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.

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» Officers

Robert Bota, M.D.

As a psychiatrist, I have always focused on understanding the interplay between psychiatric illnesses and medical conditions and on developing innovative ways of addressing the whole spectrum of psychosomatic needs in patients with complex presentations by using my broad background in diagnosing and treating mental illness. Before my residency, I had designed and conducted neuro-imaging research at UCLA and USC focused on correlations between structural brain changes, depression and adiction. During my residency, I became interested in the interplay between medicine and psychiatry, especially the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric conditions in medically ill patients – who present unique challenges due to their multiple comorbidities and the high risk of drug interactions.

My professional path gives me a deep understanding of both academic and private psychiatric practices. Between 2014 and 2019, I was a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCI where I ran the medical psychiatry inpatient unit, developed the first UCI Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation clinic, and was involved in the teaching of medical students and residents. Though I decided last year to move into private practice, I also have committed to a part-time position with UC Riverside to continue my passion for resident training.

My efforts in private practice are focused on developing novel concepts for psychiatric care.  My psychiatry group - BrainHealth Solutions (BrainHealth-Solutions.com), practices in a dedicated clinic in Costa Mesa, and offers Psychiatric Second Opinion Clinics as well as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation clinics for the three FDA indications- depression, OCD and Smoking Cessation. My translational research interests have flourished. As part of CITrials, I am the Principal Investigator for over 12 psychiatric clinical trials. I serve on the executive board of multiple insurance companies, I run the consultation liaison program for one hospital and have helped and supervised the opening neuromodulation clinics at three medical groups, amongst other activities.

I am pleased to serve OCPS as the President and look forward to the opportunity to serve our members as a voice for psychiatry on behalf of physicians and an advocate for increased awareness of mental health issues both locally and statewide. Improving our networking will improve our access to several important career development resources. Therefore, I would like to start the Networking Committee for our members, including residents, focused on creating opportunities and collecting information to support our members’ practices and career plans. In this committee and others, we ask that our members suggest activities beneficial for them or their colleagues, such as lectures on topics of interest, networking opportunities, and resources. As we look toward the future, mentoring residents and early career psychiatrists will help strengthen our organization for the benefit of both members and patients.

Roula Creighton, M.D.
President Elect

Dr. Roula Creighton received her medical degree at University of California San Diego in 2004. She went on to do her internship and residency training in psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.  She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She has been in private practice since 2008 in Irvine, CA. She provided inpatient psychiatric services for several years at Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach, as well as Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. She is currently on staff at Hoag Hospital Medical Center.  She recently began offering TMS treatment with SoCal TMS, and is very excited about having this new treatment option available to her patients.

Dr. Creighton has been a member of the APA/ OCPS since 2008. She was the early career psychiatry rep for the Orange County Psychiatric Society from 2010-2012, and has been a council member at OCPS since 2012. She served on the executive council as Secretary from 2018-20.  She is very excited to be the President-elect from 2020-22, and looks forward to continuing to serve this community!

More information can be found on her website at www.irvinepsychiatry.com


Alexis Seegan, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Larry Faziola, M.D.

Welcome. I grew up in the San Francisco bay and earned a BS from St. Mary’s College of California, and an MA at San Francisco State University before venturing to Omaha, Nebraska for my MD at Creighton University. I returned to California to complete residency training in psychiatry at UC Irvine Medical Center, where I joined the clinical faculty in 2011. I attended the hospitalized patients in crisis on UC Irvine’s inpatient adult psychiatric ward and as a provider of electroconvulsive therapy until early 2018, after which I transitioned to the Long Beach VA hospital, where I continue to help people in their recovery from mental illness, by directing its 15 bed adult inpatient unit. I have been active in organized psychiatry for the greater part of a decade, where I have advocated for more rational and comprehensive services for those struggling with mental illness, and currently serve as Treasurer of the Orange County Psychiatric Society. I have been, and remain, active as a physician educator for the UCI School of Medicine and psychiatry residency program, and am active on the UCI medical school admissions committee. I have been recognized with several teaching awards from both the school of medicine and the department of psychiatry, and I have been recognized twice as a "Physician of Excellence" by the Orange County Medical Association.

Outside of work, I can generally be found on the hiking trails or ski lanes in the local mountains. I have garnered a penchant for the outdoors, which helps to provide balance to the pressingly time-sensitive demands of hospital work.

David Safani, M.D., MBA
Immediate past president

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 serves as Medical Director of Outpatient Psychiatric Services, Medical Director of the Adolescent Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs, and Assistant Clinical Professor at the UC Irvine Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. He also 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 levels. He served two terms as Treasurer of OCPS. He has been appointed to a 2nd three-year term as standing member of the national APA Membership Committee which administers $180,000 in grant funding and selects APA distinguished fellows. 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 locally and across the nation.

» Councilors

Barton J. Blinder, M.D.

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.

Dr. Bera has been a principal investigator and co-investigator in over 180 clinical trials over the last 25 years. Dr. Bera has lectured extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe about the major mental illnesses and their latest treatments. Most recently his interest has been to develop models of care that combine high level care for both physical and mental disorders with an emphasis on health outcomes economic research. Today he works regularly with physicians of all specialties helping them incorporate mental health evaluations and treatments into their practices.

Brenda Jensen, 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” five times since 1999 for that course.

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.

Charles Nguyen, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Thomas Okamoto, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Jonathan Serrato, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

Nicolaas-John van Nieuwenhuysen, M.D.

Bio coming soon!

» Representatives & Advisors

Vandai Le, M.D.
Early Career Psychiatrist Representative

Bio coming soon!

Anish Dube, M.D.
APA Assembly Representative

Bio coming soon!

To be announced
APA Assembly Deputy Representative

Bio coming soon!

Leigh Goodrich, M.D.
Resident/Fellow Representative

Bio coming soon!

» Administration

Pam Reed Presnall
Executive Director

Welcome to our new Executive Director, Pamela Presnall. Bio coming soon!

Next - Committee Chair Bios »

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