The CPNP Program Committee is pleased to announce the 2014 Annual Meeting which is titled Phoenix Rising: Taking Neuropsychiatric Pharmacy Above & Beyond. The meeting will return to Phoenix, Arizona from April 27–30, 2014.

A stellar line-up of speakers and topics is taking shape and a sneak peak is provided on the Annual Meeting speaker page with more details to come by the end of October. In the meantime, details regarding the scheduled keynote addresses are provided below. We will keep you posted as more details emerge and as registration becomes available by the end of October.

Are Atypical Antipsychotics Really Mood Stabilizers

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 2:15–4:30 p.m.

Nassir Ghaemi, MD, MPH, Tufts Medical Center

Gary Sachs, MD, Harvard Medical School; Bipolar Clinic & Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital

Bipolar disorder is a severe condition with significant impact on quality of life making optimal treatment a necessity. Traditional mood stabilizers have been the first line options to treat this condition for many years. Over the last several years, antipsychotics, particularly second-generation antipsychotics, have assumed a much more prominent role in the management of bipolar disorder. Despite a number of clinical trials supporting their use in bipolar disorder, there is controversy about whether the new role is justified due to limitations of the studies on which their clinical use is now founded. Clinicians who recommend therapy for bipolar disorder need to have a clear understanding of the expected benefit from the therapeutic alternatives available to treat the condition. This point-counterpoint discussion between these nationally recognized speakers highlights how the two classes are similar, but different, when discussing patient and disease outcomes.

Debating Medical Marijuana: Must Everyone Get Stoned to Feel Better?

Monday, April 28, 2014, 9:30–11:45 a.m.

Laura Borgelt, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, Departments of Clinical Pharmacy & Family Medicine

Abraham Nussbaum, MD, MTS, Denver Health, University of Colorado Department of Psychiatry

The Food and Drug Administration continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I substance, implying that it has a high potential for abuse without a currently accepted medical use. However, twenty states and the District of Columbia permit the medical use of marijuana. Colorado has both the highest per-capita use of medical marijuana and one of the most regulated medical marijuana systems. In this debate session, two investigators from Colorado discuss whether marijuana should remain a Schedule I substance, if physicians should prescribe medical marijuana, if pharmacists should dispense it, and what the future holds for medical marijuana.

Obesity: Understanding the Role of Leptin and Potential Treatment Targets

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 09:00–10:00 a.m.

Jeffrey Friedman, MD, PhD, Rockefeller

University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Obesity in the US is prevalent and people with severe mental illness are at even greater risk than the general population for developing obesity or obesity-related health disorders. Leptin is a hormone secreted by the adipose tissue, in proportion to its mass, that modulates food intake relative to energy expenditure, maintaining weight within a relatively narrow range. Increased fat mass increases leptin levels, which reduces body weight; decreased fat mass leads to a decrease in leptin levels and an increase in body weight. Dr. Friedman will discuss the impact of obesity in society and its prevalence among patients with mental illness. He will examine the pathophysiologic basis for obesity, the emerging role of leptin, and treatment targets for obesity based on dysregulations in hormone function.

2014 Annual Meeting Pre-Meeting Workshop DSM-5: Hands-On Tools for Its Incorporation into Clinical Care and Research Sunday, April 27, 20147, 8:15–11:45 a.m., Phoenix, Arizona Registration opens by November 1, 2013 at

By popular demand, the 2014 Annual Meeting will revisit the DSM-5 with emphasis on providing hands-on tools for its incorporation into clinical care and research. Here are just a few of the comments received from the 2013 DSM-5 overview session that prompted a more detailed, hands-on session at the 2014 Annual Meeting:

  • Learned extremely important information, presented in a logical manner.

  • I loved learning about the upcoming changes to the DSM. I was really looking forward to this talk and I was not let down.

  • Very knowledgeable speaker. Excellent presentation skills. Material was current, well organized, and appropriate for the audience.

  • I'm interested in hearing how the changes impact clinical practice. Would love to hear him speak about it at a future meeting.


In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association released the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. APA leaders have described the publication of DSM-5 as the arrival of the future, but critics complain that DSM-5 is an unnecessary revision. In a sense, both the APA and its critics are correct: DSM-5 is an important step towards a neuroscience diagnostic manual, but it is a subtle step. This pre-meeting workshop will focus on understanding these subtleties and their implications. Using cases, this workshop will explore the key differences between DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 and how these differences alter clinical practice and research. Participants will learn to use DSM-5 assessment tools and rating scales that can help account for cultural differences and degrees of disability, while providing more objective measures of clinical function. Lastly, the workshop will explore the limits of DSM-5 and anticipated future iterations of the DSM.


