Board Voice: Q&A With Dr. Jules Ranz

Dr. Jules Ranz, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center and Project Renewal Trustee since 1995

I spoke to trustee Jules Ranz to catch up about his work as the Director of the Public Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center and how that works with his role as a Project Renewal Trustee (a position he has held since 1995). Turns out he was just endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association for contributions to field of psychiatry:

“I’ve spent my entire career in the public sector, the last 30 years as Director of the Public Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia.  My mentor at the time was Dr. Christian Beels, a trustee at Project Renewal.  He encouraged me to join the Board.  It’s the only board I’ve served on, and I have valued my board service for several reasons.

The Public Psychiatry Fellowship is the largest training fellowship in the country and until about 10 years ago, it was the only one.  We train 10 Fellows a year to prepare for psychiatric service in the public sector.  With more psychiatrists going to work in organizational settings than to a private practice, there is a growing need for this specialized training.  The Fellows we accept have already completed 4 years of medical school followed by 4 years of residency.  The Fellows spend a year with us in classwork and field work integrating theory and practice.  The field work is a 3 day a week placement in a community organization like Project Renewal.  The goal is to use the agency as a training site with the hope that the Fellow gets hired at the site at the end.  This happens about 60-70% of the time. 

Project Renewal takes a Fellow just about every year and most Fellows who stay in New York City stay on at Project Renewal as a staff member.  So most of the psychiatrists at Project Renewal have been trained by us!  And, all three Medical Directors for Psychiatry came through the Fellowship (Hunter McQuistion, Elizabeth Oudens, and now Allison Grolnick.)  I take a lot of pride in helping Project Renewal create a cadre of effective psychiatrists dedicated to helping homeless men and women.

Project Renewal is a leader in New York City in providing the most comprehensive services for homeless New Yorkers.  It excels in providing the entire package – recovery, medical, dental, psychiatry, employment, and housing.  I feel deeply connected to Project Renewal’s mission and to its success.  I bring a clinical background and expertise in public psychiatry to the Board.  In return, Project Renewal’s Program Directors are frequent presenters at Board meetings so I get to hear first-hand about the effectiveness of its programs.”

Project Renewal Trustee Jules Ranz recognized for excellence in psychiatric training

The American Psychiatric Association awarded its 2013 Vestermark Award to Dr. Jules Ranz for outstanding contributions to the education and development of psychiatrists.  The award is jointly supported by APA and the National Institute of Mental Health.  Dr. Ranz was recognized for his excellence, leadership, and creativity in the field of psychiatric education.  He is the Director of the Public Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center and has been a Project Renewal Trustee since 1995.