Origins of the AACP
Dr. Gordon Clark’s 1984 survey of CMHC psychiatrists regarding their perceived need for a national association
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
Back row, left to right:Cecil C Hudson, MDAnthony Arce, MDJerry Vaccaro, MDRon Elson, MDCarl Bell, MDDonald Brown, MDLyndley Winston, MD
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
Altha Stewart, M.D.
2022 - Present
Early AACP related writings by Gordon Clark, MD, the AACP’s Founding President
Community Psychiatry: Problems and Possibilities
linked HERE (On the Wellcome Collection’s website, click first on Downloads, and then on Whole item (PDF). It takes a little time to download.)
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"
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.
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