Minutes of the HAPA Fifteenth Annual Meeting

Minutes of the HAPA 15th Annual Meeting 2014


5/06/14 New York City, NY

NOTE: This draft of the 2014 15th HAPA Annual Meeting Minutes was approved by the HAPA executive committee. The Minutes are posted on the HAPA website and will be ratified at the 16th HAPA Annual Meeting in May 2015 in Toronto, Canada

Members Present:

Drs. Katina Matthews-Ferrari, Maria Lymberis, Arthur Papas, George Petrides, Philip Candilis, Emmanuel Cassimatis, George Fouras, Nick Togias, Dennis Plesons, Stamatic Zeris, Ippolytos Kalofonos, Alexis Armenakis Antoun Manganas,Dimitra Hrisihos, Vasiliki Toulios, Nicholas Togias, Helen Papastrat, Mary Mavromatis,Eleanor Lavretsky, Mary Kentros, Stamatis Zeris, Stella Lymberis, Vasilis Latoussakis, Eugenia Katitzoglou, Maria Benetos, Constantine Benetos, Foti Benetos, Thomas Mallios, Sophie Duriez


Guests: Drs Bruce Herschfield, Sophie Duriez, Stuart Tubis and Andrew Stephanopoulos.


Members Absent:

Drs Christodoulou, Vidalis, Papadimitriou, Stratas.


Minutes of the 15th HAPA Annual Meeting in San Francisco were distributed, reviewed and approved as written.


President’s Report:

Dr. Matthews-Ferrari called the meeting to order at 6 pm. She noted her great pleasure in welcoming so many members to our meeting. Clearly the East Coast and especially NYC as a key port of entry to the US, is home to many Greeks as well as psychiatrists from Greece who are in training programs of this area.

Dr Lymberis thanked Dr Matthews-Ferrari for her devoted service to HAPA and for her willingness to stay on as Treasurer which is a demanding job. She noted that this is the largest HAPA attendance to date with the exception of HAPA’s inaurguration in 1990.

Dr Lymberis presented a short update of HAPA activities focusing on continuing efforts to built up the HAPA membership and resolving HAPA’s IRS status. In addition, HAPA now has formal links with a number of Hellenic Medical organizations that operate in the US. These organizations have agreed to also link HAPA on their websites thus offering increased opportunities for networking. These are: Hellenic Medical Society of New York, New England Hellenic Medical & Dental Society, Hellenic Medical Society of Pennsylvania, Federation of Hellenic Medical Societies of North America, Hellenic American Medical and Dental Society of Southern California, Hellenic Bioscientific Association in the USA. Efforts to further link HAPA with other organizations are on going.


President’s Elect Report & HAPA Elections:

Dr. Candilis noted that due to personal reasons he cannot devote the time needed as HAPA President at this time. He thanked Dr Lymberis for continuing to do the “lion’s share of HAPA’s work”. He proposed a number of changes to the slate of candidates for this year’s elections of HAPA officers for 2014-2017. Specifically he recommended that he remain in the position of HAPA President Elect, with Dr Lymberis as HAPA President and Dr Matthews-Ferrari as HAPA Treasurer, with Dr Yannis Zervas continuing as HAPA Secretary and Stamatis Zeris as HAPA Councilor. Discussion followed. The formal motion to accept the changes as noted was made and passed unanimously.

Dr Lymberis thanked all but especially Drs Candilis, Matthews-Ferrari and Papas for their “hard work and support. Your work helped HAPA survive. I could not have done this without you. ALL of us in HAPA are grateful”.


Treasurer’s Report:

Dr Papas reported the HAPA’s finances are slowly improving. HAPA banking remains at WFB. He will transfer the HAPA finances to Dr Matthews-Ferrari who is taking over as Treasurer at the conclusion of this meeting. Dr Lymberis noted that Dr Papas had served HAPA for many years with “devotion & distinction” not only as a HAPA officer but also as Chair of the HAPA Membership committee. She thanked him as he is now stepping down from both positions. Dr Lymberis asked for volunteers to fill that post. Dr Papas will remain until his replacement is found. He will also continue as a member of the HAPA membership committee and help the new chair.


