Advancing Suicide Prevention Practice in the Emergency Department Setting

General Webinar
Date:  March 31, 2011 - 1:00 pm (America/New_York)

Suicide attempts make up an increasing proportion of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations, and the care received during and subsequent to an ED visit by persons at risk for suicide can have long-term consequences—either good or bad. This webinar presents a cross-section of promising and evidence-based strategies for preventing suicide among patients visiting the ED, including continuity of care. Four speakers representing private health system, academic hospital, and VA health care settings will provide information about their programs and lessons learned. This presentation will be interactive, with opportunities to ask questions.

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe promising and evidence-based suicide prevention strategies for the ED setting including continuity of care.
  • Understand opportunities and challenges for implementing suicide prevention practices in the ED setting.
  • Access the “Is Your Patient Suicidal?” Poster and Triage Guide and other resources for the ED setting.

Additional resource to be referenced during the webinar:

Event Presenter(s)

Glenn W. Currier, MD, MPH, Chief of Medical Affairs, VISN2 Center of Excellence, Canandaigua NY VA Medical Center; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center 
Dr. Currier is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in Rochester, NY, USA. Dr. Currier received his bachelor’s degree in economics, and was a research associate at the Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associated prior to entering medical school. He received his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University, where he specialized in health services research. Dr. Currier’s residency training in psychiatry and internal medicine was also at Yale.

Dr Currier is past president of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. He is author or co-author of numerous publications focused primarily on health services research and treatment practices in emergency settings.

Dr Currier recently completed an NIMH funded K-23 career development award consisting of a randomised controlled clinical trial of a services intervention to test the use of mobile crisis teams to link discharged emergency department patients into ongoing ambulatory care. Dr. Currier’s current research includes a conjoint suicide surveillance project in emergency departments at Rochester, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University. He is also a principal investigator on a multi-site trail of a safety planning intervention in nine VA emergency departments. Dr. Currier is a past member of the Training & Standards Subcommittee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Patricia Alexander, PhD, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers (MIRECC) Investigator, Rocky Mountain Region, Veterans Administration, Denver, Colorado
Patricia Alexander, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical/research psychologist with the VISN 19 MIRECC. As a clinician, she is the Acute Services Coordinator for the Suicide Assessment and Follow-Up Engagement: Veteran Emergency Treatment (SAFE VET) Clinical Demonstration Project, a member of the VISN 19 MIRECC outpatient/inpatient suicide consultation service, and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Alexander is a former active duty Air Force officer with 25 years of clinical and teaching experience in the areas of combat-related stress and post traumatic stress disorder. Her primary research interests are in the areas of shame, guilt and attachment issues and the role they play in complex PTSD and suicidality.

Denise Foster, RN, MSN, Emergency Department Director, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon
Denise Foster joined Oregon Health & Science University as Emergency Department Director in 2009 and has quickly charted a course to the future of the E.D. that sees growing process and performance improvements, as well as greater employee and patient satisfaction. All this has been achieved while seeing a substantial growth in the number of patients that are seen in the ED.

Foster is extraordinarily dedicated to the quality of care for all patients. Since her arrival at OHSU, she has been a champion for at risk patients. She worked with a consulting psychiatric specialist to develop and improve standards of care for this patient population. Foster’s work has also focused on nurse initiated orders to improve throughput and patient care. She participates in the Robert Wood Johnson Aligning Forces for Quality ED Throughput Project.

Foster is a member of the Coordinating Committee and co-chair of the Hospital Staffing Committee and serves on the Department’s service Excellence Committee. She also represents the hospital for the Oregon Nurse Staffing Collaborative (a joint effort of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems).
Prior to coming to OHSU, Foster was Emergency Dept. Manager at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. Foster earned her BSN in Nursing from California State University in 2000, and her Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Education in 2008. She was recognized for her excellence in education when admitted as a member of the honor society of nursing, Sigma Theta Tau.

Gary Parker, PhD, MS, BSN, Manager of Research Services, Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Gary Parker is Manager of Research Services for Mercy Health Center, a hospital operated by the Mercy Health System of Oklahoma. Mr. Parker coordinates research projects for Mercy system organizations which translate into new policies, protocols, and improved patient outcomes. Research projects and studies range from comparisons of nurse attitudes in China and the United States concerning the care of dying patients, to nurse-driven SBIRT programs in the emergency department (ED).

For the last seven years, Mr. Parker has become involved in suicide prevention and led a number of projects aiming to address suicide prevention in health care. Some have been in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and target school sports physicals, community EDs, and primary care clinics. Mr. Parker studied at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University and is an active member of the Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA). His work with colleagues and Mercy Health Center research projects earned the ONA Excellence and Cherokee Inspiration awards. Mr. Parker has four children and enjoys travel.

Webinar Presentation Slides

Webinar Recording