Candidates for Area 6 - CPA 2020 Officers & Leadership

Participate in the Future of Psychiatry –

Melinda L. Young, MD, DLFAPA, Chair, CPA Nominating Committee

Elections for CPA Officers are open from March 27, 2020 to Midnight April 17. 


■ Elections for CPA Early Career Psychiatrists are open only to ECPs from March 27 - April 17. Elections for RFM' s are open to RFM's only


Watch for more information and your ballots which will be emailed to you!


If you have any questions about receiving your ballots, please contact the CPA office at 800-772-4271. Or email


Dear Colleagues,


   I’m pleased to announce the candidates for the upcoming California Psychiatric Association/Area 6 of the American Psychiatric Association election. 

   In California, our five District Branches of the American Psychiatric Association have come together to form a state association, incorporated with the American Psychiatric Association’s Area 6, that, united, form a complete and integrated body that addresses leadership, leadership and advocacy training for all APA members in California, and direct advocacy for psychiatry, psychiatrists, and mental health patients with the governing executive branch, the legislature, the judiciary, regulatory bodies, and the public at both the state and national levels.


Vote!  Add your voice.  Participate in choosing your leaders for the next year, two years, and into the future. Voting opens on March 27, 2020 and closes at midnight on April 17, 2020.


Melinda L. Young, MD, DLFAPA

Chair, CPA/Area 6 Nominating/Elections Committee

2020 Roster of Candidates

Please spend the time reading the candidates’ biographies and statements to select your future leaders and the path forward for CPA.  Don’t know a candidate?  Contact the candidates themselves, speak with colleagues from your District Branch and from District Branches around the state, and/or speak with your District Branch’s and CPA’s current leadership.


Exercise your right to influence and shape the future of organized psychiatry and the practice of psychiatry, in the state of California.  Voter turnout is historically small for all professional societies including CPA.  That means individual members voting in the CPA election can have enormous power to influence who its future leaders will be.  Each and every vote matters.

Just click on the STATEMENT beneath each candidate's photo!

 Richard Granese, MD

for CPA President-Elect


Shannon Suo.jpg
Shannon Suo, MD
For CPA President-Elect

George Fouras, MD

For CPA Treasurer


Anita Red, MD

For CPA Treasurer


Jorien Campbell, MD

Area 6 ECP Rep


Jonathon Serrato, MD

Area 6 ECP Dep Rep


Amy Woods, MD

Area 6 ECP Dep Rep


Farah Zaidi, MD

Area 6 ECP Dep Rep


Mara Sigalos-Rivera, MD

RFM Dep Rep


Jack Wilkinson, MD

RFM Dep Rep


Candidate Statements

Richard Granese, M.D., MBA – I would like to serve as the next President Elect for CPA as we enter into this dynamic time in psychiatry.  We have always faced many challenging issues affecting our patients and the field of psychiatry but never before while experiencing the climactic change that is occurring across healthcare today.  Now more than ever we need strong and decisive leadership with the experience to facilitate and navigate through the inevitable changes that are coming for our patients and our profession over the next several years.  If we do not obtain a strong grasp of the important issues, we will see further deterioration of the field of psychiatry as we now know it.


I have served on CPA council for over 10 years as Assembly Representative for OCPS and now chair of the Substance Use Disorder Committee.  I have been active with the government affairs committee as we try to move important legislation through Sacramento to advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves.


I am passionate about access to care for our patients and am very concerned with the homelessness and substance use population that is plaguing our great state.  I have been working to create innovative solutions to deliver care to this underserved population by developing collaborative care teams. 


My experience from serving on council, working with the APA leadership, along with practicing in a variety of settings over the years such as academic medicine, organized psychiatry, private practice, addiction psychiatry and hospital systems has given me a thorough knowledge to continue serving on council to advocate for the issues we all face in treating those with mental illness.


We have a lot to do, but I am confident in our ability to rise to the challenge, lead by example and do the right thing for our patients.  As the next President Elect for CPA I will be the vehicle through which we as an organization secure the future of psychiatry.

