Planning Committee

James Cannon, MS, PhD, PA-C (Psy) CAQ, DFAAPA

Associate Professor, A.T. Still University Mesa, Arizona; Associate Professor, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia; Managing Partner, Assure Wellness Group; Southside Behavioral Health

Full Bio


James Cannon, DHA, MBA, PA-C, of Chesapeake, Virginia, is a primary care and psychiatric certified Physician Assistant (PA) who works in a rural inpatient and outpatient hospital-based setting. Dr. Cannon is a recently retired United States Coast Guard Officer with 31 years of military service, where he was a healthcare executive and practicing PA. He is the immediate past chairman of the board of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, where he served eight years as a director at large at the only certifying body for 100,000 PAs nationwide.

Dr. Cannon received his PA training and Master of Science from the Arizona School of Health Sciences/A. T. Still University, and also holds a Master of Business Administration and a doctorate in health care administration. He is a certified PA with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Psychiatry.

In addition to authoring numerous articles in medical journals and books, Dr. Cannon works with several professional groups, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Virginia Association of PAs, and the Association of PAs in Psychiatry. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of A.T. Still University as the only non-physician/dentist director. In this role he helps guide the envisioned future of the 125-year founding school of Osteopathy. He is the first and only PA on the Board of Trustees for South Hampton Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Virginia.

Dr. Cannon and his wife reside in Chesapeake, Virginia, with two dogs, while his daughter attends the University of Texas, in Arlington.


Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing University of Illinois at Chicago

Full Bio


Julie Carbray holds her PhD and Master of Science degrees from Rush University, Chicago and her Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. A Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), she has been on faculty at UIC since 1993. As the Administrative Director of the Pediatric Mood Disorder Program, Dr. Carbray manages the clinical programs and multidisciplinary training for the clinic and is a clinical expert in the area of children and adolescents with mood disorders within the UIC Depression and Resilience Center.

As a clinician, Dr. Carbray has a national reputation of excellence in serving families of children with mood disorders and was recognized by the UIC community in 2008 by receiving the Karen Gousman Excellence in Nursing Award and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s (APNA) Best Practices in Outpatient Mental Health Nursing Award. In 2012, Dr. Carbray was awarded the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Inspire Award for her longstanding commitment to UIC values and her inspiration of others in her work. With a particular focus on helping families to help their children with mood disorders, Dr. Carbray is engaged in programs of research that are investigating the psychopharmacology of mood disorders, neurobiology of mood disorders and neurobiologically informed treatments, and family response to childhood mood disorders.

Dr. Carbray has also been a liaison with the Chicago Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which trains officers about interacting with children with mental illness. Dr. Carbray is an internationally recognized speaker and clinical expert on therapeutic work with children and adolescents with mood disorders and has co-authored scientific papers and chapters in this area of expertise. Dr. Carbray is a leader in the field of advanced practice psychiatric nursing, chairs the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Clinical Psychopharmacology Institute and the APNA Child and Adolescent Council, and serves on the Illinois APNA Board of Directors.

Steven Chan, MD, MBA

Clinical Informatics Fellow, University of California San Francisco

Full Bio


Steven Chan, MD, MBA (@StevenChanMD, is UC San Francisco's (UCSF) inaugural Clinical Informatics physician fellow and an actively-practicing physician in psychiatry & behavioral sciences, specializing in mood, anxiety, PTSD, attention, and psychotic disorders. Dr. Chan serves as editorial board member for the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Mental Health. Dr. Chan is co-investigator on R01 grant-funded research in the areas of digital mental health, and applications for cultural psychiatry and underserved minority health.

Dr. Chan's ideas, thoughts, and research have been featured in JAMA, Telemedicine and e-Health, JMIR (Journal of Medical Internet Research), Wired, PBS, and NPR Ideastream. Dr. Chan serves as Vice Chair for the Workgroup on Mental Health & Psychiatric Apps at the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a part of the Committee on Mental Health Information Technology and serves on the Committee of Telepsychiatry. Dr. Chan draws from his extensive medical, business, and informatics training at California’s leading institutes — UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Davis, as well as UCLA, UC San Francisco and Stanford University.

Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH

Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, Midland, Texas

Full Bio


Dr. Rakesh Jain attended medical school at the University of Calcutta in India and attended graduate school at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, where he was awarded the National Institute/CDC Competitive Traineeship. He graduated from the School of Public Health in 1987 with a master of public health (MPH) degree. After graduate school, he was a postdoctoral fellow in research psychiatry, under the Gerontology Center of the University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute in Houston, where he received a national research service award for the support of the postdoctoral fellowship. After this, he served a three-year residency in psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and two years of child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship.

Dr. Jain is currently involved in multiple research projects studying the effects of medications on short-term and long-term treatment of depression, anxiety, pain/mood overlap disorders, and psychosis in adult and child/adolescent populations. He is also the author of several articles on the issue of mood and pain conditions. He was recently named Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Gulf Coast Chapter, in recognition of community and peer education and championing of mental health issues.

Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC

Adjunct Clinical Affiliate, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing; Private Practice, Austin, Texas

Full Bio


Dr. Saundra Jain is executive director of the Mental Aerobics Project, focused on wellness and the impact of positive psychology on client outcomes. Dr. Jain provides workshops to healthcare practitioners, organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in learning more about the power of wellness. In 1992, she launched a private practice of psychotherapy, where she currently provides services for a wide range of mental health issues.

Dr. Jain is very active in the area of peer-to-peer education, especially in the disease states of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. Another strong clinical and educational interest involves differential diagnosis of major psychiatric disorders. She is the co-creator and co-presenter of a novel and extremely well-received interactive workshop/program addressing the challenges of dealing with psychiatric comorbidities through the use of psychiatric scales and screeners. This program reached a national audience, and according to many attendees changed the way they practice medicine. She has been instrumental in developing several other innovative tools/programs to fill current gaps in this area. She is the co-creator and co-presenter featured on an interactive DVD titled Differentiating Bipolar Depression from Unipolar Depression. Recently, Dr. Jain served as the co-host of Depression in Relationships, a medical education program broadcast in 20 major cities in the United States on several major television networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX) and the Voice of America national news and talk radio system. She is also senior co-author of two very well-received books that were written for clients: Unleashed: Transforming My Battle With Depression and Unleashed: 12-Weeks to Total Mental Fitness, both directed toward the needs of patients struggling with mental health issues.

She obtained her master's degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a doctoral degree from Southern California University for Professional Studies. She demonstrated her professional versatility by obtaining an MBA from Texas Woman’s University. She is a licensed professional counselor and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She has extensive clinical training in multiple sites, covering the gamut of childhood, adolescent and adult experiences in the private and the public sectors. She was selected for a postgraduate clinical fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, where she trained in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Catherine R. Judd, MS, PA-C, CAQ-Psy, DFAAPA

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, School of Health Professions, Physician Assistant, Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine, Parkland Health and Hospital System, Dallas, Texas

Full Bio


Catherine Judd, MS, PA-C, CAQ-Psy, DFAAPA, is a Senior Physician Assistant (PA) at Parkland Health and Hospital System, Jail Mental Health Program in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Judd is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Southwestern School of Health Professions, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, and a Psychiatry Preceptor at the University of Texas Dallas PA Program. She was among the first to earn the NCCPA CAQ in Psychiatry. Ms. Judd is a national speaker for the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Collaborative Risk Management Reduction initiative on prescribing opiates, a participant in the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Blending Initiative. She has served a six-year term as representative of the AAPA on the Accreditation Review Commission for PA Programs, and on the NCCPA CAQ Advisory Committee.

Ms. Judd’s clinical practice over the past 30 years has been primarily mental health, substance use, and primary care. She has worked internationally in Egypt, for the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan, and for a private aid organization in Ghana. Ms. Judd has a special interest in patients with serious mental illness as well as geriatric patients with mood disorders and cognitive decline.

