Thursday, May 2, 2024

Arizona Legislator Amish Shah, M.D., M.P.H., Receives APA’s Javits Award for Public Service

Amish Shah, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency medicine physician and member of the Arizona House of Representatives, was awarded the 2024 APA Jacob K. Javits Public Service Award for his dedication to improving access to quality care, and his advocacy for mental health reform. The Javits Award is APA’s highest honor for contributions to the field of mental health by a federal or state public official.

“Not only in hospitals but also in the Arizona House of Representatives, Dr. Shah has left his mark as a distinctly skilled and dedicated voice for mental health,” said APA President Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., in a statement. “His tireless efforts include working across the aisle to pass legislation like ‘Jake’s Law,’ promoting important mental health interventions such as the Collaborative Care Model and advocating for youth to more easily access mental health care services.”

Jake’s Law, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in 2020, authorizes the state division of insurance to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and ensure insurance companies are complying with parity requirements. The law also allocated $8 million to support behavioral health services for children who are uninsured or underinsured. The law is named in honor of Jake Machovsky, an Arizona teen who lost his life to suicide in 2016.

"I am deeply honored to receive the Jacob K. Javits Public Service Award from the American Psychiatric Association,” Shah said in a statement. “This recognition not only reflects my commitment but also underscores the urgent need to address mental health with the same dedication as we do physical health. As we continue to remove the barriers to mental health services, we must also push for healthcare reforms that recognize mental health as essential to overall well-being. I am excited to collaborate with APA to make this happen."

Since 2019, Shah has represented Arizona’s 24th District serving Central Phoenix, Sunnyslope and South Scottsdale. He is currently running as a Democrat for the United States House of Representatives from Arizona’s 1st District.

Gagan Singh, M.D., president of the Arizona Psychiatric Society, said Shah has been an exemplary physician and a champion for enhanced access to equitable mental health care. “He has worked tirelessly to decrease the shame often associated with mental illness, streamline the path to accessing mental health care, and improve the holistic health of Arizonans in his district and beyond,” Singh said.

Each year, APA confers the Javits Award on a state or federal public servant for outstanding contributions to the profession of psychiatry and to mental health advocacy. APA established the award in 1986 in honor of Sen. Jacob K. Javits, who represented New York state in the U.S. Senate from 1957 to 1981.

Have You Gotten Email Requests from the AMA?

If so, the simple message is please respond. The AMA has sent out weekly reminder emails from with the email subject line of “Reminder: The AMA needs your input to support fair and accurate physician payment.” If you have received these emails, it is urgent that you or your office staff respond as it will help the AMA gather accurate data on practice costs and the hours of patient care that physicians provide to support fair and accurate physician payment.

The study relies on financial experts in physician practices to complete the online financial information survey. The number of direct patient care hours is a critical component of the Medicare payment methodology. Participation will ensure that practice expenses and patient care hours are accurately reflected.


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