In order to promote the fellowship of Hellenic Medical Professionals, the Board of Directors has decided to support and network with the Hellenic American Psychiatric Association. The association was founded by Dr Maria Lymberis and she provided a historical perspective of the Society that we provide below. We encourage you to examine their website from affiliated links section.
As the Founder of the Hellenic American Psychiatric Association and on behalf of the HAPA President Katina Mathews-Ferrari and the Executive Committee I wish to express our deep appreciation for the opportunity to network with the Hellenic Physicians of Philadelphia.Here is the story of why/how HAPA:I am Greek born, raised in Athens during WWII & Greek Civil War. I am the beneficiary of “reverse Marshall Plan” by my parents who funded my education in the US upon my graduation from the private coed Lykeon of Athens in 1956. My father was decorated for his services in administering the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Greece. My deep commitment to public service I credit to the legacy of my father.I joined the AMA as a medical student and the APA as a psychiatric resident. My service in my profession started when I entered private practice as a psychiatrist in Los Angeles in 1970. The first thing I noticed when I entered the leadership of the APA as a representative of SCPS in 1978 was that there was NO Hellenic Psychiatric organization while there were several ethnic ones including the Turkish one. I felt that this was a major problem and I set my mind to correct it. I did so in 1998 when I was elected APA Treasurer. I formed the steering Committee and HAPA was founded in May 1999 in Washington DC as an Affiliate organization of the APA during that year’s Annual APA meeting. The Greek Ambassador, many APA leaders and the several leaders from the Hellenic Psychiatric Association, most notably Professor George Christodoulou, participated at the HAPA inaurgural meeting. The early years of HAPA’s growth were focused on making contact with our Hellenic psychiatrists in Greece. HAPA actively participated in several Pan Hellenic Psychiatric Congresses. During those yearsHAPA was only funded by one Pharma Company specifically to publish the HAPA Newsletter & did so for a number of years….Then 9/11 happened and the world changed. HAPA had to focus on SURVIVING. The HAPA website and phone conferencing helped us maintain the Annual HAPA meetings and programs. Our scientific programs have featured mainly the work of notable Hellenic psychiatrists from Greece, Diaspora and US. In recent years our Presidents have focused on outreach to the Greek American psychiatrists. Our Boston members have been active in recruitment while I have been managing the web communications. The future looks very promising as HAPA is in the process of creating a Foundation to begin fund raising for post graduate scholarships for Greek psychiatrists to spend a year in an accredited academic center in the US.As we know, growth is never smooth or easy….and persistence is the key…Clearly in this new age of globalization, with more Greeks outside of our motherland than they are in Greece, the need for solutions to the multiple health problems confronting our Hellenic communities ( like all of humans on this earth) we need team work and cooperation. But before we can get to team work for problem solving, the first step is open communication with one another. We at HAPA are looking forward to our having an open communication and sharing our activities and news with you as well as learning about yours thru our respective websites and email.With Warm California wishes for EasterMTLMaria T. Lymberis, MDHAPA Founder & Past President
Distinguished Life Fellow American Psychiatric Association
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Honorary
UCLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
1500 Montana Av, # 201
Santa Monica, CA 90403