Ghaemi, MD; Philip Resnick, MD; and Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD.

For more information and to register for Psych Congress 2019, visit

About HMP

HMP is the force behind Healthcare Made Practical - and is a multichannel leader in healthcare events and education, with a mission to improve patient care. The company produces accredited medical education events and clinically relevant, evidence-based content for the global healthcare community across a range of therapeutic areas. Its brands include Consultant360, the year-round, award-winning platform relied upon by primary care providers and other specialists; EMS World Expo, North America's largest EMT and paramedic event; and the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC), the largest wound care meeting in the world. For more information, visit