Shannon Suo, MD for CPA President-Elect

Contact:, 916-734-8110


I entered organized psychiatry as a resident representative on CCPS Council in 2001.  I was impressed with the power of organized psychiatry in creating and influencing legislation affecting patient care and the practice of medicine.  I soon realized that my voice as a physician could be amplified by the megaphone of CCPS, CPA, and APA.  Since joining the CPA Council in 2010, I have sought further involvement to sustain the vital missions of CPA: legislative, regulatory, judicial, and educational advocacy to support and protect the patients and psychiatrists of California.  It is clear that there is no CPA without the District Branches and I am committed to listening to individual members, their representatives to CPA Council, and building consensus to move our organization forward according to the members’ wishes.  I seek to find out how CPA can be helpful to District Branches as well.  Our District Branch members entrust CPA with the execution of what they may not have the time/energy/expertise to individually do—upholding and advocating for the quality of care that our patients deserve and so desperately need. I am committed to honoring that trust and ensuring that our organization executes that mission. My membership and relationships with medical societies, combined with a collaborative style make me an excellent coalition-builder with our colleagues in the House of Medicine. I have managed programs with tens of thousands to several million dollar budgets, and my goal is always the same:  do things as efficiently as possible.  As President-Elect and President, I will work with the Treasurer and rest of Executive Council to ensure that CPA is spending members’ money wisely.  My years on the Council have given me a comprehensive understanding of the CPA budget.  My multiple leadership experiences working within complex systems qualify me to work with our diverse group of District Branches to effectively and efficiently accomplish our members’ goals.  I am committed to open and transparent communication, consensus building, and thoughtful action that is consistent with our values and goals. I humbly ask for your vote to become your next CPA President-Elect.



  • Honor the mission of CPA: legislation/education/public affairs

  • Collaboration with/support of DBs

  • Representation of and communication with individual members

  • Patient safety, access to care, and reduction of health inequities

  • Support RFMs, ECPs, URMs, and women in CPA/AP             


Experience (abbreviated, please see website, for full CV, *indicates current roles):

Co-Program Director*, UC Davis Psychiatry-Family Medicine Residency Program

Medical Director*, Turning Point Community Programs Mental Health Urgent Care, Sacramento

Co-Director*, UC Irvine/UC Davis Train New Trainers Primary Care Psychiatry Fellowship

Co-Chair*, Committee on Integrated Care; Co-Chair*, Women's Caucus; Annual Planning Committee*; Nominations Committee member, CPA

Co-Chair*, UC Davis Society for Women in Academic Psychiatry

UC Davis Women in Medicine and Health Sciences Fellow 

Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Chair, Senior Advisory Board Member*, UC Davis Department of Psychiatry Diversity Advisory Committee

Treasurer, Secretary, President, Assembly Deputy Representative, Representative*, CCPS

Co-Chair*, Membership Committee, Association of Medicine and Psychiatry

2020 CPA Treasurer Statement

Anita Red, M.D.


It is an honor to be nominated by the committee to run for the office of Treasurer of the CPA.


I have been active with organized psychiatry for several years, most recently completing a term as President for the SCPS.  


My interest in organized psychiatry began more than a decade ago in adult residency at USC, continued at the same place during my child psychiatry fellowship, and currently to today.  


As a practitioner in private practice, I see on a daily basis how the policies that are developed in Sacramento affect our ability to practice and take care of the lives of our patients.   A strong CPA is needed to ensure that we have an input into the legislation and regulations that are passed by our legislators.


If elected I will work hard to make sure that the financial status of CPA is transparent and that members are clear of the value that they receive for their support of the CPA organization.  It is a privilege, and I appreciate your support of my candidacy.


George Fouras. MD - I want to thank the nominating committee for the opportunity to serve as the next Treasurer, if elected.


Our CPA is currently at a crossroad with its viability at stake. My pledge to membership is to ensure that CPA is financially viable and receives the strong support it needs to accomplish its goals. As a membership organization, the dues that are collected by the DBs and forwarded to CPA, or are collected directly by CPA, or collected and forwarded by the APA, are critical for CPA to function effectively and to carry out our mission of advocacy. We must therefore ensure that all members of the 5 DBs in California continue to support CPA.


Furthermore, the CPPAC has been chronically underfunded, limiting the ability of our lobbyist, Mr. R. Hagar, to achieve the legislative goals that we have asked him to do in Sacramento. Separately from our CPA, I will continue to strive so that the CPPAC has the necessary funds to perform the legislative advocacy that we have come to expect.


My career in organized medicine first began with SCPS in the early 90’s while a resident/ fellow at LAC/ USC Medical Center.  I learned much from the leadership then, and continued participation in organized medicine after I moved to Northern California, participating as the ECP representative for the APA Assembly, and chair of the first ECP committee for NCPS.


