The PRMS Blog

PRMS Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

Professional Risk Management Services, Inc. (PRMS) celebrated its 30th year in November 2016 and plans to recognize the milestone throughout the upcoming year with special client initiatives, a series of 30 service projects and more.

“We are proud to celebrate our three decades of serving the professional liability insurance needs of tens of thousands of psychiatrists,” said Stephen Sills, PRMS Chairman and CEO. “Since 1986, everything we have done at PRMS is designed to support psychiatrists, psychiatric organizations and in turn, serve the behavioral healthcare community.” Sills said he feels fortunate to work “with some of the most experienced and qualified professionals in the country.”

PRMS was founded at time when the U.S. was in the midst of an insurance crisis that made malpractice insurance difficult to find. In 1984, faced with a serious lack of coverage for its members, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) established its own insurance program, known as the APA Insurance Trust. In 1986, the APA Board of Trustees founded PRMS to manage its insurance program.

Melanie Smith, PRMS Senior Vice President of Client Relations, who has worked at PRMS since its inception, said it has been “a privilege to meet and work with some of the finest psychiatrists in the nation,” as well as the dedicated staff of the APA, district branches and PRMS. Reflecting on her tenure, Smith called her career “a humbling and heartwarming experience.  I have met incredible people – a survivor of Auschwitz, a pioneer in the study of bi-polar disorder among the Amish, a doctor who gave 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 so many more outstanding physicians.”

The company’s focus on expertise, collaboration, professionalism and personalized service has made it a true partner to the psychiatric profession. Over the years, PRMS has managed more than 200,000 psychiatric policies. Today, over 1,000 of the doctors in practice who bought insurance from PRMS when it was founded are still insured by PRMS. In their honor, PRMS will make a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

PRMS also takes pride in being a company that cares about community – locally and nationally. Through the years, it has participated in many projects and raised money in support of those in need.  This September, PRMS employees participated in Honor Courage Commitment, Inc.’s #22PushUpChallenge aimed at raising awareness of the importance of mental health issues among veterans. The video can be seen here. The company also recently supported the United Nation’s 20th Anniversary of the NGO Committee on Mental Health, which promotes mental health awareness globally.

“As our tagline says, PRMS is more than an insurance policy,” Sills said. “Every day brings a new reward, sometimes a new challenge. But there is a sense of collegiality and mission to always do what is right for our clients. And in the ever-changing professional liability environment, it is important to have a trusted team of professionals with a proven track record on your side.”

PRMS looks forward to continuing to demonstrate the genuine caring for psychiatrists and the patients that they serve – for the next decade, and beyond.


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The Life of PRMS: Cynthia Williams, Underwriting Administrator

In November 1988, I joined the PRMS Underwriting Department as an Administrative Assistant and then later moved to the Claims Department. Whereas I had a general knowledge of psychiatry, as the years went by I learned more and more and my respect for this important profession grew.  Working in the Claims Department helped me gain a deep and sincere empathy for a psychiatrist facing a lawsuit or dealing with a claim.

About a decade later, I returned to the PRMS Insurance Services Department where I am employed today as the Underwriting Administrative Assistant.  It is my pleasure to speak to psychiatrists daily and to process payments, provide loss history reports and other services to best help our clients.  Over the years, I have come to know many of our clients personally and always enjoy being of service to them and to new clients.

Working at PRMS has been both fulfilling and interesting. Merging the personal and professional, the PRMS culture is “family.” Many companies will state that their most important asset is its staff.  With some companies, this is just a soundbite but at PRMS it is the truth.  I cannot even begin to list the many acts of kindnesses from my colleagues through my almost three decades of working at PRMS.  We care about each other and we help each other.



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Brooklyn Psychiatric Society 3rd Annual Fun Run, Walk and Meet

For the second year, I attended the Brooklyn Psychiatric Society Annual Fun Run, Walk and Meet event on Saturday, September 17th. As expected, the event was a tremendous success. It drew nearly 40 walkers and runners, and the weather at the Wingate High School Track in Brooklyn, NY was outstanding for a nice morning run. Among the attendees were psychiatrists, including residents, along with family members, medical students, and the executive director of the district branch.


Many of the participants finished the race in record time, while others enjoyed the morning walking around the track. As for me, I did not place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the race, but was overall very impressed with my performance and finished with a time at just shy of 27 minutes! For someone who does not consider themselves a runner, I was happy with this finish and glad that I committed to running with the doctors. This was more a race about completion, meeting members of the society and socializing with our clients than it was about finishing in a record breaking time. Albeit, Dr. Viswanathan’s son, came out on top with a first place finish for the second year in a row.

