Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA
Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, who has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist, was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees (BOT) in June 2011.
Active in organized medicine her entire career, Dr. Harris has served on the board of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and was an APA delegate to the AMA. She has also been a member of the governing council of the AMA Women Physicians Congress, testified before and served on AMA reference committees, and has served on AMA work groups on health information technology, SGR and private contracting. The AMA-BOT appointed her to the AMA Council on Legislation in 2003, and she was elected by the council to be its 2010–2011 chair.
Dr. Harris has held many positions at the state level as well, including serving on the board and as president of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association and on the Medical Association of Georgia's Council on Legislation and Committee on Constitution and Bylaws. She was also the founding president of the Georgia Psychiatry Political Action Committee.
A governing theme in Dr. Harris' professional life has been a passion to improve the lives of children. Starting with medical school in West Virginia, followed by a psychiatry residency and child psychiatry fellowship at Emory, and then as a senior policy fellow for the Emory University School of Law, she has worked for children clinically and in the advocacy arena. At Emory she addressed public policy for abused and neglected children before the Georgia legislature and in public education programs.
Currently, Dr. Harris is the director of Health Services for Fulton County, Ga., which includes Atlanta. She directs all county health services, including health partnerships that deliver a wide range of public safety, behavioral health and primary care treatment and prevention services. Prior to this position, Dr. Harris served as medical director for the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. In addition to these roles, Dr. Harris continues to treat patients through her private practice as well.