Minutes Of The Inaugural Meeting

The Steering Committee for the establishment of HAPA organized this meeting

Chair: Maria T. Lymberis, MD
Members: George Alexopoulos, MD
Anthony Kales, MD
Michael Kalogerakis, MD
Constantine Lyketsos, MD
Miltiades Zaphiropoulos, MD

I: Call to Order and Introductory Remarks

The inaugural meeting of the Hellenic American Psychiatric Association (HAPA) was called to order at 12:15 by the Chair of the Steering Committee Maria T. Lymberis, M.D.. Dr. Lymberis thanked the attendees for their presence and support in making the founding of HAPA a reality. She noted that it was her election as APA Treasurer that made it possible for her to generate momentum for the establishment of HAPA. Throughout her 30 years of active service in APA, she was acutely aware of the lack of any Hellenic psychiatric organization. She noted that APA has many leaders and active contributors of Greek origin, as well as many others who are hellenically Identified. She specifically cited Dr. Miltiades Zaphiropoulos, the APA Assembly Speaker at the time she first started her APA service, as a major source of inspiration. She then thanked the members of the Steering Committee for their help in making HAPA a reality.

Dr. Lymberis then introduced his Excellency, Alexander Philon, the Greek Ambassador to the United States, who presented welcoming remarks that were highly supportive of HAPA. Mr. Philon was followed on the podium by George N. Christodoulou, M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Athens and the President of Hellenic Psychiatric Association. Dr. Christodoulou presented warm wishes and support from the Hellenic Psychiatric Association to the inaugural meeting of HAPA. He stressed the strong commitment on his part, of his association and of psychiatrists in Greece to work closely with HAPA in accomplishing its mission and establish close collaboration.

II: Business Meeting

The first business meeting of HAPA was presided over by Dr. Lymberis. The following issues were presented:

(1) The HAPA By-Laws:

Dr. Lymberis explained that she drafted the HAPA y-Laws from those of the Academy of Psychiatry & Law, the Indo-American Psychiatric Association and the NY Hellenic Medical Society with the assistance of Dr. Zaphiropoulos.Dr. Christodoulou moved that psychiatrist members of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association should be full members of HAPA. This motion was discussed. Dr. Lymberis explained that the By-Laws were drafted so that HAPA will not spend its limited resources in processing membership applications (i.e. verifying credentials). As presently drafted, the HAPA Membership Committee will only need to verify that the applicants are members in good standing in APA and AACAP. Thus relying on those organizations for verification of credentials. In view of this clarification, Dr. Lyketsos proposed the following action: It was moved, seconded and passed that psychiatrists members of HAP will be full HAPA members provided they submit a letter from HAP documenting they are members in good standing.

The mission statement of HAPA was then discussed. Dr. Lymberis explained that she drafted Article II of the By-Laws (Mission Statement) with the aim of being inclusive. Specifically, to include, not just psychiatrists of Greek origin, but those who are connected to the Hellenic Heritage and Spirit of Hellenism. In addition, to include the full spectrum of professionals involved in research, teaching or practice within the Bio-Psycho-Social model of modern psychiatry. There was unanimous support for this position and Article II was passed.

The offices and committees were also discussed, suggestions were made and were passed in principle.

ACTION: It was moved, seconded and passed that

a)   The submitted HAPA By-Laws be accepted in principle with changes in membership categories as amended.

b)   that the By-Laws Committee, chaired by Dr. Lymberis with Drs. Lyketsos, Zaphiropoulos and Zervas, will further amend the By-Laws and submit the amended By-Laws for approval at the First Annual HAPA meting in Chicago, May 2000.


Dr. Lymberis asked Dr. Lyketsos to present the slate of officers put forth by the HAPA Steering Committee. She also invited nominations from the floor for Councilors. Additional nominations for HAPA officers were also sought from the floor but none were forthcoming. Elections were held and the following officers and councilors were unanimously elected:

President (1999-2001): Maria T. Lymberis, M.D.
President Elect (1999-2001) Constantine G. Lyketsos, M.D.
Secretary (1999-2001): George Alexopoulos, M.D.
Treasurer (1999-2001): Dora Wong, M.D.
Counselor (1999-2002): George N. Christodoulou, M.D.
Counselor (1999-2001): William C. Cardasis, M.D.
Counselor (1999-2000): Kanellos Charalambous, M.D.


Dr. Lymberis requested further discussion of HAPA’s constitutional committees. Specifically, the need for members for key HAPA Committees such as:

a)   the Program Committee to develop the scientific presentation for the First Annual HAPA meeting for May 2000 in Chicago. Dr. Lyketsos agreed to be Chair with Dr. Kalogerakis as Co-Chair and George Petrides, M.D. as member. CME credit was not possible for the present meeting but efforts will be made to get CME for subsequent meetings. The discussion that followed included efforts to showcase the work of Greek-American psychiatrists and to highlight issues regarding the psychiatric needs or problems of Greek-Americans in the US, in Greece or in other countries.b)   the Membership Committee: Willliam Cardasis, M.D. agreed to Chair this committee with Dr. Ioannis Zervas as Co-Chair in charge of the HPA applications for HAPA membership. This committee will develop an HAPA database, a directory and strategies for membership recruitment. The Hellenic Medical Societies of New York and Chicago as well as the APA, HPA could be contacted in a recruitment effort.

c)   the Newsletter Committee: Stephanie Spanos, M.D. agreed to Chair this committee with Dr. Helen Papastrat as Co-Chair. This committee will publish at least one issue of the HAPA Newsletter per year.

III: Scientific PresentationThe business meeting was followed by an excellent scientific presentation on “”Depression in Old Age And Vascular Depression”” by Dr. George Alexopoulos, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry at Cornell University, Westchester Division in New York. Dr. Alexopoulos’ presentation discussed the epidemiology of depression and old age, and presented the evidence for the hypothesis that his group developed that one of the causes of this depression is cerebrovascular disease affecting the subcortical white matter of the brain. The presentation drew a lot of praise. The discussion was lively. Clearly HAPA’s first scientific presentation showcased excellence in research by a Greek psychiatrist. More to follow!

IV: Adjournment

The first annual HAPA meeting was adjourned at 2:30pm. The next annual HAPA meeting has preliminarily been set for Monday, May 15, 2000, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM in Chicago, IL in conjunction with the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

The Founding of HAPA was attended by the following who are the:

Alexopoulos, George
Cardasis, William
Charalampous, Lakis
Christodoulou, George
Dunkas, Nicholas
Hanin, Edward
Huffine, Charles
Kalogerakis, Michael
Kambolis, Roubinis
Levounis, Petros
Lymberis, Maria T.
Papastrat, Helen
Petrides, Georgios
Spanos, Stephanie
Zaphiropoulos, Miltiades
Zervas, Ioannis
Ziongas, Theodoros
Cassimatis, Emmanuil    (unable to attend)
Chengelis, James    (unable to attend)
Gournellis, Rossetos    (unable to attend)
Kalivas, Linda    (unable to attend)
Liappas, Ioannis    (unable to attend)
Stergiou, Angeline    (unable to attend)
Stratas, Nicholas    (unable to attend)
Vaidakis, Nikos    (unable to attend)
Van Dam, Heiman    (unable to attend)

Respectfully submitted,

Maria T. Lymberis, M.D.
Constantine Lyketsos, M.D.