The Haitian American Psychiatric Association, Inc. is a nonprofit mental health organization dedicated to spreading awareness of mental health issues among Haitians in the United States and Haiti. We also strive to engage communities in the development of mental health services locally and abroad.
Dr. Marie Daniella Charles-Belzie
Message from the immediate past President
The years 2020 and 2021 have been a challenging time for all of us. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all domains of life and has created major struggles for the world. We’ve experienced loss of lives, economic instability, and increased risks for neuropsychiatric disorders. Observing the Haitian slogan “l’ union fait la force”, the members of the Haitian American Psychiatric Association (HAPA) have stepped up to carry out the organization’s mission by supporting Haitians living abroad and in Haiti. In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, Haiti was hit on August 14, 2021, by another major earthquake that ravaged many already impoverished areas. As a result of varied misfortune, many people have been afflicted with financial problems, medical and mental illnesses. HAPA has been able to provide financial support to many organizations and to medical, spiritual, and educational leaders organizing community relief efforts.
HAPA was founded in 1984 by a group of psychiatrists who wanted to provide mental health awareness to their community. Since then, HAPA has been working with many organizations to “give a voice to the voiceless”. In 2015, HAPA, under the presidential direction of Dr. Louis Belzie started a weekly broadcasting educational program using Radio Soleil to provide important health related information to the Haitian/ Caribbean community. After many successful years, this program remains consistent with the collaboration of the HAPA members and the dedicated staff from Radio Soleil: Dr. Jean Robert Chery, Marcel Picard and the Radio’s Director, Ricot Dupuy. The members have discussed a wide range of topics related to mental illness and the covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, HAPA joined the SUNY Downstate University / Kings County Medical Center Child Fellowship training in an advocacy program to focus on engaging the Caribbean community and support efforts to improve access to care. HAPA is aware of the factors related to health disparities in disadvantaged populations and supports student organizations geared towards increasing a culture of advocacy. This program should be seen as a great opportunity to help the vulnerable.
There is still a lot of work to be done as the world continues to struggle with health issues and disparities. We are grateful for the alignment we have between our members and other leading organizations such as AMHE, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Rebati sante mentale, many faith leaders and local politicians. Together with them and future collaborations we hope to continue to bring effective resources, foster resilience in people who are seeking comfort and offer them ways to heal.
I have been HAPA President for the past 4 years. I salute all the past Presidents who have given their time and imagination to advance the organization’s mission. I would like to thank all the members for their dedication and commitment to carry out HAPA’s mission as a group. I am looking forward to supporting Dr. Dimitry Francois, the new President and the new Executive Cabinet.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2022!
Marie Daniella Charles-Belzie, MD
HAPA, Outgoing President
The Haitian American Psychiatric Association Inc. was founded in 1984 by Dr. Jean Tropnas and a group of mental health professionals to address the lack of mental health awareness among Haitian communities living in the United States and in Haiti. Dr. Jean Tropnas was the first President of the association.
The current President is Dr. Dimitry Francois. The Vice-President is Dr. Lesly François and Dr. Josie Francois is the secretary.
Daniella Charles Belzie
Louis R. Belzie
Jean B. Tropnas
HAPA New Executive Committee
Dr. Dimitry Francois, President of HAPA
Dear HAPA members and friends,
I am proud and honored to serve as HAPA President for the term 2021-2023.
HAPA has a strong and rich history of advocacy, education, and support fostering its members’ best practices.
Societal, national, and global systemic inequities and disparities have been exacerbated and underscored throughout the pandemic. These ongoing and ignored injustices can be directly linked to the current mental health crisis, as the most vulnerable have little to no access to care.
I will work to initiate dialogue about disparities in behavioral health care and raise awareness of the inequalities that many racial and ethnic groups face. I will also expand HAPA membership and increase member involvement in the organization, predominantly minority medical students, psychology students, social work students, nursing students, residents, and fellows.
HAPA currently has three Standing Committees of the Board, including the Advocacy and Public Awareness Committee, the Education and Research Committee, and the Public Relationship Committee. These Committees are open to all HAPA members and are an excellent way to connect with peers and colleagues around the country.
Finally, I would like to thank all those volunteering their time and expertise to HAPA – for, without you, we would not be that model of excellence in advocacy, education, social justice, and leadership development.
It has been a long time since we have been able to meet in person, and I hope to see you all at our general assembly meeting in January 2022!
Dimitry Francois, MD, FAPA
HAPA Executive Committee
Dimitry Francois, MD
Pierre Leslie François, MD
Josie François, MD
Louis R. Belzie, MD, MPH
Frantz Lubin, MD
Education & Research:
Roosevelt Clerisme, MD
Pierre Jean-Noel, MD, MBA
Bordes Laurent, MD
Frantz Moise, MD
Jacques Vital-Herne, MD
Fritz Jean-Noel, MD
Frantz Aubry, MD
Tarah Celestin, MD
Murfy Morantus, MD
Ganaelle Senatus, MD
Sabrina Gratia, DO
Constantin B Canal, MD
Mireille Bastien, RN
Jacqueline Altidor, RN
Lendsa Guillaume, RN
Leila Francois, MD
Jennifer Severe, MD
Jean-Robert Chery, MD
Daniella Charles Belzie, MD
James Lubin, MD
Cassandra Raphael, MD
Roosevelt Clerisme, MD
Jacques Vital-Herne, MD