BETHESDA, MD—James R. Christina, DPM, will assume the office of APMA executive director and CEO on October 24 at the fall meeting of the APMA Board of Trustees.
Dr. Christina was selected as the association’s incoming executive director after a comprehensive national search process that began in 2014. His candidacy was approved by the APMA House of Delegates in March 2015, and he has been working closely with current Executive Director Glenn B. Gastwirth, DPM, since that time to transition into the position.
“I am eager to take this new office and continue to serve APMA,” Dr. Christina said. “This is an exciting time for podiatric medicine. There is tremendous opportunity for the profession as health care evolves, and APMA will continue to support its member physicians with advocacy, education, and outstanding member services.”
Dr. Christina has served APMA as director of Scientific Affairs since 2005. Prior to joining the staff, he was a physician in private practice in Rockville, MD, for 20 years. He was chief of Podiatry at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD, and a member of the Maryland Podiatric Medical Association (MPMA). Dr. Christina served as president of MPMA from 1991–1993, and as an American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery-certified podiatrist, he was instrumental in achieving an expansion of the Maryland scope of practice for podiatrists to include ankle privileges.
He was a delegate to the APMA House of Delegates from 1992–2005, a member of APMA’s Coding Committee, a PAC coordinator, and a member of the APMAPAC Board of Directors. Dr. Christina was president of the Maryland State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners and a member of the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners. He is a member of the American Diabetes Association, the American Public Health Association, The American Society of Association Executives, and the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons.
Dr. Christina’s long history with APMA and his deep familiarity with the administration of the organization allowed APMA to accelerate the timing of the transition. Dr. Gastwirth’s plan to retire in May 2016 was based on the possibility that the incoming executive director would require a lengthy period to learn about the association or even the podiatric profession.
“I am confident that Dr. Christina is fully prepared to assume the office of executive director and advance the strategic plan of our association,” Dr. Gastwirth said. “I am comfortable in the knowledge that APMA, its leaders, its staff, and its membership are in excellent hands.” Dr. Gastwirth will stay on as a senior advisor to APMA for several months to shepherd ongoing initiatives. He retires after 18 years as executive director and CEO and nearly 30 years on staff.
“APMA looks forward to a bright future with Dr. Christina at the helm,” said APMA President Phillip E. Ward, DPM. “Dr. Christina is a proven leader with a record of advancing podiatric medicine, and the board looks forward to working closely with him for this great profession. I extend my profound thanks to Dr. Gastwirth for his unparalleled service to APMA.”
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the nation's leading professional organization for today’s podiatrists. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and structures of the leg. APMA has 53 state component locations across the United States and its territories, with a membership of more than 12,000 podiatrists. All practicing APMA members are licensed by the state in which they practice podiatric medicine. For more information, visit www.apma.org.
Nora Younes, MA