Pictured with the
Best Practice Award plaque are
In recognition of the efforts of the Oklahoma Psychiatric Physicians Association in the development of the PatientsFIRST Coalition, the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association recently awarded its distinguished 2006 District Branch Best Practice Award to Oklahoma.
The award, presented at the annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, was established in 2002 to recognize the efforts and innovative programs of a District Branch in the past year. Programs considered for the award are meant to identify strengths of a District Branch which can be effectively adapted by others.
In accepting the award for Oklahoma, Ana Maria Gutierrez, M.D., Vice President, Oklahoma Psychiatric Physicians Association, explained the PatientsFIRST Coalition represented over 7,000 physicians from 10 statewide physician member organizations and was designed to protect the safety, accessibility and quality of patient care in Oklahoma.
By presenting a unified front and pooling resources toward a common goal, we have increased awareness in our legislature and minimized confusion regarding who is a physician and who is not, Dr. Gutierrez said.
The PatientsFIRST Coalition continues to grow politically stronger. The 2006 legislative session did not see the introduction of any scope of practice expansion bills due to the work of this coalition and the group has already set its sights on 2007, she added.
Current PatientsFIRST Coalition member groups include:
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