From helping found Div. 29 (Psychotherapy) in 1968 to serving as APA's 1994 president, Ronald E. Fox, PhD, has shaped psychology practice for more than three decades. Among his accomplishments: helping found APA's Practice and Education directorates, as well as the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and Div. 55 (American Society for the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy), all while maintaining a private practice and launching one of the nation's first PsyD programs at Wright State University, in Ohio. For his outstanding contributions to APA and psychology, Fox will accept the Raymond D. Fowler Award at APA's 2009 Annual Convention in Toronto.
Patrick H. DeLeon, PhD, JD, who nominated Fox for the award, says that his effectiveness comes from his ability to bring people with disparate interests together, often through humor and storytelling.
"His 'Foxisms' humorously get at the heart of the controversy," says DeLeon. For example, at a state leadership conference in the 1990s, Fox famously said that to fight managed care, "first you need to circle all the wagons and make sure everybody is aiming out," DeLeon recalls.
As a member of APA's Board of Directors, Fox spearheaded one of his proudest projects: helping create the APA Practice Directorate and, later, funding it through a special assessment to practitioner members.
As a result, psychology practitioners have had a much stronger say on important policy developments, including Medicare reimbursement, insurance regulation and health-care reform, DeLeon says.
Fox is quick to see needs and fill them, his colleagues say. For instance, while supervising interns at Ohio State University in the 1970s, Fox realized that there was no central directory of psychology internships for students to consult. So he went to work compiling one, and he printed it out of his office. That effort eventually developed into APPIC, now a central force in psychology practitioner training.
When asked what motivated his energetic service to psychology, Fox's answer is simple: "Belonging to your professional association is part of your business as a practitioner, a scientist or an educator," he says. "It's APA who goes to bat for you when reimbursement is threatened and whenever funding is cut for research or for training."