Robert J. Ronis, M.D., M.P.H., has been named chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals.
Ronis served as the interim chairman for two years prior to accepting his new appointment within the department and the medical school.
"We are thrilled that University Hospitals and the Board of Trustees have endorsed and selected Dr. Ronis to lead the initiatives of the psychiatry department," said Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Dr. Ronis is passionate about his work both as a faculty member and as a leader. He will continue to build on the department's strong foundation to enhance our innovative education and research programs."
In his role as chair, Ronis will continue to direct the public and community psychiatry programs for the Department of Psychiatry, including collaborations with the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH), Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, and the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board. He will direct clinical psychiatry services, lead all department research projects and educational programs, as well as oversee governmentally funded research programs and clinical trials.
"I'm delighted to accept this responsibility," Ronis said. "It seems appropriate for a community psychiatrist to be offered this position at this time in our history. As the department's clinical role expands to better meet the needs of our own system, we are dedicated to maintaining and improving our research and teaching missions, and to furthering our integration with the broader needs and resources of the local mental health community."
"Throughout his tenure, Dr. Ronis has more than demonstrated his dedication to both the Department of Psychiatry at University Hospitals, as well as the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In addition, his commitment to community outreach in the field of psychiatry is commendable," said Fred C. Rothstein, MD, president of University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Dr. Ronis is an exceptional leader who supports the department's extraordinary research initiatives as well as its mission to provide the very best mental health care to the patients we serve."
Ronis is the founder of the Public Academic Liaison (PAL), a joint program of the UH Department of Psychiatry and the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board. The PAL program was honored as the Mental Health Program of the Year by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) / Metro Cleveland in 1998. He also directs the Mental Health Executive Leadership Program in collaboration with the Weatherhead School of Management and the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
He currently serves as representative to the General Assembly of the national American Psychiatric Association representing Ohio and is on the Board of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. He is also the co-director of the Center for Evidence Based Practices funded by the ODMH. The Center for Evidenced Based Practices' initiatives include the Substance Abuse / Mental Illness, Smoking Cessation and Supported Employment programs.
In 1990, Ronis earned his board certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with added qualifications in addiction psychiatry in 1994. He has served as a senior examiner for their Part II examinations since 1995.
Among his many honors, Dr. Ronis was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 1996 and was accepted into the American College of Psychiatrists in 1998. He was awarded the Kathleen Burton Memorial Award from the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board in 2000, and was recognized as a national NAMI Exemplary Practitioner in 2002. In 2003, Ronis was appointed the first L. Douglas Lenkoski, MD, Chair of Psychiatry. Most recently in 2006, he received the prestigious Woodruff Prize for his contributions to the mental health community.
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