2023 APA Advocacy Day

Dr. Eric Reynolds and Dr. Sara Coffey had the  opportunity to attend the American Psychiatric Association’s 2023 Advocacy Day representing the Oklahoma Psychiatric Physicians Association. The event was held October 16 and 17 in Washington, DC. Christine Cotter, new OPPA co-director also attended the conference.

This annual event gave each a unique opportunity to lobby members of Congress on issues that affect Oklahoma’s patients and practice of psychiatry. Federal and State policies not only impact patients and the profession, but active engagement in the process helps ensure our patients and our colleagues can practice and receive quality care.

APA’s Advocacy Day activities began with a congressional panel and information about the advocacy day efforts. Several APA staff and colleagues helped explain issues important to our work including the physician shortage, integrated care,  and maternal mental health. Several bills were discussed, most of which had bipartisan support. In the evening the APA hosted a dinner which included guest speaker Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland)who spoke to the importance of mental health in our current political climate and in the nation.

Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Coffey had the opportunity to meet with congressional aides from Senator Mullin’s office, Representative Kern’s office and Representative Tom Cole’s office speaking to the importance of several issues pertinent to our profession and our patients. Our     message was well received as we asked for    co-sponsorship and support for several house and senate bills.

All of this was happening as the House of   Representatives was voting to replace the Speaker of the House.  There was a lot of   energy in the DC area! Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Coffey are thankful for the opportunity and encourage our colleagues to reach out and  stay involved in the policies and practices that   impact our patients and our profession.

Sara Coffey, D.O. 

Associate Clinical Professor 

Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry and     Behavioral Sciences , Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa


Eric L. Reynolds, M.D.

Chief Resident

Griffin Memorial Hospital, Norman