NEWS | March 23, 2016

Hales receives prestigious educator award from the American Psychiatric Association


Robert Hales, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC Davis, has received the 2016 Vestermark Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for his excellence, leadership and creativity in the field of psychiatry education.

Robert Hales Robert Hales

The annual Vestermark Psychiatry Educator Award is one of the most prestigious bestowed upon a psychiatric educator in the United States. It concentrates on the field of psychiatric education in its broadest context, with special emphasis on the preparation of teachers, use of new educational tools and improved teaching techniques in the field of mental health.

Hales will present a lecture, "Current and future trends in communicating psychiatric knowldedge," at the APA Annual Meeting in Atlanta in May.

"Dr. Hales has been a champion of psychiatric education throughout his entire career," said Mark Servis, UC Davis School of Medicine senior associate dean for medical education. "He has been an active teacher of medical students and residents, mentored some of the best psychiatric educators in the country, and generously supported medical and psychiatric education as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for 15 years.

"The selection of Dr. Hales for the Vestermark Psychiatry Educator Award brings honor to our school as well as to him. It is the most distinguished education award in psychiatry and he is the first recipient from UC Davis," Servis said.

The award was established in 1969 in memory of Seymour Vestermark, former chief of the National Institute of Mental Health Training Branch and an authority in the field of professional mental-health education.

Hales was lauded for his 15-year tenure as editor-in-chief of the American Psychiatric Publishing Division, which under his leadership has published over 550 books. During the past 30 years, Hales has himself written or co-edited 52 books, including six editions of his Textbook of Psychiatry and five editions of his Textbook of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences.

In 2012, Hales received the American Psychiatric Association’s Judd Marmor Award for significant and sustained contributions to psychiatric education, an honor that for the first time was awarded to an educator rather than a scientist. He also has received two special presidential commendations from APA presidents for his outstanding work in publishing and education.