Guest Blog: Back in the New York Groove

As part of PRMS’ ongoing efforts to support the behavioral healthcare community and promote the organizations that work towards this mission, we are pleased to highlight our Platinum Partner, the New York County Psychiatric Society (NYCPS). We invited Meagan O’Toole, JD, CAE, Executive Director of NYCPS, to share more about NYCPS’ return to hosting in-person social events for its members in 2022.

This has been an exciting time for NYCPS as we marked our return to in-person events for the first time since early 2020. NYC was hit early and hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and our members dealt with redeployments, shortages in workforce and PPE, transition to telemedicine, isolation in private practice, and more. So, when the time came to safely resume our social events last year, our members welcomed the return enthusiastically.

Danielle Bolger (center), PRMS Director of Marketing, at the NYCPS Early Career Psychiatrist Mixer in September

“I appreciate the opportunity to learn and socialize with friends and colleagues and enjoy mentoring residents and early career psychiatrists,” says Dr. Gabrielle Shapiro of the chance to return to live NYCPS events. Because of the pandemic, our events offered the occasion to truly meet many of our newer resident physicians for the first time – and the opportunities kept coming! NYC residents from programs around the five boroughs were some of our most loyal attendees over the past year. Dr. Nicholas Apping, new Co-Chair for our Residents’ Committee and one of those members new to our in-person events, co-hosted the Resident Summer Social in July. He explained the benefit of NYCPS social events: “Psychiatry residency is riddled with expected and unexpected challenges, all [of] which help build a sense of comradery amongst colleagues. Our social events allow us an opportunity to come together, build connections and recharge, because no one can do this work alone.”

Dr. Nicholas Apping (left), NYCPS Co-Chair for the Residents’ Committee, at the Resident Summer Social

What did members love most this year? Many said the perennial favorite, NYCPS’ Annual Meet & Greet, was better than ever, held for the first time this year on the North River Lobster Company’s dinner cruise around the Statue of Liberty. "After a long COVID-related isolation, it was a wonderful gathering where we renewed old and made new acquaintances,” says Dr. Anil Thomas. Dr. Jose Vito, appreciated “catching up” with colleagues and getting “updates on their best practices in private practice during the lockdown, and how they are practicing self-care.” It seems everyone appreciated the amazing views and the lobster rolls!

(left to right) Gabrielle Shapiro, M.D.; Jeremy Kidd, M.D., M.P.H.; Sarah Berkson, M.D.; Jose Vito, M.D.; Anna Costakis, M.D.; and Nery Diaz, M.D. at the Annual Meet & Greet

It hasn’t all been play. We also hosted our first in-person Annual Legislative Breakfast in January 2023. With the changing healthcare landscape and the ongoing pandemic, there has never been a more important time to discuss the future of healthcare and advocate for important improvements in mental health policy. In fact, Dr. Danielle Kushner notes she is “most looking forward to working with my colleagues to further advocate for our patients and improved psychiatry services in NYC” in 2023.

It has been important for NYCPS to come back strong after the last few years, which is why our Executive Council wanted to invest in as many social and networking opportunities as possible. “I’m proud of the work we did to keep everyone connected virtually through the pandemic, but it has been great to see everyone together again,” says NYCPS President Dr. Jeremy Kidd. “This past year we had more social and networking opportunities for our members than ever before, and we are thankful for our Platinum Partnership with PRMS, which helped us create these meaningful and much-needed opportunities.”

NYCPS members at the 2022 Holiday Party in December

And as for what’s next? Dr. Vito says the 2023 Presidential Reception is what he is looking forward to most. An opportunity to come together and celebrate all the amazing accomplishments of our members over the last year? Sounds like the perfect way to cap off our first year back in the New York groove!

Visit the New York County Psychiatric Society website to learn more about the organization and all of its upcoming events.


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