The PRMS Blog

PRMS Teams Up with Kraftlove for the Second Year

For a second consecutive year, PRMS has partnered up with Kraftlove Inc., a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2015 to assist children who are impacted by illness.  Through kits assembled in Kraftlove boxes, children in local hospitals have the opportunity to use art projects as a mechanism to aid with the healing process.

Kathi Heagerty and Leigh Baker closing up finished boxes.

Kathi Heagerty and Leigh Baker closing up finished boxes.

This September, 20 PRMS employees came together to package Kraftlove kits for children in the hospitals throughout the Washington, D.C. area, including Inova Loudoun Hospital, Inova Children’s Hospital, Children’s National, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, The Children’s Inn at NIH and Children’s Center for Cancer, Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) Pediatric Center and Blood Disorders of Northern Virginia.  Kraftlove President Anhvinh Wright was on hand to help PRMS assemble boxes, and by the end of the morning, 200 boxes were ready to be distributed.

Max Ahmadi and Julia Bajereanu pause for a photo while packing boxes.

Max Ahmadi and Julia Bajereanu pause for a photo while packing boxes.

“This was my second project with Kraftlove and each time it gets more and more rewarding,” said PRMS Client Relations Specialist, Julia Bajereanu.  “Whenever we team up with Vinh, she exudes such passion and her enthusiasm is contagious. It is evident how much PRMS’ help means to Vinh and the children the craft kits will be delivered to.”

PRMS Team with the 200 boxes they assembled.

PRMS Team with the 200 boxes they assembled.

PRMS was the first company to team up with Kraftlove to assemble boxes in 2015, and is already looking forward to collaborating again in the future.  Are you interested in learning more about Kraftlove?  Visit their website today to read more about this organization and to find out how you can help send “a little love in every box” to more children.

Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on PRMS Teams Up with Kraftlove for the Second Year

The Life of PRMS: Justin Pruett, Litigation Specialist, Claims

Justin Pruett, Litigation Specialist, Claims

I left Deloitte, LLP (one of the world’s largest professional services organizations) to join PRMS, Inc. in June 2015 as a Litigation Specialist. Even though I was leaving a company with unlimited resources and career opportunity, I was confident in my decision because I knew PRMS was a company that valued personal career growth and was an insurance company with a proven track record of success.

Now, almost a year and a half after joining PRMS, I couldn’t be happier in my decision! Not only do I work with some of the most experienced and qualified claims and legal professionals in the country; I am a part of an industry that is changing the very nature of medical malpractice insurance. Furthermore, my role allows me to influence decisions that impact the outcome in legal cases and influence malpractice case law across the country. An opportunity that I only dreamt about as a law student six years ago!

I am thrilled to be a part of a team of insurance professionals that have an industry presence that is unsurpassed and unmatched in all measurements. From the value we place in ensuring customer satisfaction to the quality of the product we sell to our doctors, the “PRMS model” is the golden standard, and I couldn’t be more proud to jumpstart my career here.

Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on The Life of PRMS: Justin Pruett, Litigation Specialist, Claims

The Life of PRMS: Melanie Smith, Senior Vice President, Client Relations

In 1986, I was hired by the American Psychiatric Association in the Office of Member and Staff Benefits, continuing my path in the non-profit sector.  But soon after my employment began, the APA spun-off their insurance program into a for-profit company named Professional Risk Management Services, Inc.   This was a surprise and an adjustment indeed – after all, eyes often glaze over at the word “insurance!”

But it was instead the start of a 30-year journey where it has been my privilege to have been a part of PRMS in its support of psychiatrists, psychiatric organizations and behavioral healthcare initiatives throughout these decades.  It has also been a privilege to have met and worked with some of the finest psychiatrists in the nation and to have worked with the dedicated staff of the APA and the district branches – and my amazing colleagues – through the years.

There has been so much discovered and learned about psychiatry and psychiatrists on this journey.   The practice of psychiatry has changed through the years with technology, new medications, and such – but the care and concern of psychiatrists for their patients remain steadfast.

These physicians are not a one-dimensional “Frasier Crane” – television and movies rarely come close to capturing the compassion of real-life psychiatrists.  I have met incredible people – a survivor of Auschwitz, a pioneer in the study of bi-polar disorder among the Amish, a doctor giving up his California practice to serve his country and profession in western Africa, doctors tirelessly working to combat suicide in the military, doctors dedicated to treating homeless AIDS patients and many other outstanding physicians.

My thirty years working in this community has never been just a job – it has been a heartwarming, learning experience on so many levels and I am most grateful. What an unexpected gift to have made lasting friends with psychiatrists, district branch staff and APA staff through the years including the incomparable late Linda Hughes, a longtime APA employee.  And I shared challenges and joys with them – growing children, teenage years, empty nest syndrome, becoming grandparents, personal loss – and always hope.    Bonds have been formed through the years that are much treasured.

