“NOTE: This draft of the 2008 9th 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 10th HAPA Annual Meeting in May 2009 in San Francisco, CA
Honorary Guests Present: Juan Enrique Mezzich, MD President of the World Psychiatric Association; Roy Abraham Kallivayalil, MD President, Indian Association for Social Psychiatry, Professor & Head, Dept of Psychiatry, Medical College, Kottayam, India; George Bartzokis, MD HAPA presenter.
Members Present: Drs. Alexopoulos, Agalianos, Christodoulou (Immediate Past President HPA) and Mrs Christodoulou, Cassimatis, Lymberis, Stratas, Latoussakis, Petrides, Papas and Mrs Papas, Papastrat.
Members Unable to attend: Drs. Lyketsos, Cardasis, Kalogerakis, Zaphiropoulos, Georgopoulos, Papakostas.
HAPA President Dr Petrides opened the meeting at 7:10 PM. He welcomed our members and our special honorary guests. He noted that this is his last meeting as HAPA President and noted that while our
organization has made it to age 9 years, which is a considerable achievement for our small all volunteer organization, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done primarily in membership recruitment and retention of members in the USA. He promised to continue to actively participate as the immediate Past President in the years ahead and thanked all members of the Executive committee for their dedication and hard work.
(2) HAPA 2006 Annual Meeting Minutes
Dr Lymberis presented the minutes of the 2007 HAPA Annual Meeting which took place in San Diego, CA. The Minutes were posted on the HAPA Website and copies were provided at the meeting. They were approved as written.
(3) Treasurer’s Report Dr Latoussakis presented his report:
HAPA Balance from 2006: $1,734.86 (expenses of 2006 meeting)
HAPA Dues Income during 2007: $2,006.00 HAPA balance as of 5/15/07 $ 2,094.86
HAPA Expenses in 2007: $3,493.55 (expenses of 2007 meeting)
HAPA Dues collected in 2008: $525 .00
Dr. Lymberis noted that since 2002 HAPA has had no outside financial support. HAPA is now a member organization entirely supported by member dues. She urged that we all become involved in recruiting new members. She noted that HAPA provides a valuable service by linking psychiatrists in the US with those in Greece and the rest of the world. HAPA members can support our organization by letting fellow Greek psychiatrists and others know of our programs. HAPA is promoting and has cosponsored some of the recent meetings in Greece of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association and other Greek psychiatric organizations such as the Pan-Hellenic Society of General Hospital Psychiatry.
Dr. Lymberis noted that for the second time this year the HAPA executive committee voted to charge for the cost of the dinner, in addition to HAPA dues. The costs of the HAPA meetings have gone up dramatically. Our dues of $50.00 are no longer sufficient to cover our expenses. HAPA is anticipating a deficit in 2009. The HAPA dues of $50.00/per year have remained the same since our founding in 1999, while our costs for the annual meeting now about $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 per meeting, without any staff or honoraria. All of the work of HAPA is done by the HAPA officers by email and conference calls that are of no cost to HAPA. Our only costs are our annual meeting and our website. All of our communications are by email. We keep mailing costs to a bare minimum.
(4) Updates on Psychiatry in Greece
Professor George Christodoulou, a vital supporter since the founding of HAPA, was introduced and addressed the meeting. He is currently running for President of the WPA. We are very proud of his work. He is the President of the Hellenic Centre for Mental Health and Research, the Immediate Past President of HPA and the President of the Psychiatric Association for Eastern Europe and the Balkans. He is also chairing the Committee on Ethics of WPA as well as chairing the European Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Professor Christodoulou noted that the upcoming 20th Pan-Hellenic Psychiatric Congress in Crete, May 14 to May 18 2008, features several HAPA presenters and a panel on Post Graduate Psychiatric Education with HAPA and HPA presenters. For 2009 he is organizing two very interesting meetings: the World Congress of Mental Health is meeting in Athens. Dates: September 2-6 2009. Contact them directly by their web-site: www.wmhc2009.com The Second meeting is the Congress of Eastern Europe in Moscow Russia in October 27-30th 2009. Contact them directly by their website: <www.paeeb2009moscow.ru>.
Drs Vidalis and WPA President Dr. Mezzich also briefly addressed our meeting with news about their organizations and upcoming meetings.
Dr. Vidalis proposed the establishment in HAPA of the office of HAPA Co-Chair for Greece. His proposal was accepted for consideration. The HAPA Executive committee will review the HAPA By-Laws and draft a proposal, in consultation with Dr. Vidalis, for discussion at the next HAPA Annual meeting. Furthermore, Dr. Vidalis noted that he is organizing several meetings in Greece including the meeting of the General Hospital Psychiatry Conference, in Corfu during May 2009, and four other meetings for the program “”The Four Seasons of Psychiatry”” details as to location and time to be announced in the future.
(5) HAPA Scientific Program
Dr Lymberis introduced our presenter George Bartzokis, MD Professor of Neurology & Psychiatry at the UCLA Brain Research Institute. He made a very fascinating and informative presentation on “Brain aging and age-related risk factors for prevalent neurodegenerative disorders: Implications for treatment and prevention”. His talk focused on myelination. He noted that myelination has markedly expanded the timeline of what is considered normal human brain development. He discussed the unique process of human myelination and its role in producing the cortical environment that triggers the Alzheimer’s disease. He concluded with a discussion of the impact of genetic and non-genetic risk factors on the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
An open lively discussion followed. He further explained that “myelination of the cortex (necessary to become adults) sets up the necessary environment to develop the Alzheimer’s pathology. As we get older the myelin breaks down. The actual pathology (plaques and tangles) develops as a result of the myelin breakdown and continual repair attempts that follow. That is why Alzheimer’s disease does not occur in 10 year olds even when they have familial Alzheimer’s disease genes – the myelination of the cortex must occur first. It is a permissive step. The myelin breakdown is what gives us the functional deficits – long before the pathology starts killing neurons. Also, the reasons I call it “”myelin breakdown”” as opposed to “”de-myelination”” is 1) to differentiate this from the MS process where white blood cells, phagocytes, remove the myelin, 2) the fact that the myelin is still there contributes to the process that produces the lesions, and 3) the breakdown can impact the function of myelin and therefore have symptoms appear before the loss of neurons and the appearance of permanent disability”
Dr Bartzokis presentation was clearly outstanding. His talk received very high marks for both content and delivery by all in attendance.
(6) HAPA Elections
Dr. Cassimatis chair of the HAPA Nominating committee presented the nominations for HAPA Officers for 2008-2011
President Elect: Vassilis Latoussakis, MD
Treasurer: Arthur Papas, MD Secretary: Athanasios Vidalis, MD Councilor: open for nomination from the floor
There was an extensive discussion regarding the office of Secretary. Dr. Vidalis expressed his preference to continue as a councilor for another term. Katina Mathews-Ferrari, MD was nominated for the office of HAPA Secretary and Athanasios Vidalis, MD was nominated for HAPA Councilor for another term. Both accepted their nominations and were unanimously elected.
Dr Petrides congratulated all for their election. He then passed the office of the President to Dr. Cassimatis who thanked Dr Petrides for his service to HAPA. Dr Cassimatis briefly outlined the goals of his presidency and stressed his determination to achieve an increased HAPA membership and improve HAPA’s financial position.
Dr Cassimatis adjourned the meeting at 10:10PM The next HAPA Annual Meeting will take place in San Francisco, CA in May 2009 in connection with the APA 2009 Annual Meeting.
Respectfully Submitted Maria T. Lymberis, MD HAPA Founder & Past President”