Please join us on October 19, 2018 for MAPP's Annual Fall Program which will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in South Portland. 

For Immigrants, refugees, or asylum seekers, leaving their country is only the beginning of their struggles.  For mental health and medical providers to be effective, we need to understand the mental and physical stressors that arose from their displacement and beyond. This program will give participants a greater understanding of the challenges these groups face, and provide guidance for how best to care for this unique population.  

MAPP Membership Meeting & Program Thursday, October 18, 2018

5:00 p.m. 
6:00 p.m.  
Buffet Dinner & MAPP Member Business Meeting       
6:45 p.m.
Psychiatric Treatment of Refugees

Rana Dagher, until recently, worked for five years at Maine Behavioral Healthcare, treating Iraqi and Syrian refugees.  Dr. Dagher speaks Arabic, and immigrated from Lebanon, a country with a similar culture to Iraq and Syria.  Her country was torn by war trauma for 15 years and she lived through it from beginning to end, giving her an intimate knowledge of the issues and challenges that confront the people whom she treats.

8:00 p.m.


There is no fee for MAPP Members who attend this meeting.  If others are interested in attending, there is a $50 fee to cover the cost of dinner.  Registration is required for both MAPP members & others.

Hotel Accommodations

A block of rooms has been reserved at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton, 363 Maine Mall Road, Portland at a special rate of $149.00 per night.  Reservations for this Event will be made by individual attendees directly with their reservation's center at 1-800-560-7753. Please be sure to mention MAPP when making your reservation.  They do require that all reservations be accompanied by a deposit or credit card guarantee equal to one night’s room rate plus 9% State Occupancy Tax no later than Monday, September 17, 2018.   Requests for reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space available basis only and the special group rates may no longer be applicable.


Dianna Poulin, Exec. Director
Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians

PO Box 190, Manchester, ME 04351
207-622-7743 or

Fall Program Planning Committee

Anne Hallward, MD, DFAPA
David Moltz, MD, DLFAPA
Sarah Muscat, MD
P. Lynn Ouellette, DLFAPA


Meeting the Mental and Physical Health Needs of Immigrants, Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Friday, October 19, 2018, DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton

Program Information
Friday, October 19, 2018

8:15 a.m.

Introduction & Conference Overview

David Moltz, MD, DLFAPA, Founding Director, The Consultation Project
Anne Hallward, MD, DFAPA, Executive Director, Safe Space Radio

8:30 a.m.             

Overview of Health Needs of Refugees and Asylum Seekers 

Heather Shattuck-Heidorn, Ph.D. is the Refugee Health Coordinator for the State of Maine.   She received her Ph.D. in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, with a Secondary Field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She has conducted both international and domestic research projects focused on understanding human health and biology.   

9:15 a.m. 

Working with Cultural Issues in Addressing Mental Health and Working with Interpreters

Deqa Dhalac, MSW is a passionate advocate for the immigrant community with extensive experience in social services, public health, and assisting torture survivors. Formerly, she worked for The Opportunity Alliance as a community builder. Deqa is the board President for the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and serves numerous other boards and advisory boards in Maine. Deqa holds a Master’s Degree in Development Policy and Practice from the University of New Hampshire and an MSW from the University of New England. She is a certified language tester and cultural skill trainer and has been providing broad mediation for patients/clients in different settings with service providers to ensure unmet needs of immigrant communities are met.

10:00 a.m.           

A Primer on Islam for Western Clinicians

Rana Dagher, until recently, worked at Maine Behavioral Healthcare, treating Iraqi and Syrian refugees.  Dr. Dagher speaks Arabic, and she hails from Lebanon, a country with a similar culture to Iraq and Syria.  Her country was torn by war trauma for 15 years and she lived through it from beginning to end, giving her an intimate knowledge of the issues and challenges that confront the people whom she treats.

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m.           

Immigrant Rights and How the System Weighs "Credibility" in a Way that is Impacted by Trauma and Cultural Differences

Marpheen Chann is a first-generation, LGBT Asian-American based in Portland, Maine.  Marpheen Chann is an advocate, thinker and writer on issues impacting the LGBTQ and immigrant and refugee communities.  He owns and operates his own political and digital strategy consulting firm working on state and local campaigns in Maine and serves on the board of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center.  He holds a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from USM. 

11:15 a.m.

Psychological Evaluations for Asylum Seekers

Charles Mitchell, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist, in practice for over 25 years. He has been a member of the clinical faculty of the Tufts University and the University of Vermont Colleges of Medicine.  He has had a longstanding interest in cross-cultural issues and the psychiatric struggles of legal and undocumented immigrants. He speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

11:45 a.m.      

PTSD and Trauma Systems Therapy

Molly McMahon, LCSW, is the Director of Social Work at Greater Portland Health.  She earned her degree in social work from the University of Southern Maine. Trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, she has worked with children, adults and families throughout her career, focusing on how best to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services.

Sarah Ferriss, D.S.W., LCSW works with Project SHIFA (Supporting the Health of Immigrant Families and Adolescents) which was developed to provide culturally appropriate school-based mental health care for Somali youth and their families

12:45 p.m.             Lunch

1:30 p.m.             “Cup of Courage” Safe Space Radio Award presented by  Anne Hallward, MD, DFAPA

1:45 p.m.             

Panel on Women's Health Challenges

Djima Ainan is a case worker at Djibouti Community Services in Lewiston, ME.  She helps immigrants get settled by helping them get an education and connected with others services that they need, mostly getting integrated into the society.  She has been in the United States for over 8 years and received her citizenship last November.  

Regina Phillips, MSW works at a local school as their Grants and Community Engagement Coordinator and she is an adjunct professor at the University of New England. Ms. Phillips worked for the City of Portland for 19 years as the Program Manager of the Refugee Services program and homeless family shelter. In January 2018, Ms. Phillips became a co-owners/co-founders with two of her colleagues/friends called Cross Cultural Counseling Group. LLC. In June, they also established a 501c3 organization called Cross Cultural Community Services.

3:00 p.m.               Break

3:15 p.m.             

Panel on Men's Health Challenges

Claude Rwaganje is the Executive Director of Community Financial Literacy.  CFL teaches financial skills to immigrant and refugees in Maine and gives people the financial knowledge they need to create a life for themselves and avoid predatory lending and high-cost financial services.  Mr. Rwaganje himself immigrated to the U.S. in 1996 from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Alain Nahimana, originally from Burundi, is now the Executive Director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center. Previously, he served as the Coordinator for the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC) and as the President of the Burundi Community Association of Maine. 

Kifah Abdulla is a poet, artist, writer, performer, teacher, activist, and world citizen. Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, he spent over eight years as a prisoner of war in Iran. He published his first book of poetry, Dead Still Dream, in 2016, and he is preparing to publish his second book, Mountains Without Peaks. He reads his short stories and poetry accompanied by cello at many places in Maine. He exhibits his paintings in local galleries in Portland. He teaches Arabic and Arabic calligraphy as an art form at the Language Exchange, and this summer he will teach in Continuing Studies at MECA. Kifah Abdulla has built a home for himself in Maine, but his journey to the United States was not without personal sacrifice.

4:30 p.m.               Concluding Remarks

This program is made possible through a grant administered by Maine's Dept. of Health & Humans Services.  The Consullation Projects provides informal consultations and education to primary care practices on mental health issues.