Thursday, February 1, 2024

Marketa Wills, M.D., M.B.A., Named Next APA CEO and Medical Director

After a nationwide search, APA’s Board of Trustees announced today that Marketa Wills, M.D., M.B.A., will become the CEO and medical director of APA effective June 1. She will be APA’s eighth medical director and the first woman and Black American to fill the role. She succeeds CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., who assumed the role in 2013.

Wills currently serves as the senior vice president and chief medical officer of Johns Hopkins Health Plans; has a clinical practice at the University of South Florida Student Health Services in Tampa, Fla.; and serves as the chair of the Standards Committee of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. She is a member of the APA Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing and served on the Workgroup on the Future of Psychiatry in 2022-2023. In 2002 she was a member of the Board of Trustees as an APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellow.

“As a longtime mental health advocate, I am honored to take the reins of APA at this time in our history,” Wills said in a press release. “Given where we are, with the explosion of AI, innovation, and the changing landscape of technology, I look forward to working with APA’s membership and the administration to accelerate psychiatry into the future.”

APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., said in a statement to members, “Dr. Wills brings decades of experience in driving innovation and promoting quality mental health care to APA.” With Hopkins, “she leads a staff of 300 employees and has been instrumental in evaluating and implementing digital clinical tools for members to better manage their own health conditions. … Her unique combination of innovation, business acumen, and front-line experience as a physician makes her an ideal candidate to lead the APA administration at a time when the landscape in health care access, delivery, and financing continues to evolve.”

Past APA President Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D., who chaired the search committee, told Psychiatric News that the committee “considered a deep slate of candidates of outstanding quality.”

She said, “Dr. Wills was selected because of her committed involvement in APA in areas that look to the future and her impressive leadership in a range of areas of psychiatry with experience managing complex organizations with multiple stakeholders. … Her expertise in managing mental health systems, history as a management consultant, understanding and embrace of technology, and deep understanding of managed care systems and the direction they will be taking will be tremendous assets to the organization.”

In comments to Psychiatric News, Wills emphasized the importance of physician self-care and noted that she recently graduated from a 200-hour yoga teacher training. “We have a burden on our shoulders caring for people with mental illness,” she said. “I am passionate about us as practitioners finding our own balance ourselves. I want members to know that I am a true champion of physician well-being.”

Wills holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business, and an A.B. from Brown University. She completed her training at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital Adult Psychiatry Residency Program and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

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