Reports from Greece:

Professor George Christodoulou continues to be the main link of HAPA with HPA. His email below states his views about the current state of our partnership as of the start of 2014:

“You realize of course that for Greek members of HAPA it is becoming increasingly difficult to participate in meetings in USA. In view of this could you consider the option of organizing some meetings in Greece? If this proposal is acceptable I could suggest the following:

April 10 to 13, 2014 there will be the 22nd Panhellenic Congress of Psychiatry, the main event in Greece in the area of Mental Health, to be held in Porto Navarino Hotel in Pylos, Messinia, the best hotel in Greece and perhaps internationally.

October 9 to 11, 2014 there will be the International Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health, to be held in Athens, Aegli Zappeiou in collaboration with the Hellenic Psychiatric Association. As you know I am the President of this organization (the WFMH) and I can provide a room for us for our administrative meeting or other activities.

In any case, whether you decide to hold a meeting in Greece or not it would be nice if the American-Greek mental health community could participate in meetings of the Greek psychiatric community individually. Unfortunately we are not in a position to offer you hospitality, under the circumstances, but we will do our best to make you feel comfortable”

Dr Lymberis noted that HAPA is not YET ready to plan any meeting in Greece as the focus of HAPA at this time is to solidify its member base here in the US. Thus for the immediate future it is individual HPA members who attend meetings of HAPA in the US or HAPA members who can attend HPA meetings in Greece that can be the person to person connection while the organizational connection remains IT dependent. Dr Lymberis will work to implement shared links on the respective websites of HPA & HAPA. This will further facilitate mutual communications and keep members of both organizations informed.


Scientific Presentation:

Brain stimulation, New frontiers & challenges: From ECT to Transcranial direct-current stimulation


George Petrides, MD, FAPA.

President International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation

Associate Professor, Hofstra Northshore-LIJ School of Medicine

HAPA’s very own Past President.


Presentation Summary:

Dr Petrides presented a review of the latest research data on the efficacy and safety of brain stimulation methods. More specifically he presented data on the use, efficacy and indications of the oldest and most effective brain-stimulation technique used today ie. electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and discussed the state of ECT practice in the US and the rest of the world.

He then discussed the newer brain stimulation techniques and the rationale behind their use, the stage of their development and the existing data on their efficacy..

These techniques are:

a)Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) a technique that entails the application of magnetic fields over the scalp to alter certain electrobiological properties of cortical cells. Numerous studies have been performed and the shown moderate results in treating depression and

  1. b) Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) that uses also magnetic fields but stronger than those in TMS in order to cause a generalized seizure and mimic the effects of ECT,
  2. c) Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) a technique that requires the implantation of a stimulator on the left vagus nerve at the neck so areas of the brain connected to the vagal system are stimulated indirectly. So far modest results have been reported for the treatment of depression.
  3. d) Deep Braib stimulation (DBS) a promising but highly experimental technique that requires the surgical implantation of stimulating electrodes at specific areas of the brain believed to be involved with the pathophysiology of depression.

And e) Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) a newer and highly experimental technique of application of low amplitude direct currents on the scalp to enhance cognitive  functions.

This was a cutting edge comprehensive presentation that was very well received and a lively discussion followed.



Dr Katina Matthews-Ferrari closed the meeting at 8:15PM

Following the conclusion of the meeting a large group of members met for a very enjoyable Dutch treat dinner at Avra, a New York Greek restaurant known for excellent food.

Everyone was encouraged to join the 16th HAPA Annual meeting in Toronto Canada on May 19th 2015 in connection with the APA Annual meeting. For further information see the HAPA website.


Respectfully Submitted

Maria T. Lymberis, MD

HAPA Founder & President