American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Accomplished psychiatrist Ash Bhatt, MD, has overseen Sovereign Health Group as chief medical officer since August of 2015. In addition to board certifications in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine, Dr. Ash Bhatt maintains memberships with such professional organizations as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Dedicated to the healthy development of youth, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology (AACP) regularly offers professional guidance on pertinent issues affecting American families. Recently, it issued an updated policy statement regarding children and firearms.
In the interest of improving the health and safety of youth across the country, the AACAP recommends that families strive to reduce the number of guns in their communities. The organization based its statement on research indicating a strong correlation between gun violence and youth access to firearms. The AACAP found that, among US children under the age of 15, the rate of gun-related homicides is exponentially higher than the combined rate of 25 other industrialized nations. With guns present in nearly one-third of all American homes, research suggests that these households are three times more likely to experience a homicide and five times more likely to experience a suicide.
The AACAP statement also cites research regarding adolescent brain development, noting that many youth are psychologically drawn toward risk, and may also choose to carry guns due to peer pressure. The academy recommends that families heavily restrict and closely monitor any access to guns and educate youth on the potential dangers of firearms. At the same time, the AACAP continues to support research, enforcement, and legislation in the realm of gun ownership and safety.
Sovereign Health Group
Recognized as one of America’s leading psychiatrists by the Consumers Research Council, Dr. Ash Bhatt has dedicated over 15 years to the provision of mental health services and substance abuse counseling. Dr. Ash Bhatt draws on this experience to serve as Chief Medical Officer of Sovereign Health Group, a nationwide network of mental health service providers.
On August 30, 2016, Sovereign Health Group announced the latest installment of “Not in my Backyard (NIMBY),” a series of editorial pieces that delve into the public concern regarding mental health and addiction treatment facilities. Although many communities are resistant to the establishment of these centers – a protest movement known as “Not in my Backyard” – Sovereign’s series of insightful, research-based publications aims to shed light on the misconceptions that fuel this animosity.
NIMBY focuses specifically on the California community of San Clemente, where many residents fear that the construction of mental health treatment facilities will spur substance abuse, increase criminal activity, and lower property values in their neighborhoods. The editorial series draws on law enforcement statistics to demonstrate that these concerns are largely unfounded. In its first installment, “Communities Resist Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Treatment Facilities,” Sovereign delves into current trends of drug use and crime in San Clemente, finding that crime rates declined between 2009 and 2014. In its newest piece, entitled “The Endemic Problems of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse in San Clemente,” the national healthcare network digs more deeply into the prevalence of substance abuse and mental health challenges among San Clemente’s youth, demonstrating the potential benefit that behavioral health treatment facilities could offer the community.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Over the last year, Dr. Ash Bhatt has directed nationwide clinical activities in his role as chief medical officer at Sovereign Health Group. The former director of acute child and adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit and emergency crisis services at University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, Dr. Ash Bhatt, MD, holds a membership with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
Throughout the year, AACAP helps its members remain abreast of emerging topics in the field of youth psychiatry by hosting a number of industry meetings and educational seminars. Perhaps the academy’s most important event is its Annual Meeting, which will celebrate its 63rd year in October 2016.
Held at both the Sheraton New York Times Square and New York Hilton Midtown, AACAP’s Annual Meeting will feature diverse programming that caters to the needs of each guest. Over the course of six days, attendees will thus have the opportunity to engage in poster meetings, instructional workshops, and treatment symposia. The Annual Meeting will also feature a number of unique sessions for specific groups such as medical students and those in the early years of their careers. These sessions will not only enable budding psychiatrists to network, but they will also provide useful information on building private practices and publishing medical writings in journals.
Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, received his medical degree from Universidad Iberoamericana School of Medicine in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Currently serving as chief medical officer at Sovereign Health Group, Dr. Ash Bhatt is trained in the psychopharmacological use of Zoloft in the treatment of mental health disorders.
Psychopharmacology is the discipline of using medication in managing psychological conditions. Physicians like Dr. Ash Bhatt, practicing psychopharmacology, have extended training and understanding in medication half-life (duration the medicine stays in the body), medical drug interaction (how the medication affects other medicines), protein binding (availability of the medicine to the body), and polymorphic genes (the diversity of genes ranging from patient to patient).
