Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association names Dr. Yolanda Graham ‘Psychiatrist of the Year’
For nearly 50 years, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association (GPPA) has honored a peer with its “Georgia Psychiatrist of the Year Award.”
During the GPPA’s annual winter meeting, the association unanimously bestowed the award on Dr. Yolanda Graham, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s national executive director of mental health services and Devereux Georgia medical director. The annual award recognizes a psychiatrist’s exceptional contributions to his or her patients, the profession of psychiatry and the community.
The GPPA – a branch of the American Psychiatric Association – is the only statewide organization representing Georgia psychiatrists and their patients. Nearly 700 members are dedicated to promoting professional values and ethics in the practice of psychiatry, improving patient access to quality mental health care, lifelong learning, and supporting education and advocacy for the profession, patients and their families.
Recognizing Dr. Graham’s contributions
The award was given to Dr. Graham during an awards luncheon, and was presented by Dr. Joseph Bono, the immediate past president of the GPPA. In his remarks, Dr. Bono said the award recognizes Graham’s advocacy work in children’s mental health, along with her efforts to mentor young psychiatrists and serve on various state legislative commissions and house study committees.
“The Georgia Psychiatrist of the Year Award is the most cherished honor we bestow upon one of our colleagues,” said Dr. Bono as he presented the award. “Dr. Graham has been called a gentle warrior, a fierce advocate, a skillful clinician, a loving partner and mother, a champion for children and an inspiration. She balances the competing professional demands of a medical administrator, a clinician, a teacher and supervisor, a tireless advocate, an expert consultant on policy, a leader in organized medicine, and a mentor/role model to a generation of young female psychiatrists – while always handling herself with grace and professionalism.”
Shining a light on the field of psychiatry
Devereux’s clinical staff are well recognized throughout Georgia, and this award further underscores the highest level of competency and professionalism throughout the organization.
“I was completely honored and surprised to receive this prestigious award,” said Dr. Graham. “It means a great deal to me, personally, to be chosen by my peers. My hope is that this award shines a light on the field of psychiatry, along with the amazing work we do at Devereux to help unlock human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.”
Graham’s commitment to her field continues; she is currently GPPA’s president-elect and will assume the role of president in May.
Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer/Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marilyn Benoit, added: “We are so incredibly proud of the work Yolanda has done at Devereux, and how she continues to advance the field of behavioral healthcare in Georgia – and nationwide. Yolanda’s contributions are reflective of the work we are doing across the country, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated professional leading the way.”