Executive Council Bios

We invite you to meet the members of our Executive Council. Included are our Officers, Councilors, Representatives, Advisors, and our Executive Director. To meet our Society's Committee Chairs, please continue to the next page.

Next - Committee Chair Bios »

» Officers

Yujuan Choy, M.D.

Yujuan Choy, M.D.Dr. Yujuan Choy has been working in the field of college mental health since 2006. She is the Chief Psychiatrist at the Counseling Center at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine). Dr. Choy is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, volunteer faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine where she participates in teaching of the psychiatry residents. Dr. Choy also has a small private practice in Irvine.

Dr. Choy has been a member of the American Psychiatric Association since 1998 and named fellow in 2014. Dr. Choy has been a member of the Orange County Psychiatric Association since 2006.

Dr. Choy graduated with distinction from Swarthmore College and received her medical degree at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She completed her psychiatry residency training at New York University/Bellevue Hospital, where she served as chief resident during her fourth year. Following her residency training, Dr. Choy went on to conduct clinical research in anxiety disorders at Columbia University, and completed a two-year post-doctoral research fellowship in Affective and Anxiety Disorders. In addition to her medical training, Dr. Choy also received formal training in cognitive behavioral therapy and is certified by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.

David Safani, M.D., MBA

David Safani, M.D., MBA

David Safani, MD, MBA earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at UC Irvine School of Medicine and his Masters in Business administration at the Paul Merage School of Business. He completed his residency in psychiatry and his fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine School of medicine. He is board certified in both adult and child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Safani is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UC Irvine Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. He serves as Medical Director of Outpatient Psychiatric Services, Medical Director of the Adolescent Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs, and Associate Program Director of Residency Training. Additionally, he serves as UC ePIC Physician Champion for UC Irvine Health.

Dr. Safani has been very active within organized psychiatry at the national, state and local level. He currently serves as President-elect of OCPS after completing two terms as Treasurer. He has been appointed a 3-year term as a standing member of the national APA Membership Committee.  He was a two-time recipient of the biannual OCPS award for Outstanding Resident of the Year and served as the Area 6 Resident Fellow Member Representative to the APA Assembly.  He has provided several presentations on career development and financial planning for residents and early career psychiatrists across the nation, presenting at the APA annual meetings as well as locally in several states including California, Nevada and Indiana.

Robert Bota, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Anish Dube, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Brenda Jensen M.D.
Immediate Past President
APA Assembly Deputy Representative

Upload: July 15, 2015Dr. Jensen attended Claremont McKenna College as an undergraduate and received her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her psychiatric training at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Jensen is currently employed by the Long Beach VA and works as the Medical Director for the Pathways Recovery Center. In addition, Dr. Jensen is an Assistant Professor for the University of California, Irvine and supervises residents in multiple outpatient clinics at the Long Beach VA. Dr. Jensen is President of the Orange County Psychiatric Society, Chair of the California Psychiatric Association Nominating Committee, Co-Chair of the APA VA Caucus and ECP Representative to the APA Council on Advocacy and Government Relations.

» Councilors

Roula Creighton, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Douglas G. Kahn, M.D.
Co-Chair, Investment Committee

Upload: November 2, 2016Douglas G. Kahn, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A., graduated Tulane University cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1968. He received his M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1972 and completed an internship in medicine and psychiatry there at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1973. He graduated his psychiatry residency training at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut in 1976, serving as chief resident during his final year of residency, and was awarded a Falk Fellowship by the American Psychiatric Association during that year. Rare among psychiatry residency training programs, the Institute focused on long-term intensive psychoanalytic psychotherapy of patients, who came to live there for months and years at a time, and were seen three to five hour-long sessions per week in individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

After serving one year on the faculty of the Institute he moved to California where he established his private practice of psychiatry in 1977 in Huntington Beach, moving his office to Newport Beach in 1983 where he been in full-time private practice ever since.

Dr. Kahn has served as an elected member of the Council of the Orange County Psychiatric Society every two years since 1982, and is a past President of that Society (1986-88).

He trained with Habib Davanloo, M.D. in the technique of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy from 1988 to 1993, and was a founding member of the California Institute for Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (with Noel Drury, M.D., David Davis, M.D., and Gary Crouppen, Ph.D. in 1990). Dr. Kahn served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Short-Term Psychotherapy from 6/90-6/95. He was a Member of the Board of the International Institute for Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy during that same period, and served as Vice-President of the International Institute for Teaching and Research in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy from 7/92 to 7/94.

Dr. Kahn is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, U.C.I. College of Medicine since 2001 (having begun there as an Assistant Clinical Professor in 1979). He teaches a weekly “case on videotape” psychotherapy seminar for the PGY3 (third year psychiatry) residents. He has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” four times since 1999 for that course.

Vandai Le, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Carolyn Nguyen, M.D.

