The First African American President of the American Psychiatric Association

Altha Stewart, an associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, was named president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association. When she becomes president in May 2018, Dr. Stewart will be the first African American to lead the American Psychiatric Association since its founding in 1844.

Dr. Stewart is past president of the American Psychiatric Foundation, the Association of Women Psychiatrists, and the Black Psychiatrists of America.

“I am honored and humbled by my selection by my fellow members,” Dr. Stewart said. “The APA and the profession of psychiatry have made great strides in the past several years, but much more work is needed. We have to take a proactive role to ensure that our patients receive the quality psychiatric treatment they deserve. We live in trying times, but I’m excited to take on this leadership role.”

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Stewart graduated from Christian Brothers University in Memphis. She completed her medical degree at Temple University Medical School and her residency at Hahnemann University Hospital, both in Philadelphia.


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  1. Dr. Tawana Ford Sabbath says:

    I am so proud of Dr. Stewart. We were connected may years ago as I was working as a clinical social worker at Hahnemann Hospital. The APA will definitely benefit from her fine leadership and wisdom. Thank you JBHE for publishing information about this outstanding achievement.

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