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Lawson Named President of Washington Psychiatric Society

Courtesy of Howard University | 6/4/2009, 5:44 a.m.

William Lawson, MD. Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine, is the new president of the Washington Psychiatric Society, the largest branch of the American Psychiatric Association, which is made up of approximately 1,000 area physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

Dr. Lawson is only the second African American to head the group. He will serve until May 2010.
€I want to express my gratitude to my colleagues in Washington, Maryland and Virginia for their confidence and support in electing me to this position,€ Dr. Lawson said. €This offers an excellent opportunity to show that Howard is a true player in the mental health community and it provides an opportunity to link academic psychiatry, community services and individual providers.€

Dr. Lawson, who was appointed to the chair at Howard in 2000, has completed nearly 25 years of psychiatric instruction, research, and practice in universities and colleges of medicine, state, and federal mental health facilities.

Prior to coming to Howard, Dr. Lawson was a faculty member in the departments of psychiatry at the University of California in Irvine, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and Indiana University in Indianapolis. He also served as chief of psychiatry at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis and chief medical officer in the Department of Mental Health for the State of Tennessee.

Dr. Lawson is a recipient of numerous awards and honors. These include being listed twice by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the nations leading physicians, receiving the Howard University College of Medicine Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award, the American Psychiatric Association€s first annual Jeanne M. Spurlock Minority Fellowship Achievement Award, and the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill outstanding psychiatrist award.

He is also a member of Scientific Advisory Boards of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, the Depression, and Bipolar Support Alliance and the University of Michigan Depression Center.