Samantha Lau, MSN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC

Mind by Mind on Youtube; Instagram @mind_by_mind; Happier Living in West Hollywood; Nurse Practitioner; Alumni at Johns Hopkins University and University of California, Los Angeles

Full Bio


Samantha Lau is part of Happier Living, a vibrant new approach to mental health, to help individuals achieve mental wellness and build a healthier and happier society. She worked as a West Coast manager and nurse practitioner in behavioral health at Landmark Health, enhancing the collaboration between physical and behavioral healthcare. She received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing at the University of California, Los Angeles and completed her post-graduate psychiatric nurse practitioner program from Johns Hopkins University. 

It is her desire to become a more effective leader in the effort to influence health policy, with the goal of having the psychiatric field a more fluid partner in an integrated healthcare system for the betterment of both fields. Prior to Landmark Health, Samantha was an accomplished mental health care specialist, a manager of nurse practitioners and a mentor in the field at CareMore Health, Anthem Inc. She developed a quick guide for psychopharmacology and disease management and a tool for primary care practitioners to facilitate patients with mental health needs. It gives her great satisfaction to educate the public and help train the future workforce in psychiatry. She speaks to senior citizens in the community about mental illness and undergraduate students in healthcare policy at local universities while continuing a personal project, Mind by Mind on YouTube. The program explores the meaning of self-care and wellness promotion. 

Samantha is proud to join Elevate by Psych Congress in their goal of building a better world-class mental health care system in the United States. 


You can find Samantha Lau on Mind by Mind on YouTube, @Mind_by_Mind on Instagram, and @LauSamanthalau on Twitter


Vladimir Maletic, MD, MS

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, South Carolina

Full Bio


Dr. Vladimir Maletic is clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. He received his MD in 1981 and his MS in neurobiology in 1985, both at the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. He went on to serve a residency in psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, followed by a residency in child psychiatry at Duke University. Dr. Maletic is a member of several professional organizations, including the Southern Psychiatric Association and American College of Psychiatrists. In addition, he has published numerous articles and has participated in various national and international meetings and congresses. His special areas of interest include neurobiology of mood disorders, pain, schizophrenia, ADHD, and regulation of sleep and wakefulness. Dr. Maletic is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Ilan Melnick, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Passageway Residences of Dade County, Miami, Florida

Full Bio


Ilan Melnick, MD, is the primary psychiatrist in two outpatient clinics in the Miami, Florida area, as well as a staff psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer at Passageway Residences of Miami-Dade County. In addition, Dr. Melnick is a staff psychiatrist and Medical Director for Jewish Community Services and performs independent medical and psychiatric evaluations for Miami-Dade County police, fire, transit and aviation departments.

Dr. Melnick received his medical degree from the Universidad Central del Caribe in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and went on to do his residency in psychiatry and fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. He continues to be involved in education through his role giving grand rounds at major universities and hospitals around the world.

Andrew Penn, RN, MS, NP, APRN-BC

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, California; Associate Clinical Professor, University of California, San Francisco, California

Full Bio


Andrew Penn was trained as an adult nurse practitioner and psychiatric clinical nurse specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified as an adult nurse practitioner and psychiatric nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Currently, he serves as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California-San Francisco School of Nursing.

Mr. Penn is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, California, where he provides psychopharmacological treatment for adult patients and specializes in the treatment of affective disorders and PTSD. He is a former board member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, California Chapter, and has presented nationally on improving medication adherence, emerging drugs of abuse, treatment-resistant depression, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder, and the art and science of psychopharmacologic practice.

Charles Raison, MD

Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families; Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Full Bio


Charles Raison, MD, is the Mike and Mary Sue Shannon Endowed Chair in Mind, Body, and Family Well-being and Professor, School of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Prior to this he was Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, and the Barry and Janet Lang Professor of Integrative Mental Health at the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona.

Dr. Raison is internationally recognized for his studies examining novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions, as well as for his work examining the physical and behavioral effects of compassion training. The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014 Dr. Raison received the Raymond Pearl Memorial Award from the Human Biology Association “in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of evolutionary biocultural origins of mental health and illness.”

Dr. Raison serves as the founding Director of the Center for Compassion Studies in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Usona Institute. He is the mental health expert for