Upon conclusion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the major organizational and criteria changes from DSM-IV to DSM-5.

  2. Apply DSM-5 criteria to case presentations.

  3. Practice using select DSM-5 assessment tools and rating scales in order to appreciate their benefits.

  4. Use DSM-5 criteria to assess clinical and research progress.

  5. Examine the limitations of DSM-5 in practice.

  6. Assess the future of DSM and predict future changes that might be considered.


Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTS, returns as a speaker to the CPNP Annual Meeting after presenting a DSM-5 overview session at the 2013 CPNP Annual Meeting. Dr. Nussbaum directs the adult inpatient psychiatry service at Denver Health and is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado. After completing the university's Teaching Scholars Program, Dr. Nussbaum developed a novel curriculum for teaching the psychiatric diagnostic interview for psychiatric residents. This curriculum is the foundation for Dr. Nussbaum's guidebook to using the DSM-5 for a diagnostic interview. Published by the American Psychiatric Association and available for purchase at the Annual Meeting for author signing, the guidebook provides an operationalized version of the DSM-5 for psychiatric interviewers at all levels of experience. In addition to his interest in the psychiatric interview and diagnosis, Dr. Nussbaum has participated in schizophrenia research trials, authored Cochrane reviews on the use of antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia, and studied the use of medical marijuana among persons with mental illness. At present, he is working on a medical humanities project funded by the University of Chicago.

The College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2014 Judith J. Saklad Award, Cynthia Kirkwood, PharmD, BCPP. Dr. Kirkwood is Professor and Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

This award is presented annually to a senior psychiatric pharmacy practitioner who has achieved a level of professional distinction and represents the qualities and ideals of professional enthusiasm, a passion for optimizing patient care, and continuing dedication to the practice of psychiatric pharmacy. The Saklad Award is named after the late Judith J. Saklad, and will be presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting on the morning of Monday, April 28.

Here are just a few excerpts from the individuals nominating Dr. Kirkwood for the Saklad Award.

“Dr. Kirkwood is an excellent nominee for the Judith J Saklad Memorial Award due to her dedication to her students, residents, fellows and CPNP. Dr. Kirkwood is a hands-on Professor who makes time to interact and meet with her students as needed.”

“Dr. Cynthia Kirkwood has made numerous contributions to psychiatric pharmacy, especially in regards to the education of others both locally and nationally. I feel she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments along with her effort and time she dedicates to ensure the quality of education and development of new pharmacy graduates, and to ensure the rigor of the continued education and recertification of those who are Board-Certified Psychiatric Pharmacists.”

“Dr. Kirkwood has maintained involvement in her clinical career as well; she continues to spend several months per year on the inpatient psychiatric floors precepting students and residents. I observed a respect for Dr. Kirkwood from much of the inpatient psychiatric team; she has an exceptional way of being involved in psychiatric rounds and continuing to teach all members of the healthcare team.”


Katie A. Carls, PharmD, BCPP, has accepted a new position as Pharmacotherapy Specialist at Wolters Kluwer Health working in the Clinical Drug Information Division for Lexicomp. Dr. Carls will serve as a psychiatry/neurology content expert and focus on international content expansion. In addition, Dr. Carls was recently featured in a special edition of the International Pharmacy Journal, the official journal of International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), with her article “A Pharmacy Road to Global Healthcare Information Innovation.”

The University of Connecticut CPNP student chapter hosted a screening of the documentary “Of Two Minds” on campus, Tuesday, September 24th. The event drew approximately 80 people from different disciplines including: pharmacy, nursing, psychology and social work. After a brief introduction by Chris Oprica, the film was screened. After viewing the film, Lisa Klein (co-director), Mr. Thomas Burr (father of a child with Bipolar disorder and CT NAMI representative) and Dr. Perry Mandanis (Psychiatrist with UConn Counseling and Mental Health Services) offered reflections on the film and answered questions. Read more.

Cynthia Mascarenas was married September 28.

Charles Caley, PharmD, BCPP, talks with Fox CT about mental health medications and side effects. View the video.