From those beginnings I became more involved with our general medical colleagues, eventually becoming President of the San Francisco Medical Society, and continuing to this day as a member of the SFMMS delegation to the CMA House of Delegates.  In addition, I have continued my efforts with CPA, as co-chair of the Child Committee and as the new Chair of CPPAC.  In addition, I have also served as a co-chair for the Adoption and Foster Care committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  I stepped down recently after having served for 20 years and am now serving on the PAC Board for the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


It is my belief that our active participation in healthcare policy development and service delivery, is a critical part of what we must do.  There is no better example of the need for our participation than what is happening today:  leaders of the NRA advising us to “stay in our lane” when it comes to advocating for research and policies regarding gun violence, or the incredible trauma that is inflicted on youth and their families when children are forcibly removed from their families and those who would care for them, or our legislators, who would see us go backwards in time to the days when millions of people had no health insurance coverage nor access to care.


My goals are to ensure that our members continue to receive value for their membership, and that the needs of our patients are at the fore of any policy development or legislation proposed.  Thank you for the opportunity to be elected to serve our CPA.


George A. Fouras, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA


Jonathan Serrato

ECP Deputy Representative Statement of Interest and Commitment


I have dedicated much of my life to serving the underserved as well as advocating for those whose voices are not so easily heard. My passion for pursuing a career in psychiatry stems from the desire to serve and influence the greatest underserved population of all—those suffering from mental illness. Because of the minimal resources available to those seeking mental health care in our communities, there remains insufficient means to meet the growing demand. This places a greater burden on an already strained network of mental health care providers that makes treating our patients increasingly difficult. In the wake of mass violence in schools, places of worship, malls, concert venues, and other public places, as well as the return of weathered military service men and women from deployment, now more than ever it is imperative for the voice of psychiatrists to be heard on a state and national level. I seek to advocate for a greater increase in awareness and acceptance of mental health issues in our nation, and I’m excited to continue pursuing opportunities as the Area 6 ECP Deputy Representative to help shape the future of psychiatry in the form of policy and legislation. I served as the Area 6 Resident-Fellow Member Representative from 2015-2017 and I would love to return to the APA now in the role of representing my fellow early career psychiatrists.

The APA has proven to be a powerful force in influencing policy in the United States, but in order to remain the leading voice of mental health care it must continue to have strong membership. It is no secret that the most dramatic drop in membership in the APA occurs during the transition from residency to early career practice. I am committed to help stimulate further engagement of ECPs in the APA. During my time as RFM Representative, I saw a record number of residents involved in CPA Advocacy Day, the CPA Annual Meeting, and voting in elections. I now ask to represent early career psychiatrists in Area 6/California to help foster community amongst this group and to increase relevant resources and opportunities specific to ECP’s.

I believe that my prior experience in the CPA Council and APA Assembly makes me an excellent candidate for being your ECP Deputy Representative. Currently, I am working in the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and have helped develop a telemental health program that provides access to care for individuals in rural areas of California and neighboring states. I am confident that my experience in various clinical settings provides me with the insight to represent early career psychiatrists throughout California.  

   Jorien Campbell - Thank you for considering me for the position of Area 6 Early-Career Psychiatrist (ECP) Representative. It has been very rewarding for me to get involved in organized psychiatry -- it would be an honor to work with and represent ECPs across the state of California. If chosen for the position, I would work hard to highlight the concerns of my fellow early career psychiatrists and advocate for our patients and our profession I initially became involved with the APA through the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship in 2015. Through the fellowship I was paired with Dr. Bill Arroyo as a mentor and together we organized a symposium for the 2016 APA Annual Meeting focused on current issues in the juvenile justice system. In 2016, I was also an active member of the University of California Criminal Justice & Health Consortium, which brought together researchers, experts, and advocates from the University of California system to advance criminal justice reform in California and across the country. As a representative of the Consortium, I presented a policy brief I wrote that focused on increased collaboration between law enforcement and mental health providers as a key component of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) to the California Senate Mental Health Caucus. I spoke about working in the Psychiatry Emergency Services (PES) at the San Francisco community hospital to underscore the realities of our patients’ experiences. This involvement helped me to understand how residents can help shape decisions that affect our vulnerable population on a policy level. I recently completed my role as the Area 6 Resident-Fellow Member (RFM) Representative. During my time as Area 6 RFM Deputy Representative and Representative, I had the privilege of acting as the voice of residents and fellows in the larger organized psychiatry community. As part of my role, I shared with RFMs the activities of the APA and CPA. Expanding my own knowledge and educating my peers about important state legislation and mental health policy throughout California was one of the highlights of serving as a representative to the APA Assembly. Working with my fellow RFMs I also co-authored an action paper addressing billing for suicide risk assessments and published an APA toolkit for treating women in the current political and social environment. I am currently finishing my forensic psychiatry fellowship at University of California, Davis. My involvement in APA has shifted to have a more forensic focus. I currently serve on the APA Council on Psychiatry and Law. My position on the Council has allowed me to see the work of the Assembly in action and has motivated me to run for Area 6 ECP Representative. I strongly support and see the value of advocacy, public education, and litigation. The position of Area 6 ECP Representative would allow me to interface more directly with fellow early career psychiatrists and would facilitate collaboration with other passionate assembly members to promote meaningful change in our field. Thank you again for your consideration. Jorien Campbell


Amy Woods, MD

This year CPA has seen a lot of changes, making this years election more important than ever. 

