Archived Documents

Origins of the AACP

Dr. Gordon Clark’s 1984 survey of CMHC psychiatrists regarding their perceived need for a national association

Linked HERE

In 1984, the APA facilitated Dr. Gordon Clark's conducting a survey of CMHC psychiatrists to assess their perceived need for a national association specifically for them. Their overwhelmingly positive response led later that year to the organizational meeting of the American Association of Community Mental Health Center Psychiatrists, now known as the American Association for Community Psychiatry. Results of this survey, with many telling comments, can be found in part 2 of Dr. Clark’s monograph, “Community Psychiatry: Problems and Possibilities”, which is described and linked below.

Some of the members of the AACP's first Board of Directors

Front row, left to right:Charles Goldman, MDClifton R Tennison Jr, MDMary Ann Albaugh, MDGordon H Clark, MDZlatka M Kuftinec MDJohn L Simon, MDCharles W Carl, MD
Back row, left to right:Cecil C Hudson, MDAnthony Arce, MDJerry Vaccaro, MDRon Elson, MDCarl Bell, MDDonald Brown, MDLyndley Winston, MD
View a link for the complete list of the Board of Directors along with a detailing of some of the organization's early accomplishments (from p.2 of the Fall 1986 issue of “Community Psychiatrist”). The organization’s original name, American Association of Community Mental Health Center Psychiatrists (AACMHCP) was shortened but broadened the following year to the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. The name was further broadened in 2019 to the American Association for Community Psychiatry.

List of AACP Past Presidents

Gordon H. Clark, Jr. M.D, M.Div.

1984 – 1990

Clifton R. Tennison, Jr., M.D.

1990 – 1992

Michael A. Silver, M.D.

1992 – 1996

Charles W. Huffine, M.D.

1996 – 2000

Jacqueline M. Feldman, M.D.

2000 – 2004

Wesley E. Sowers, M.D.

2004 – 2008

Hunter L. McQuistion, M.D.

2008 – 2012

Anita S. Everett, M.D.

2012 – 2016

Michael A. Flaum, M.D.

2016 - 2022

Early AACP related writings by Gordon Clark, MD, the AACP’s Founding President

Community Psychiatry: Problems and Possibilities

linked HERE

This work is described by its author, Dr. Clark, as a “manifesto” of sorts. In this monograph, published by McNeil Pharmaceutical in 1987, he reviewed the historical context of why, in 1984, he thought there was a need for such an organization, and outlined the two primary purposes he envisioned it serving: 1) to provide collegial support for CMHC psychiatrists who, not uncommonly, found themselves marginalized, isolated, and alienated, and 2) to develop guidelines for psychiatric practice within CMHCs, most importantly a model job description for medical directors which seeks to ensure that authority is commensurate with medico-legal responsibility. The monograph has three chapters:

  • CMHCs and Psychiatrists: A Necessarily Polemical Review

  • A Survey of CMHC Psychiatrists Regarding Their Perceived Need for a National Association

  • Quality Care at Risk in CMHCs: A Need for Standards of Psychiatric Practice

View a complete listing of links to Dr. Clark’s other early AACP related articles, etc

Article about the AACP in the AMA’s 5/6/88 issue of American Medical News: "Redefinition sought on role of psychiatry in CMHCs"

Linked: HERE

Guidelines for Psychiatric Practice in CMHCs

Developing these was one of two main purposes Dr. Gordon Clark envisioned the AACP serving, the other being providing collegial support. The background of the 'APA Guidelines,' linked below, is copied from p.120 of Dr. Clark's # 8 article listed in the above articles section. The original Guidelines were approved by the APA’s Board of Trustees in 1988 and published in the July, 1991 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. The ‘Resource Document for Psychiatric Practice in CMHCs’, published in 1998 and linked below, incorporated subsequent revisions.

  • Background of the APA Guidelines

  • APA Guidelines Used with permission. This document is out of date and is not a current policy statement of the American Psychiatric Association. It is the APA’s policy that its guidelines become out of date if they are not reviewed and approved every 10 years. This does not necessarily mean that these guidelines are any less relevant today than when they were first approved and last revised. The guidelines are not current APA policy, and the APA has not made any determination as to whether or not they remain relevant and accurate at this time.

Other previous guidelines and position statements of the AACP

AACP Guidelines for Psychiatric Leadership in Organized Delivery Systems for Treatment of Psychiatric and Substance Disorders

AACP Continuity of Care Guidelines

Guidelines for Recovery Oriented Services AACP ROSE

AACP Guidelines for Recovery Oriented Services

Guidelines for Developing and Evaluating Public and Community Psychiatry Training Fellowships

AACP Position Statement on Implementation of Evidence Based Practice

Principles of System Design and Financing for Universal Health and Behavioral Health Care Coverage

Position Paper on Interface and Integration with Primary Care Providers

Position Statement of AACP on Persons With Mental Illness Behind Bars