Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, April 3, as it’s last order of business, the Assembly Health Committee heard CPA sponsored AB 2018, a bill that creates an innovative and unique incentive program for psychiatrists to engage in community psychiatry training and practice. The CPA team that testified was led by UC San Diego public psychiatry Fellow Priti Ojha, M.D., and recent UC San Francisco Public Psychiatry Fellowship Program graduate Carrie Cunningham, M.D. Both gave personal testimony about experiences working with severely disadvantaged communities and severely mentally ill individuals, such as those with schizophrenia.

Three Fellows from the UC San Diego program also appeared to testify, as did their Program Director Steve Koh, M.D.. UC San Francisco was well represented by Christina Mangurian, M.D., the Public Psychiatry Program Director. At the end of the hearing the committee unanimously approved the bill and passed it out for a total of 15 ‘Yes’ votes. One member of the committee, Asm. Aguiar-Curry, representing Yolo and Napa Counties, asked if she could become a co-author on the bill, citing the rural nature of her assembly district and the need for more psychiatric services. The author, Asm. Maienschein from San Diego, is a champion for mental health issues and we were lucky to have him, as well as the co-sponsorship of the Steinberg Institute.

Thanks to the participating Fellows who included Dr. Martinez and Dr. Castillo along with Dr. Malak, associate director for the UCSD Fellowship Program.