Institute for Health Policy Forum

Taking Action to Prevent Suicide

May 2, 2019

On May 2, the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy hosted a forum, Taking Action to Prevent Suicide, at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C.

The event brought together leaders from across sectors to discuss actions care systems, communities, and policymakers can take to prevent suicide.

Learn more about the speakers and topics discussed below.

At a Glance: Kaiser Permanente’s Clinical Approach to Preventing Suicide

Welcome & Opening Remarks

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Cecilia Oregón Echeverría, MPP, MPH
Executive Director, Institute for Health Policy
Kaiser Permanente

Don Mordecai, MD
National Leader for Mental Health and Wellness
Kaiser Permanente

Morning Keynote Address

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Keita Franklin, LCSW, PhD
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Executive Director, Suicide Prevention
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Exploring Care System Solutions

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Moderator

Julie Goldstein Grumet, PhD
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Director of Health and Behavioral Health Care Initiatives
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Education Development Center

Panelists

Ursula Whiteside, PhD
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Chief Executive Officer
NowMattersNow.org

Pavan Somusetty, MD
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National Leader for Suicide Prevention
Kaiser Permanente

Michelle Cornette, PhD
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Lead Public Health Advisor
SAMHSA, Suicide Prevention Branch

Exploring Community Solutions

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Moderator

Colleen Carr, MPH
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Director, Secretariat
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Education Development Center

Panelists

Holly C. Wilcox, PhD
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Associate Professor
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Sherry Davis Molock, PhD, MDiv
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Associate Professor, George Washington University
Pastor, Beloved Community Church, United Church of Christ

Frances Gonzalez
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Senior Marketing & Communications Director
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Vibrant Emotional Health

Networking Lunch

Afternoon Speaker

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Bernard J. Tyson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Kaiser Permanente

Panel: Exploring Policy Solutions

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Moderator

Anthony Barrueta
Senior Vice President, Government Relations
Kaiser Permanente

Panelists

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH
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Secretary of Health
Washington State Department of Public Health

John Auerbach, MBA
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President and Chief Executive Officer
Trust for America’s Health

Nathaniel Z. Counts, JD
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Associate Vice President of Policy
Mental Health America

Closing Remarks

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Cecilia Oregón Echeverría, MPP, MPH
Executive Director, Institute for Health Policy
Kaiser Permanente

Don Mordecai, MD
National Leader for Mental Health and Wellness
Kaiser Permanente

John Auberbach, MBA
John Auerbach is the president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.

He was formerly the associate director for policy and the acting director of the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a distinguished professor of practice in health sciences and the director of the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University from 2012 to 2014.

Anthony Barrueta

Anthony Barrueta
Tony Barrueta is senior vice president of government relations for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. in Oakland, California. He oversees development of Kaiser Permanente’s public policy positions, in collaboration with senior leadership throughout the organization, to ensure that Kaiser Permanente maintains a common voice in support of the interests of the organization, its members, and the communities it serves.

Barrueta holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston College and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Colleen Carr, MPH
Colleen Carr is the director of the Secretariat for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s (Action Alliance), the nation’s public-private partnership for suicide prevention. The Action Alliance is charged with coordinating a comprehensive national suicide prevention response in the U.S and works with more than 250 partner organizations to coordinate implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

In this role, Carr is responsible for providing strategic direction to the Action Alliance’s distinguished leadership and working with leaders from federal agencies and the private sector with a role to play in national suicide prevention efforts to help coordinate and align efforts around advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. She also cultivates partnerships and commitments to support national suicide prevention efforts.

Michelle Cornette, PhD
Dr. Michelle Cornette is the lead public health advisor in the suicide prevention branch at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and was the past executive director of the American Association of Suicidology. Dr. Cornette previously supported the research and program evaluation and data and surveillance divisions at the Department of Defense Suicide Prevention Office and was military suicide subject matter expert at the Center for Deployment Psychology. She also spent 10 years in the VA system.

Dr. Cornette has received Federal and private funding for her program of research on suicide risk, and she has presented and published extensively on the topics of civilian and military suicide prevention.

Nathaniel Z. Counts, JD
Nathaniel Counts is the associate vice president of policy for Mental Health America, where he works on innovative federal and state policy solutions for problems in behavioral health. He focuses on issues in incentive alignment and sustainable financing in behavioral health care, as well as issues in population health. His most recent publication was “Expected value-based payment: From total cost of care to net present value of care” in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.

He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy Student Fellow and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Johns Hopkins University.

