Judah L. Ronch, Ph.D., is Dean of the Erickson School at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the first-of-its-kind professional school that prepares professionals, undergraduate, and graduate students to be managers and leaders to work in aging services. He has researched and written extensively on the debilitating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and has pioneered major reforms in the long-term care industry to improve the mental health of older adults and the working conditions of those who care for them.
Prior to the Erickson School, Dr. Ronch served as Vice President of Resident Life, Mental Health and Wellness, for Erickson Retirement Communities in Baltimore, where he developed resident service and staff education programs to optimize the mental wellness of more than 20,000 residents across 18 communities.
Dr. Ronch also founded and served as Executive Director of LifeSpan DevelopMental Systems, which for more than 30 years created numerous innovative programs of clinical service, research, staff development systems consultation, and organizational development to meet the mental health needs of aging adults in various parts of the United States.
He is the former Executive Director of the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College in New York City and served on the faculties of Vassar College and the University of Miami.
Dr. Ronch’s books include Alzheimer’s Disease: A Practical Guide for Families and Other Helpers and The Counseling Sourcebook: A Practical Reference on Contemporary Issues (1994), winner of the 1995 Catholic Press Association of the United States Book Award. He is co-editor (with Joseph Goldfield) of Mental Wellness in Aging: Strength-Based Approaches (2003), winner of a 2004 Mature Media Award. Dr. Ronch is also co-editor (with Audrey Weiner) of Culture Change in Long-Term Care (2003), Culture Change in Elder Care (2013), and Models and Pathways for Person-Centered Elder Care (2013), the latter 2 being part of the series Leading Principles & Practices in Elder Care. His numerous journal articles and professional presentations include contributions in psychotherapy and counseling for older adults, care of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, caregiver issues, staff training, and service delivery issues in geriatric care.
Dr. Ronch earned his B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College, CUNY, in 1966, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Yeshiva University in 1972.