Welcome from Juan Gallego, M.D., M.S. - President
I am truly honored to serve as President from May 2022 until May 2024. The ASHP is my family and I feel fortunate of working not only with accomplished professionals but also with great friends. I still remember attending my very first ASHP meeting back in 2003 when I was applying for residency and since then I have been a “regular” at these meetings. I am very proud of our society, and I plan to honor their trust in electing me as President by working tirelessly to achieve the mission of our society.
During my tenure, I will concentrate on three main goals:
1. Enhance the research activities in the society including research training for junior Hispanic investigators
My background as a clinical researcher with an interest in the neurobiology and treatment of the first episode of schizophrenia will allow me to both guide research efforts at our society and provide the appropriate training environment for junior Hispanic Investigators, who will receive mentorship and training from prominent senior Hispanic investigators from our society. To make this happen, I will seek funding from NIMH and NIDA to develop a comprehensive training program for junior Hispanic investigators with the goal of increasing the representation of Hispanic investigators in the research workforce. Moreover, we will reach out to other scientific societies, such as the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, to explore potential training opportunities across societies for our Hispanic investigators.
2. Continue our partnership with Latin American Psychiatric Associations
Following the efforts of our immediate past president, Ruby Castilla MD, I will continue to solidify and nurture our relationships with psychiatrists from Latin America. To do this, we will organize meetings to explore potential collaborations with the President of the Latin American Psychiatric Society (APAL) as well as the Presidents of the Psychiatric Societies of Latin American countries. We will seek opportunities to develop research studies across countries and provide mentoring to Latin-American researchers and clinicians, so that their research productivity increases as well as their visibility in the research workforce. In addition, we will aim to foster global mental initiatives aimed to enhance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in the Latin American region, with a particular emphasis on the social and cultural determinants of health.
3. Increase the visibility of our society
By taking advantage of the tools provided by technology, we will seek to increase our visibility using social media pages such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In addition, our collaborations with other scientific societies in the US and with psychiatric societies in Latin American countries will provide another avenue for promoting our society.
These are exciting times for the ASHP. Given the widespread calls for a more diverse workforce across institutions and the overall clinical and research workforce, we can help bridge the gap by recruiting, training, and mentoring the new generations of Hispanic/Latinx clinicians and researchers. We clearly have a lot of work to do given the prominent underrepresentation of Hispanic investigators/clinicians in the US despite Hispanics being the largest minority in the country comprising almost 19% of the population. Therefore, I will work with President-Elect Ivan Montoya, MD, Secretary Gerardo Villareal, MD and Treasurer Pamela Montaño, MD, along with all other board members and general members of the society to address these important issues for the society. I would like to thank Ruby Castilla, our immediate past president, who led our society to new heights with her passion, charisma and dedication. I look forward to continuing with her successful initiatives, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award and the monthly talks to La Casa de Don Pedro. I would also like to thank Frances Bell for her ongoing support and dedication to the society.
Juan A. Gallego, M.D., M.S.