Cecilia Echeverría

Cecilia Echeverría, MPH, MPP
Cecilia Echeverría is the executive director for Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy where she identifies emerging health policy topics, leads strategy and operations, and guides the Institute’s portfolio of work. Her areas of expertise include access to health care for underserved populations as well as behavioral health, school-based health, and early childhood issues. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 2013 as the Director of Safety Net Partnerships for the National Community Benefit program.

Echeverría holds master’s degrees in public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley and is an alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellows program.

Keita Franklin, LCSW, PhD
Keita Franklin is the Executive Director of Suicide Prevention for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Dr. Franklin serves as the principal advisor to VA leadership for all matters pertaining to suicide prevention. She leads a team of experts engaged in research, program evaluation, innovation, data and surveillance, and partnerships.

Before joining VA, Dr. Franklin served as the Director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office where she was responsible for policy and oversight of the U.S. Department of Defense suicide prevention programs. She is a licensed social worker with a specialization in children and families.

Frances Gonzalez
Frances Gonzalez is the senior director of marketing and communications for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its administrator, Vibrant Emotional Health. She manages national communications strategy, media relations, branding, and messaging partnerships.

She regularly works with artists, media, and content creators to raise awareness of the Lifeline, share stories of hope and recovery, and empower the public to support others in crisis.

Julie Goldstein Grumet, PhD
Julie Goldstein Grumet is the director of the Zero Suicide Institute, which provides expert consultation and guidance to health and behavioral health care organizations implementing the “zero suicide” framework for safer suicide care.

Dr. Goldstein Grumet also serves as director of health and behavioral health initiatives at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), a federally funded resource center devoted to advancing the U.S. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Both the Zero Suicide Institute and the SPRC are part of the Education Development Center (EDC), a global nonprofit that advances lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity.

Dr. Goldstein Grumet received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the George Washington University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in school mental health at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Center for Mental Health Assistance.

Sherry Davis Molock, PhD, MDiv
Sherry Davis Molock is an associate professor in the department of psychology at George Washington University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate course and conducts research on developing suicide and HIV prevention programs for teens in African American churches.

Dr. Molock serves on the steering committee for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Faith Based Task Force and as a grant reviewer for NIH institutions.

She and her husband, Guy Molock, Jr., are the founding pastors of the Beloved Community Church in Accokeek, Maryland.

Don Mordecai

Don Mordecai, MD
Dr. Don Mordecai is the national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, and director of mental health and chemical dependency services for the Permanente Medical Group in Northern California. He is also an adjunct clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School.

Dr. Mordecai holds a doctoral degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and is board certified in psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Pavan Somusetty, MD
As the leader for suicide prevention at Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Somusetty works closely with all its regions to raise the national standard for suicide care. He is a passionate advocate for the Zero Suicide movement and regional physician lead for Kaiser Permanente’s suicide prevention initiative in Portland, Oregon and southwest Washington.

Dr. Somusetty trained at Wright State University and is board certified in psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is the assistant chief of mental health at Northwest Permanente.

Bernard Tyson

Bernard J. Tyson
Bernard assumed the role of chairman, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. in January 2014 and has served as CEO since 2013. His career at Kaiser Permanente has spanned more than 30 years, and during that time he has successfully managed all major aspects of the organization, serving in roles from hospital administrator to division president to president and chief operating officer.

Bernard holds a masters of business degree in health service administration and a bachelors degree in health service management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He also earned a leadership certificate from Harvard University.

Ursula Whiteside, PhD
Dr. Ursula Whiteside is a psychologist, leader of NowMattersNow.org and clinical faculty at the University of Washington. She has been awarded federal and private grants to study new interventions for suicidal patients. She trained with Dr. Marsha Linehan, developer of the most effective treatment for suicidality, for 10 years.

As a person with lived experience, she strives to decrease the gap between “us and them” and to ensure those who have been there are included in all relevant conversations.

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH
Dr. John Wiesman was appointed secretary of health by Governor Jay Inslee and joined the Washington State Department of Health in April 2013. He’s an accomplished transformational leader with more than 22 years of local public health experience and focuses on whole systems approaches to improving health.

Dr. Wiesman also serves as a clinical professor at the University of Washington, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services, and has an adjunct faculty appointment at The Evergreen State College teaching public health policy.

He earned his Doctor of Public Health in public health executive leadership from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his master of public health in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University.

Holly C. Willcox, PhD
Dr. Holly C. Wilcox is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. Dr. Wilcox is involved in several suicide prevention initiatives in state of Maryland and nationally. She co-leads a federally-funded project focused on conducting data linkage and informatics approaches to utilize existing data resources to improve suicide risk identification and prevention. She is also currently involved in several universal prevention projects in schools, primary care, emergency departments and college campus settings.

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