Press Releases

NAMI Recognizes Outstanding Psychiatrists

Exemplary Psychiatrist Awards Presented During APA Convention

May 18 1999

Washington, D.C. - The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) today presented its 1999 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award to 39 psychiatrists from around the nation and Canada during the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association here. Selected by NAMI's own grassroots membership, the physicians are being honored for their contributions to greater public understanding of brain disorders, outspoken work to eliminate stigma, or efforts to fight discriminatory policies against people with severe mental illnesses.

"These special medical professionals who heroically fight for the rights of their patients and their families far too often go unheralded," said NAMI Executive Director Laurie Flynn. "NAMI's Exemplary Psychiatrist Award not only recognizes the invaluable contributions made by these caring professionals, but it also allows people with severe mental illnesses and their families to show their gratitude for lives reclaimed.

"NAMI is pleased to honor these outstanding individuals not only for their tireless efforts in bringing about real recovery for the millions of Americans suffering from severe mental illnesses, but also for their unending contributions to greater public understanding of these disorders and their dedication to eliminating the stigma that far too often plagues these vulnerable people," said Flynn.

Among this year's honorees are:

  • Rodrigo A. Munoz, M.D., president of the American Psychiatric Association and clinical professor of psychiatry, University of California at San Diego
  • Francine Cournos, M.D., author of City of One
  • Peter Jensen, M.D., director of the Child and Adolescent Research Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health

Since 1991, NAMI's Exemplary Psychiatrist Award has been presented to more than 700 psychiatrists serving people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and severe anxiety disorders.

To qualify for the NAMI Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, an individual must have set an example for his or her professional colleagues and have shown outstanding leadership and perseverance in at least one of the following areas:

  • Fighting Discriminatory Policies. Has been a leader in fighting injustices and discrimination against people with brain disorders by taking a public stand against discriminatory policies in public or private systems of care, housing or employment.
  • Increasing Public Understanding of Brain Disorders. Has routinely worked to educate the public about brain disorders and the people who have them, through public speaking, participation in public education programs, or similar events.
  • Fighting Stigma. Has routinely worked to fight stigmatizing and stereotyping portrayals of people with brain disorders through speaking out, letter writing or similar activities.
  • Campaign. Has personally supported and actively participated in NAMI's Campaign to End Discrimination, a five-year campaign dedicated to overcoming discrimination against people with brain disorders and their families.


William George Ryan, M.D., Birmingham
Jon S. Williamson, M.D., Birmingham

Maurice Rappaport, M.D.,Ph.D., San Jose

District of Columbia
Shellie E. Grant, M.D.
Rodrigo A. Muñoz, M.D.

Betty Powell, M.D., Marathon
Frederick Schaerf, M.D. Ph.D., Ft. Myers

Barbara Rohland, M.D., Iowa City

Glenn F. Harris, M.D., Pocatello

Deborah Couch, M.D., Maywood
Edward Navakas, M.D., Joliet
Earl Solon, M.D., Wilmette

Paul Barreira, M.D., Boston

Constance Anton, M.D., Hagerstown
Peter S. Jensen, M.D., Rockville
Craig W. Wessells, M.D., East New Market

Momen El Nesr, M.D., Fort Fairfield

Edward F. Foulks, M.D.,Ph.D., New Orleans

Richard Beck, M.D., Traverse City
Neal Fellows, D.O., Traverse City

John W. Newcomer, M.D., St. Louis

New York
Ralph Aquila, M.D., New York
Francine Cournos, M.D., Bronx
J. Lincoln Duffy, M.D., Carmel
Stephen M. Goldfinger, M.D., Brooklyn

Stephen Grcevich, M.D., Chagrin Falls
Mark McGee, M.D., Athens
Daniel J. Weber, M.D., Cincinnati

Rocio Nell, M.D., Norristown

Puerto Rico
Ramón Parrilla-Barreras, M.D., Cidra

Rhode Island
Saul Martin, M.D., Providence
James Kevin Sullivan, M.D., Providence

Lauren B. Marangell, M.D., Houston
James G. Baker, M.D., Houston
Robert G. Denney, M.D., Fort Worth

David L. Kersey, M.D., Seattle
Christos Dagadakis, M.D., Seattle

Floriana Ianni, M.D., Quebec
Marc Laporta, M.D., Quebec