Honorees

Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz

Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, ComPsych Corporation & Chairman, Chaifetz Group, LLC

Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ComPsych Corporation, the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs and the pioneer and leading provider of fully integrated employee assistance, behavioral health, wellness, work-life and human resource administration services.  ComPsych provides services to more than 100 million individuals and 45,000 organizations, ranging from the Fortune 500 to smaller public and private companies and government entities throughout the U.S. and more than 160 countries. Dr. Chaifetz is also the Founder and Chairman of Chaifetz Group, a private advisory and investment firm.

Dr. Chaifetz has served on the board of directors, as well as an advisor, to several public and private corporations which currently include Pixel Press, Save Wave Energy, Kennet Partners, Vistria Group and MedAware. He is on the board of trustees of The Field Museum of Natural History, Saint Louis University, TCS Education System, the Miami University Foundation Board, the Brain Research Foundation and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.  In 2007, he was named Saint Louis University’s Alumni of the Year and was inducted into the University’s Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame. He was awarded The Brain Research Foundation’s 2014 Frederic A. Gibbs Discovery Award in Philanthropy.  In 2017, he also received the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Chaifetz and his wife Jill are active philanthropists through their Chaifetz Family Foundation. Notable gifts include the Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University, Chaifetz Trading Center at Miami University Farmer School of Business, the Richard and Jill Chaifetz Curator of Zoology at the Field Museum, and the Survivor Stories Theater at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Dr. Chaifetz, a licensed neuropsychologist, is a magna cum laude graduate of Saint Louis University and received his Psy.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

 

Marilyn and Lawrence Cohen

Lawrence and Marilyn Cohen of Evanston have a long history of service to community.  They have given their time, resources and leadership to make the world a better place for all of us.  In 2000, mental illness took the life of their beloved daughter, Naomi.  This incredible loss galvanized Larry and Marilyn’ s commitment to helping individuals and families impacted by mental illness.  Larry and Marilyn established what is now the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education.  The Institute is dedicated to reducing the stigma that for far too long has interfered with people impacted by mental illness from getting the support they need and from being fully integrated into their community.

Larry and Marilyn have provided leadership to the Institute since its inception.  The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute hosts an annual community mental health conference that draws approximately 300 people each year.  The Institute also hosts a monthly cable television show as part of CAN TV’s Focus on Family Series, provides parent education to Spanish-speaking parents, mental health workshops for teens, adults and older adults and a speakers bureau which has experts available for community groups on a broad range of mental health topics.

Larry and Marilyn’s innovation and social impact have been previously recognized through awards from the NAACP’s Evanston/Northshore Chapter as well as Trilogy, one of Chicago’s longtime behavioral health organizations.

Beth Rom-Rymer

Beth N. Rom-Rymer, Ph.D., a graduate of the first class of women at Princeton University in 1973, with her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, is in independent clinical practice in Chicago and has a national consulting forensics practice, specializing in interpersonal violence and trauma.  Dr. Rom-Rymer has a long history of working with trauma, beginning with her work on the Ted Bundy serial murder case 1978-1979, when she was Director of the Victim-Witness Assistance Unit in the State Attorney’s Office, Tallahassee, Florida.  During that time, Dr. Rom-Rymer also co-founded and was the first president of Refuge House in Tallahassee, Florida, a shelter for battered women and their children, founded in 1978, and celebrating its 40th anniversary in October 2018.

Dr. Rom-Rymer has lectured extensively in the Departments of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and in the Departments of Psychology at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. In 2012, Dr. Rom-Rymer, as President of the Illinois Psychological Association, led Illinois psychologists in a successful statewide lobbying effort to pass a bill that allows licensed clinical psychologists, with advanced, specialized training in clinical psychopharmacology and medicine, to prescribe medications in the treatment of mental disorders.  Senate bill 2187 was passed by the Illinois legislature on May 30, 2014 and was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn on June 25, 2014, giving Illinois the distinction of becoming the third state in the nation to give prescriptive authority to psychologists.  On September 12, 2017, the statute’s Rules were approved and published.  Dr. Rom-Rymer has been leading the implementation of this law since passage in 2014.

Dr. Rom-Rymer remains active in the Illinois Psychological Association and is also a nationally recognized leader in the Prescribing Psychologist Movement, mentoring other states in their initiative to pass prescriptive authority legislation and working with a research group from Princeton University to collect data on the effectiveness of prescribing psychologists.  Dr. Rom-Rymer has received many awards for her work, including “Outstanding Psychologist of the Year” from the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division 31 (2014); an APA Presidential Citation for Outstanding Leadership (2015); the APA Karl Heiser Award for Legislative Advocacy (2015); the Alfred M. Wellner, Ph.D. Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Register of Health Service Providers (2016); Outstanding Psychologist Award from the Illinois Psychological Association (2016 and 2017).  In 2018, Dr. Rom-Rymer will serve the APA Council Leadership Team as Chair-elect and will serve on the APA Board of Directors (2018-2019).  Dr. Rom-Rymer is currently working on a book on the national impact of the Prescribing Psychologist Movement on the national mental healthcare crisis.