Rutgers Health professor chosen as president-elect of American Psychiatric Association

Theresa Miskimen, clinical professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, has been named president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association, according to a Thursday announcement.

The election marks the second time in three years that Rutgers Health faculty have led the association. Petros Levounis, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and associate dean for professional development at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, was elected in 2022.

Among Miskimen’s priorities as APA president when she assumes office in May 2025 is to champion psychiatrist-led multidisciplinary team-based care. To achieve this goal, she plans to:

  • Leverage academic centers to explore and improve innovative ways to expand access, including integrated health care models;
  • Advocate to retain telepsychiatric services; and
  • Promote diversity-enhancing interdisciplinary programs such as the American Academy of Pediatrics Women’s Wellness Through Equity and Leadership program.

Miskimen, who also is chair and medical director of the Department of Psychiatry at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, has worked for more than 30 years in public sector clinical practices that have centered on improving access and delivery of psychiatric care to bilingual and bicultural communities and developing and implementing intercultural clinical programs.

She has served in community-facing initiatives and held appointed positions under the three past governors of New Jersey to address mental health issues spanning the intersection of technology and the delivery of psychiatric care, mental health in university settings and youth suicide prevention.

“Our profession faces multiple challenges,” Miskimen said. “We need a cohesive, actionable, multiyear strategy to enact effective and permanent change. As president, I will focus on the workforce challenges facing psychiatry, with the ultimate goal being to reverse these challenges, enabling greater fulfillment in our practices and achieving better patient outcomes.”

“This recognition exemplifies Dr. Miskimen’s experience as an academic leader in medicine and as an expert in public psychiatry,” Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, who leads Rutgers Health, said. “Her willingness to share her expertise and her dedication to research and advocacy will be an asset to the APA.”

Miskimen serves as a delegate of the APA to the American Medical Association Section Council on Psychiatry and is a member of the American College of Psychiatrists. She has been active in regional and national leadership roles within the APA, including president of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association, speaker of the APA Assembly, member of the APA Executive Committee of the board of trustees and vice chair of the joint reference committee.