In the early days, as a single parent, I often took my young son with me on the road as much as possible to both broaden his vistas as well as keep him close.  He was welcomed and included. To this day, many still ask me about him and how he is doing. (There was, however, one memorable occasion when my son brought a remote control vehicle to play with in the area outside of the event. A psychiatrist coming back from break “borrowed” the remote and directed my son’s small tank across the room right smack into the speaker’s shoes – to much laughter and my utter embarrassment.)


I thank everyone who has made my 30 year journey both educational and memorable. All of us at PRMS are looking forward to this new decade to continue to be of service.



Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on The Life of PRMS: Melanie Smith, Senior Vice President, Client Relations

Guest Blog: South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN)

South Asians are a heterogeneous group of people that share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, geographic, and culinary threads. Their origins are in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. Asian Indians comprise the third largest Asian racial group in the United States.

The South Asian community, along with the larger Asian community, is a highly touted model minority.  As a result, many, including South Asians themselves believe that mental illness and substance abuse are uncommon in this populace.  This sort of mind-set serves to trivialize and ensconce the struggles, issues and stressors in these areas faced by this community.  Those that are found to struggle with issues of mental illness and substance use are often misunderstood at best and stigmatized at worst.

The South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN) was created two years ago with the sole purpose of addressing issues of mental illness and substance abuse.  Up until now, SAMHIN has conducted over 25 community outreach events to engage and educate the community and help to address barriers to care such as stigma. PRMS has been extremely supportive in helping forward SAMHIN’s mission by sponsoring and attending the Annual Meeting and spreading awareness about the organization.

Over the past six months, SAMHIN’s website has been updated and expanded.  A free mental health provider directory can be easily accessed on the website.  It includes providers who are familiar with the culture, languages and religions of the South Asian community.  Providers can be located based on factors as specific as language spoken and zip code.  Currently, most of the directory lists providers in New Jersey though it is being expanded to include those throughout the United States.

Registering in the directory is very easy. SAMHIN encourages South Asian mental health providers (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, etc.) to do so by going to the website and clicking on the Provider Network tab at the top, where you can register to be a provider or current providers can update their listing.

For those who are interested in joining SAMHIN’s mission or have questions about the organization, please contact Dr. Vasudev Makhija at


Vasudev N Makhija, MD: President, SAMHIN

Dr. Makhija is the President of a non-profit organization, SAMHIN, South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network. SAMHIN addresses a broad range of mental health needs of the South Asian Community in this country.  Dr. Makhija has been in private practice in adult psychiatry in New Jersey for over 25 years. He is Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education.  He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has served as the President of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA). He is currently Chair of the Council on Member Services of NJPA. He is a recipient of the prestigious Golden Merit Award for his contributions to NJPA and Exemplary Psychiatrist award from NAMI.  He served on the Union County Mental Health Board for 6 years and was the Chair of the Board for two years.

Lily Arora, MD: Advisory Panel, SAMHIN

Lily Arora, MD, FAPA is board certified in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Rutgers University and is in solo private practice in Morristown where she treats all psychiatric disorders in addition to substance and alcohol addiction.  Dr. Arora is a dedicated advocate of bringing awareness to the issues of addiction in our society and providing effective treatment. She also has a great interest in promoting awareness and sensitivity of cultural issues and its impact in the evaluation and treatment of patients.  Dr. Arora serves on the advisory panel of SAMHIN and is the editor of the Indo-American Psychiatric Association’s newsletter. She enjoys teaching, speaking, and writing about topics related to mental illness, cross-cultural issues, and addiction.

Posted in PRMS Blog | Comments Off on Guest Blog: South Asian Mental Health Initiative and Network (SAMHIN)

PRMS Takes the #22PushUpChallenge With Help of CapSpecialty

In light of the staggering statistic that each day 22 military veterans commit suicide, the nonprofit organization Honor Courage Commitment launched the #22PushUpChallenge, a project aimed at raising awareness to the importance of mental health issues among veterans.

This year, in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and with the help of our friends at CapSpecialty, PRMS stepped up to take the #22PushUpChallenge to pledge our continued support and show our endless gratitude for those who have served our country.

The goal of the campaign is to encourage people all over the world to collectively finish 22 million push-ups.  Through tagging #22PushUpChallenge on social media, each day thousands of completed push-ups are added toward the tally.

Interested in pledging your support to raise awareness?  Record a video of yourself doing push-ups, upload the video to social media and include the hashtag #22PushUpChallenge!


Posted in PRMS "Gives a Hoot!" | Comments Off on PRMS Takes the #22PushUpChallenge With Help of CapSpecialty

About the Author