I am honored to have been nominated for the position of Early Career Psychiatrist, Deputy Representative for the California Psychiatric Association.  I have been a council member of the Southern California Psychiatric Society since 2016.  I have served as a Resident Liaison, Resident Fellow Representative, Secretary, Councilor, and the SCPS District Branch Representative to the CP-PAC.  Through my involvement in SCPS, I am continually reminded of how important it is to be connected and involved in one’s professional organization.  I have seen first-hand how our national, local, and state organizations have served its members by providing educational opportunities, connecting recent resident/fellow graduates to their future careers, as well as ensuring that the members best interests are being addressed on a legislative level.  Moreover, having a strong professional organization is imperative to ensure that we as psychiatrists are able to provide quality mental health treatment that our patients deserve.


Over this past year, I have become increasingly more involved in CPA by serving on the California Psychiatric Associations Access to Care Committee.  Every day, I am reminded of how difficult it is for people to access the mental health treatment that is so desperately needed.  I have lobbied in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C. on legislation that would expand access to mental healthcare. As psychiatrists, we are not only expected to care for our patients, we are also expected to advocate for political change that is in the best interest of the patients as well as their providers.  As this year has brought about many changes to CPA, it has become clear to me how important the voice of early career psychiatrists will be in this time of transition. If elected as ECP Deputy Representative I would work to ensure that CPA is an ongoing source of support for my colleagues and future colleagues.


Amy Woods, MD

 My name is Mara Sigalos-Rivera, and I appreciate your consideration for the position of Resident Fellow Member (RFM) Deputy Representative for Area 6.

My interest in this position stems from a passion for advocacy and a commitment to service. My initial motivation for advocacy has come from engagement on an individual basis with patients. As a second-year resident, I have been engaged in practice with Los Angeles County patients at Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center. Through this experience, it is omnipresent that the psychiatrist is not only working with patients through their mental illness but also the social, legal, systemic barriers to their care. Often in our roles as providers, being able to support and encourage someone as they struggle through these barriers can be both exceedingly challenging and rewarding.

Working within the medical and the legal system as an advocate for patients has been central to my professional growth and made me learn to appreciate psychiatric care in a more nuanced way. Specifically, I am interested in ways we as psychiatrists can bring cultural competency to our work and how we advocate for changes to the medical, legal, and social systems that embrace the diverse experiences of our patients.

My experience with psychiatric treatment and medicine started as a Spanish medical interpreter while at Vanderbilt University. In this role, I was able to help not only provide verbal communication between patient and provider but also support patients and help close gaps in understanding of social-cultural

facets of their presentation. As I was interested in continuing to expand my role and knowledge, I pursued medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. At Baylor, seeing psychiatrist mentors who not only acknowledge but also work to address systems-based facets of their patient’s presentation was central to my desire to join this field. Ultimately, with the assistance of these mentors, I was able to gain the knowledge, confidence, and experience with psychiatry needed to continue to the next phase of my career.

If chosen for the role of RFM Deputy Representative, I hope to continue to work to promote a better understanding of our patients' challenges and to serve our field at large by advocating for my psychiatrist colleagues so they may have better tools and opportunities to meet these challenges. I also hope to

continue to engage other resident members in organized psychiatry so they too can benefit from the mentorship and community the APA and its branches provide. Already, as a member of the Southern California Psychiatric Society, it is easy to see how the opportunities for mentorship, and camaraderie

strengthen our field and lead to the continued advancement of psychiatry. I am strongly committed to serving the California Psychiatric Association and advocating as a Deputy and subsequent RFM Representative for Area 6. I appreciate your consideration and would work diligently to promote the

interests of California psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, and our patients if allowed the opportunity to serve in this role.


Farah Zaidi, MD

I am honored to be nominated as one of the candidate for Area 6 ECP Deputy Representative. I completed psychiatry residency from San Mateo County Psychiatry Residency Program and Public Psychiatry fellowship from ZSFGH/UC San Francisco in 2017. I am Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. I currently practice community psychiatry in San Mateo County and I am on faculty for SMC psychiatry residency training program.