Carolyn Nguyen, M.D.Dr. Carolyn Nguyen is a double board-certified Adult and Child Psychiatrist in Orange County, CA. She received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Biology at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. After obtaining her medical degree (M.D.) at UC Davis School of Medicine in Davis, CA, she went on to complete her medical internship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA. She finished her residency training in Adult Psychiatry and additional subspecialty fellowship training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA Semel Institute (UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital and UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center) in Los Angeles, CA. She is an ABPN Diplomate with Board Certifications in General Adult Psychiatry as well as Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

During her training, she held several leadership positions in organized psychiatry at the state and national level, and also received numerous awards and honors, including the American Psychiatric Association/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's "Minority Fellowship Award", the Southern California Psychiatric Society's "Outstanding Resident Award", and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry "Outstanding Child And Adolescent Psychiatry Resident Award". She currently serves as a Councillor for the Executive Council in the Orange County Psychiatric Society and sits on the Orange County Mental Health Board as a Professional Member. She is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Thomas Okamoto, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Michelle Park, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Deena Shin McRae, M.D.

Deena Shin McRae, M.D.Deena Shin McRae, M.D. is a voting member of the OCPS Executive Council and organizing member of the OCPS Women’s Forum. She is the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at UC Irvine and the Designated Institutional Official, overseeing the 55 residency and fellowship ACGME-accredited training programs, which include approximately 680 residents and fellows. Her talents also extend to outpatient clinical work at the VA Long Beach, specializing in depressive and anxiety disorders.

Nicolaas-John van Nieuwenhuysen, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

» Representatives & Advisors

Brian Masser, M.D.
Early Career Psychiatrist Representative

Bio coming soon!

Darinka Aragon, M.D.
Co-Resident/Fellow Representative

Bio coming soon!

Chris Cho, M.D.
Co-Resident/Fellow Representative

Bio coming soon!

Jeffrey Glass, M.D.
Federal Legislative Representative

Bio coming soon!

Richard Granese, M.D.
APA Assembly Representative

Bio coming soon!

Barton J. Blinder, M.D.
Senior Council Advisor

Upload: September 21, 2016

Dr. Blinder currently holds a private practice in general adult and child/adolescent psychiatry and adult/child psychoanalysis in Newport Beach, California. In addition, Dr. Blinder is actively involved with the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he is a Clinical Professor and past Director of Eating Disorders Research Studies. He has recently served as Editor of the Newsletter of the UCI School of Medicine Clinical Faculty Organization (2000 to present) {past President 1998-2000}. In 2004, he received a special award for outstanding contributions to the Clinical Faculty and was elected, “Teacher of the Year,” by the Residents of the Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Blinder has an extensive research background in the area of eating disorders and frequently publishes material on the subject. A nationally recognized authority on the psychiatric aspects of eating disorders, Dr. Blinder has given presentations at many national and international meetings. He has served as chairman for several national conferences and meetings on the subject of eating disorders. He is a member of the Society for The Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), The American Academy of Eating Disorders (Distinguished Fellow), and The Eating Disorder Research Society.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Blinder received his bachelor's in psychology. He went on to receive his medical degree from the same university in 1964. He received additional training in adult and child psychiatry also at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. He is a graduate and member of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute (now the New Center for Psychoanalysis). He is also board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult and Child Psychiatry. Dr. Blinder is a Distinguished Life Fellow of both the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Recently (1996-2001), Dr. Blinder served as a member of the Commission on Psychotherapy in Psychiatry and committees on practice guidelines, scientific program, peer review, managed care and membership. He was appointed Chair of the APA Caucus of Psychiatrists who treat Eating Disorders (2000). In 2003, he received the Thomas Riley Award of the Orange County Mental Health Association for outstanding service to the community.

Dr. Blinder is a member of numerous societies including the California Psychiatric Association (member of the Council), the Orange County Psychiatric Society (past President, 1980; APA Assembly Representative 1986 to present), and the Southern California Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (past President, 1989).

Read more about Dr. Blinder at www.bartonblinder.com.

» Administration

Natalie Kaczur
Executive Director (Starting October 1, 2017)

Ms. Kaczur has a long and diversified career in administrative and project management. Her experience has been primarily in health care, where she served as the manager of the Physician Services Department at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, supporting the medical director of a 350+ physician multi-specialty group.

Ms. Kaczur began her tenure managing non-profit organizations in 1999 when she accepted the role of executive director of the Southern California Region III Chapter of the American College of Physicians (a physician membership organization for Internists), where she continues to serve on a part-time basis. She has also served as the executive director for the California ACP Services Corporation (a 501c(6) organization), the advocacy division for the California ACP Chapters, and as bookkeeper for the California Colorectal Cancer Coalition. For the past five years, Ms. Kaczur has worked as the administrator and CME director for PracticingExcellence.com, a physician e-learning company.

We are very fortunate to have Ms. Kaczur serve as our executive director.

Next - Committee Chair Bios »

Read the Latest News

Psychiatrists: Help support legislation, easily!

Apr 26, 2018
  From the APA: An out-of-date law (42 CFR Part 2) prevents physicians and other health care providers from sharing substance use disorder records within a patient's medical

Read More

APA Applauds CHIP Reauthorization

Jan 27, 2018
From the APA: The American Psychiatric Association wants to thank our advocates for their support in our fight to protect children's access to health insurance.  Earlier this week,

Read More

#SaveCHIP Day of Action

Jan 10, 2018
From the APA: 850,000 Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries experience serious behavioral or emotional disorders but their access to mental health treatment has been in jeopardy for

Read More