PUBLISHED: 4:51 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2008
API board will be 'consumer-driven'
Anchorage - The Alaska Psychiatric Institute is forming a new advisory board with a unique feature: at least seven seats will be held by people who have used the state's mental health services.

The new board will focus on patient rights and responsibilities, as well as continuing the transformation of the hospital to a recovery-based organization. "To accomplish this, we need - at the table - the very people we serve," API Chief Executive Officer Ron Adler said.

Gov. Sarah Palin established API's new advisory board on July 1. The board resides within the office of the commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services.The former governing body has been dissolved.

The new board is different in purpose and intent.

"The recent shift in focus is intended to support the department's Division of Behavioral Health and hospital leadership team in the continuing transformation of API to a recovery-based organization," Adler said.

The board is specifically "consumer-driven," with a number of board seats available to consumers and the local Protection & Advocacy agency.

"In reality, there will be more than seven consumer seats because some of the other representatives who are consumers of mental health services wish to remain anonymous," Adler said.

Serving on the 11-member API advisory board requires a commitment of time and energy, including attending at least four meetings a year and serving on subcommittees. Those interested in applying for a board seat may contact Ron Adler at (907) 269-7106, or by e-mail to