The psychopharmacological use of Zoloft, or sertraline, has been administered by clinicians for the past 25 years. Prescribed by a licensed physician, the medication helps treat panic attacks, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and severe premenstrual syndrome.
Patients undergoing psychopharmacological treatment with Zoloft demonstrate improved sleep, mood, energy level, appetite, and overall positive outlook towards daily activities. By restoring the presence of the natural hormone serotonin in the brain, psychopharmacological use of Zoloft helps patients diagnosed with OCD to suppress the desire of performing repeated tasks and decreases unwanted thoughts, anxiety, fear, and panic attacks. Sertraline is typically prescribed orally in tablet or capsule form to be ingested once daily.
Board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Ash Bhatt, MD currently serves as chief medical officer at Sovereign Health Group. Having received his medical degree from Universidad Iberoamericana School of Medicine in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Dr. Ash Bhatt is trained in managing mental health conditions with the psychopharmacological interventions, including Xanax.
Psychopharmacology is the practice of managing a patient’s psychological condition through the administration of medication. Clinicians practicing psychopharmacology have comprehensive understanding in polymorphic genes (the diversity of genes ranging from patient to patient), protein binding (availability of the medicine to the body), medical drug interaction (how the medication affects other medicines), and medication half-life (duration the medicine stays in the body).
Classified as a benzodiazepine, Xanax has been prescribed by clinicians to manage panic disorders and anxiety in patients for the past 35 years. Also known as alprazolam, the medication affects the brain and central nervous system by producing a calming effect for the patient. Enhancing the presence of the naturally produced hormone gama-amino butyric acid in the brain, the psychopharmacological use of Xanax may cause addiction and feelings of withdrawal.
Reported side effects commonly associated with the psychopharmacological administration of Xanax include dizziness, drowsiness, change in libido, and increased salivary secretion. Other serious side effects requiring immediate medical attention are trouble breathing, seizures, jaundice, hallucinations, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and thoughts of suicide.
Board certified in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine, Dr. Ashish “Ash” Bhatt has dedicated several years to treating mental health conditions and substance addiction in both youth and adults. Having previously served as chief medical officer for the Florida region of Elements Behavioral Health and now the Chief Medical Officer at Sovereign Health, Dr. Ash Bhatt frequently speaks at medical conferences and continuing education workshops. In 2013, for example, Dr. Ash Bhatt led a psychiatry workshop in Boca Raton, Florida, entitled “You Can’t Just Talk it Out of Them – The Neurobiology of the Addicted Mind.”
Focused on multi-modal treatment strategies for substance addiction, the workshop sought to provide a fuller picture of the neurobiological basis for addiction. In many cases, psychiatrists are primarily concerned with the behavioral changes associated with addiction. However, a patient’s neurology should be granted equal bearing in the diagnosis and treatment of addiction, as the former can have a significant impact on the individual’s motivational hierarchy and executive functioning.
The workshop introduced attendees to the neurochemical and neuroanatomical aspects of addiction, associated symptoms, and specific examples of addiction’s impact on motivational hierarchies. In addition, attendees explored how a lack of knowledge regarding the neurobiological aspects of addiction can result in inaccurate diagnoses, making a multi-modal understanding of addiction crucial to delivering effective treatment.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
For more than two decades Dr. Ashish (Ash) Bhatt has worked as a medical professional and facility leader in the adolescent substance abuse industry. He currently serves as chief medical officer at Sovereign Health Group in Florida and has worked previously at Elements Behavioral Health Florida which includes Lucida Treatment Center and The Recovery Place. Ash Bhatt, MD, also maintains membership with prominent industry groups such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Dr. Bhatt is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist.
The AACAP is a national organization committed to supporting physical and mental wellness in children, adolescents, and their families. The AACAP primarily achieves this goal by raising public awareness of mental health issues and through education and awareness. Each years the AACAP membership gathers to discuss the best ways to further this mission at the AACAP Annual Meeting.
The AACAP’s 62nd Annual Meeting was held in October 2015 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas. The weeklong event featured a number of educational programs and presentations by keynote speakers specializing in areas of clinical casework, child and adolescent psychopharmacology, assessing and treating preschool children, and much more.
Individuals interested in the full details AACAP’s 62nd Annual Meeting can visit http://www.aacap.org and review all major events and programs. The upcoming annual meeting will be held October 24-29 at the New York Hilton Midtown and the Sheraton New York Times Square.