I have been an active member of Northern California Psychiatric Society-NCPS (APA’s District Branch) since 2014 when I joined NCPS as a Resident Councilor. I have served my local community including my colleague psychiatrists, psychiatry residents and our patients in different capacities since then. In my current role at NCPS, I serve as Councilor at Large, Co-Chair of Professional Education Committee and a member of Resource Group focusing on members’ wellbeing by offering confidential support resources. In addition, I am also elected as Vice President of NCPS for year 2020-2021. 


In 2019, I got an opportunity to join the enthusiastic and dedicated group of Area 6 Representatives and Advocates, in Sacramento on 2019 Advocacy Day. Through this experience, I understood the importance of these behind the scene crucial activities and roles of these selfless Advocates. I experienced the power of this collaboration among psychiatrists from across the California for important issues. Some of the issues we advocated for included: Access to care, Parity laws, Mental Health bed shortages, Loan repayment for graduating psychiatry trainees to incentivize work in public sectors and Substance use treatment for Youth.  Additionally, I also attended APA Assembly meeting in November 2019 where I worked with group of energetic and enthusiastic ECPs from around the country and joined them in important work APA is doing to fight stigma of mental illness and substance use, among many other challenges. This experience deepened my respect for my colleague representatives and strengthened my interest in Advocacy at broader level and to give back to my community.

As a community psychiatrist, addiction medicine specialist and teaching faculty for SMC psychiatry residency training program, I am in a unique position of addressing many of these issues through my collaboration with patients, psychiatrists, trainees, community stakeholders, local leaders and most importantly through collaboration with you, my fellow ECPs. If elected as ECP Dep Rep, I will focus on:


•   Furthering and strengthening opportunities for Access to care, Implementation of Parity Laws and Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness and SUD

•   Promoting wellbeing and preventing burnout in psychiatrists

•   Cost effective membership benefits

•   Access to volunteer experts from different sectors (public, private, forensic) for ECP members

•   Mentorship opportunities for interested ECPs from diverse backgrounds to get involved in local, state and APA Advocacy efforts

•   Platform to invite ideas for MOC changes and removing barriers to access in educational resources through APA.

I thank you for your consideration and I humbly ask for your vote.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or clarifications.



Farah Zaidi, MD



Jack Wilkinson, MD


Open a newspaper, newsfeed or news app, and it’s unmistakable: psychiatry is trending. A quick search might reveal a celebrity talking about his experience with a substance use disorder juxtaposed to an everyday person outlining her recent stay on an inpatient psychiatric ward. A website might offer invaluable advice in a crisis – or just the opposite. Politicians are eager to take on the issue and not always in the ways one might expect. Debates quickly veer from policymaking to an opponent’s personal psychology. Even drug companies have entered the fray.


Mental health issues have rapidly become more familiar – more personal – and in many ways this represents an unprecedented opportunity. The seemingly ironclad stigma familiar to many psychiatrists and their patients isn’t as immovable as once thought. More people are seeking treatment and talking about their diagnoses out in the open. Certain families and employers have become more aware, and clinical information is more accessible each day.


Yet the loudest and most savvy communicators are not always the most reliable. Here in San Francisco, for instance, slickly named proposals like Urgent Care SF and Mental Health SF saturate the airwaves and are alternatively sold as solutions to homelessness, violent crime and urban blight.  Patients’ narratives get lost among political bluster and there’s one stakeholder that often seems to be missing: the expert.  Medical school doesn’t include communication classes, after all.


That’s where organized medicine comes in. As the spotlight grows, so does the need for evidence-based guidance and solutions. We have the expertise and patients are counting on us to get the word out. From simple psycho-education to complex policymaking, physicians need a seat at the table, and in my experience, we’re often welcomed.


It is in these roles that we can advance evidenced-based and experience-driven patient care, but it’s not an easy feat. Advocacy doesn’t always come naturally to medical professionals and one person cannot conquer all relevant topics alone. I learned invaluable lessons participating in organized medicine in medical school. This is also the reason why I’m applying for this position as a resident representative for my geographical region. Residents and fellows have hands-on experience with many of the big issues facing our profession, and if elected, I would work to provide our unique perspective to APA and CPA as we inform some of the most important discussions on mental health issues.


California Psychiatric Association, 921 11th St., Suite 502, Sacramento CA 95814 ~ P-916.442.5196 / F- 916.442.6515