Zero Suicide Project Committee Aims to Improve Care and Prevent Self-Harm


At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that total health is more than freedom from physical affliction – it’s about the mind and body together. As part of our effort to provide support and resources for mental health and wellness, the Mid-Atlantic Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Health Department has organized a Zero Suicide Project committee dedicated to the care of members at elevated risk of suicide. The foundational belief of this effort is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable.

In May 2017, Mid-Atlantic Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Health Department convened a multi-disciplinary Zero Suicide Project committee to improve the overall quality of care for our members who are at moderate to high risk of suicide.

The Zero Suicide Project committee included behavioral health providers from across KPMAS, behavioral health service area leadership, and the KP Health Connect team. The committee developed a regionalized workflow to better identify and treat members who are at risk of self-harm. The approach includes four steps:

  1. Screening tools: using the PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire) and the C-SSRS (Columbia Suicide Rating Scale) to identify members most at risk
  2. Interventions: completing a standardized risk assessment and safety plan on all patients with an elevated PHQ-9/C-SSRS score
  3. Minimum standards of care: recommended visit frequency
  4. Outreach: protocols for at-risk members who fail to keep appointments

The pilot launched in October 2017. Julie Isaacs, LCSW, Behavioral Health Clinical Educator, provided training to the three pilot sites: Largo, Falls Church, and Woodlawn Behavioral Health Departments. Full implementation to all Behavioral Health Departments across KPMAS will be completed this month.

A special thank you is due to the project committee members, the three pilot locations, and all the behavioral health staff for your commitment and dedication to improving the health and safety of our members.

Project Committee Members

  • Amina Hall, LCSW-C, Behavioral Health Manager, Largo
  • Amit Patel, DO, Chief of Behavioral Health, DCSM Service Area
  • Ann Cuebas, LCSW, Psychotherapist, Burke
  • Arnecia Moody, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist, Largo
  • Ashley Miller, MD, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Burke, Northern Virginia Service Area
  • Rao Tripuraneni, MD, Associate Medical Director, Rockville
  • Erin Vanluven, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist, White Marsh
  • Humaira Siddiqi, MD, Chief of Behavioral Health, NOVA Service Area
  • Jeanine Lamb, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist, Shady Grove
  • Jennifer Facteau, LCPC, Regional Director, Behavioral Health, Rockville
  • Jenny Yung, MD, Psychiatrist, Burke
  • Julie Isaacs, LCSW, Behavioral Health Clinical Educator, Rockville
  • Linda Bloch, LCSW-C, RN, Behavioral Health Manager, UM & Quality, Silver Spring
  • Lori Baker-Gurvitch, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist, Shady Grove
  • Mai Nhia Vang, Graduate Intern, University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • Mary Hales, LPC, Psychotherapist, Falls Church
  • Michelle Nnorom, LCSW, Behavioral Health Manager, Woodlawn
  • Paula Grace, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist, Frederick
  • Renee DeLuca, LCSW, Behavioral Health Manager, Falls Church
  • Sarita Wahba, MSPH, MS, Executive Consultant, Rockville
  • Terri Turner, MD, Chief of Behavioral Health, BALT Service Area

Health Connect Team Members

  • Ahmed Gahelrasoul, Technology Integration Specialist, Rockville
  • Frank Genova, MD, Associate Medical Director, Rockville
  • Khaled Abuhatab, RN, MSN, Clinical Informatics Specialist, Rockville
  • Shiyao Wang, Technology Integration Specialist, Rockville

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