Taking Stock

Published Monday, December 16, 2013 9:00 am
by David C. Steffens, MD, MHS, AAGP President
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AAGP President David C. Steffens

As 2013 nears its end, I thought I’d take stock of how AAGP has fared this year. Fortunately, this will be a positive story. Financially, we weathered the storm of the multi-year recession, in no small part due to the ingenuity and, at times, sacrifice of the terrific AAGP staff and our CEO, Christine deVries.  There is a clear path out of the woods for us, and I am optimistic about our financial outlook for 2014 going forward.

The 2013 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles was a huge success. Besides diverse and informative educational offerings, we were able to support a record 35 scholars, providing registration, lodging, travel and a unique program at the meeting. Our popular preconference Geriatric Psychiatry Review Course not only prepared attendees to take their board exam, but for the first time offered Maintenance of Certification CME. This program sells out each year, so reserve your spot now by registering at www.AAGPmeeting.org

Speaking of scholars, this year, I announced a goal of $100,000 in donations to support Geriatric Mental Health Foundation Scholars. To date, we have raised more than $86,000, which will allow us to support 42 scholars at the 2014 Annual Meeting.  I have every confidence that we will exceed the goal next year.  And, there is still time this year to support the fund—your dollars now will help kick off our fundraising efforts for 2014 and provide you with a nice year-end tax deduction!

At an organizational level, we are moving to embrace our multi-disciplinary identity. We are reaching out to a number of allied groups, and promoting membership to professionals in various disciplines. At our 2014 meeting in Orlando, we will offer more programming that will be of interest to non-psychiatrist physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and gerontology researchers.

The prominence of our journal, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, continues to rise. Under the leadership of our Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Dilip Jeste, the impact factor increased to 4.131, making AJGP the leading geriatric psychiatry journal and among the leaders in aging-related journals. Kudos to Dr. Jeste and his leadership team and to many of you who have contributed scholarly work published in the journal.

In sum, as 2014 approaches, AAGP can look back with pride on its accomplishments this year and look forward to a successful year as a more diverse, financially sound organization that supports its members through clinical education, research updates, and certification resources, and actively seeks to nurture the next generation of geriatric mental health professionals. Well done, AAGP!