After the race finished, an awards ceremony was held to honor the top three winners with a monetary prize, and the first five finishers also received certificates.


Running with the doctors at the Brooklyn Fun Run/Walk is one of the highlights of my year! It is the only time of the year that I prepare for (mentally and physically) to run a 5K, and I could not think of a better group of people to run with! The event is rife with excitement and the personal interactions that I have with the staff, doctors, and their families is always pleasant and reflective of the historic and long-standing relationship that PRMS has with the Brooklyn Psychiatric Society. I look forward to participating in the 4th Annual Fun Run in 2017.

Justin Pruett, Litigation Specialist: Justin Pruett joined the PRMS claims team in 2015 as a Litigation Specialist where he is responsible for investigating professional and general liability claims nationwide. With eight years of experience working in law, insurance and the federal government, he has provided complex legal analysis of lawsuits and claims related to insurance policies and coverage issues, insurance defense litigation, claims examination, discovery litigation consulting, management of eDiscovery platforms (i.e. Relativity and Concordance), legal evaluation of bodily injury claims, and analysis of corporate insurance business models. Mr. Pruett graduated cum laude from Bridgewater College and received his JD from Roger Williams University.

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The Life of PRMS: Leigh Baker, Head of Brand Development

I joined the PRMS team two years ago in December 2014.  The role is one I have always hoped to find: brand development.  The scary part about joining this team?  I had spent most of my career in an entirely different industry with essentially no exposure to the intricacies of psychiatry and behavioral healthcare, let alone insurance!

Mostly I had worked in marketing for various publishers, developing and executing programs for advertisers that would meet their goals and generate revenue for the magazines.  This was not just selling print and digital ad space.  Our teams were tasked with being as creative as possible on all platforms with generally small budgets, requiring a great deal of innovative problem solving and out-of-the-box thinking.  While I enjoyed the incredibly fast pace and creativity of these positions, they didn’t allow me to become fully immersed in the brand I was ideating about.  I knew I wanted any future career choices to allow me to focus on one brand instead of many – a position that would allow me to dive deep into the brand itself to speak to consumers in a real way and drive the brand forward.

To learn not only a new style of marketing, but also an entirely new field was at times overwhelming.  But the past two years have been filled with so much growth.  By taking this step with PRMS, I removed myself from the flashy marketing lingo of fashion and beauty brands and learned the intricacies of medical malpractice insurance – it is fun to market a truly superior product amongst colleagues who truly put the customer first in all respects!  Furthermore, it is immensely satisfying to promote access to this important psychiatric protection.  Through this process, I have in turn been educated about psychiatrists’ work, practices, field of study, organizations and associations, patients, risks, concerns, and the behavioral healthcare community at large.  Even the changes I have seen in the field of psychiatry throughout these two years illustrate how much is constantly changing and being uncovered – there is always more to learn.

I am proud to be a part of a company that emphasizes the customer as much as PRMS does and always strives to be relied upon as an expert.  That is not flashy marketing lingo or sales tactics – it is truly how this company views its clients.


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Butler Hospital’s 2016 Signature Event, A Gallery Affair

On Wednesday, November 9, Butler Hospital hosted its 2016 Signature Event, A Gallery Affair at the Providence Art Club. The evening celebrated Butler’s history and outstanding services it offers to the members of the Rhode Island community.

As stated on the Butler Hospital Foundation website, Butler’s mission is not only to treat “people with psychiatric illnesses and substance use issues,” but also “educate the community to foster an understanding of people with mental health needs.”

Remy Palmer, Senior Account Manager at PRMS attended this wonderful event, which raised $65,000. According to the event website, proceeds will “benefit the highest priority needs of Butler Hospital; helping to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all patients.” PRMS is proud to have been a supporter of A Gallery Affair as the Rembrandt Sponsor.

Remy Palmer at Butler Hospital’s 2016 Signature Event, A Gallery Affair.

Remy Palmer at Butler Hospital’s 2016 Signature Event, A Gallery Affair.

To read further about the event, please click here. If you would like to learn more about the Butler Hospital Foundation or to donate, please click here.

Providence Art Club set for A Gallery Affair.

Providence Art Club set for A Gallery Affair.

Artwork for the silent auction.

Artwork for the silent auction.

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