Greg Simon, MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and senior investigator well-known for his extensive research on practical approaches to improving mental health care. He seeks to develop and evaluate effective real-world strategies that support better mental health and wellness. Current areas of emphasis include identifying and assessing suicide risk, improving care for treatment-resistant depression, and early intervention for mental health conditions in children and youth.
Dr. Simon leads the Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), a consortium of research centers affiliated with 13 large health systems across the United States, including Kaiser Permanente Washington. This network, funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health, aims to improve the efficiency, relevance, and impact of mental health clinical and health services research. Now in its second five-year funding cycle, the MHRN is exploring a broad range of issues—including suicide prevention, improving heart health in people with serious mental illness, using electronic medical records to improve follow-up care for depression, and understanding the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care.
Dr. Simon and his MHRN colleagues are conducting several large studies across MHRN health systems, including:
Dr. Simon is an editor for the Cochrane Collaboration’s depression and anxiety review group, sits on the editorial board for General Hospital Psychiatry, and serves on the advisory board for the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Program (formerly Precision Medicine Initiative). Earlier, he served on the editorial boards of Psychiatric Services and Psychological Medicine and chaired the scientific advisory board for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Dr. Simon has practiced adult psychiatry in Kaiser Permanente Washington's Mental Health and Wellness Service since 1990 and is a research professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington.
Hecht LM, Yeh HH, Braciszewski JM, Miller-Matero LR, Thakrar A, Patel S, Simon GE, Lynch FL, Beck A, Owen-Smith AA, Rossom RC, Waitzfelder BE, Lu CY, Boggs JM, Ahmedani BK. Weighing the association between BMI change and suicide mortality. Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Apr 22:appips202000475. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000475. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Simon GE, Stewart CC, Gary MC, Richards JE. Detecting and assessing suicide ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2021 Apr 22:S1553-7250(21)00095-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjq.2021.04.002. Online ahead of print. PubMed
Whiteside U, Richards J, Simon GE. Brief interventions via electronic health record messaging for population-based suicide prevention: mixed methods pilot study. JMIR Form Res. 2021;5(4):e21127. doi: 10.2196/21127. PubMed
Franklin JM, Platt R, Dreyer NA, London AJ, Simon GE, Watanabe JH, Horberg M, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When can nonrandomized studies support valid inference regarding effectiveness or safety of new medical treatments? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2021 Apr 7. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2255. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Simon GE, Matarazzo BB, Walsh CG, Smoller JW, Boudreaux ED, Yarborough BJH, Shortreed SM, Coley RY, Ahmedani BK, Doshi RP, Harris LI, Schoenbaum M. Reconciling statistical and clinicians' predictions of suicide risk. Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Mar 11:appips202000214. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000214. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Harry ML, Coley RY, Waring SC, Simon GE. Evaluating the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the PHQ-9 between American Indian/Alaska native adults and diverse racial and ethnic groups. J Affect Disord Rep. 2021 Apr;4:100121. doi: 10.1016/j.jadr.2021.100121. Epub 2021 Feb 22. PubMed
Prabhakar D, Peterson EL, Hu Y, Chawa S, Rossom RC, Lynch FL, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Owen-Smith AA, Williams LK, Beck A, Simon GE, Ahmedani BK. Serious suicide attempts and risk of suicide death. Crisis. 2020 Nov 5:1-8. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000729. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Penfold RB, Thompson EE, Hilt RJ, Kelleher KJ, Schwartz N, Beck A, Clarke G, Ralston JD, Hartzler AL, Coley RY, Akosile M, Vitiello B, Simon GE. Safer Use of Antipsychotics in Youth (SUAY) pragmatic trial protocol. Contemp Clin Trials. 2020 Dec;99:106184. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2020.106184. Epub 2020 Oct 20. PubMed
Xi W, Banerjee S, Penfold RB, Simon GE, Alexopoulos GS, Pathak J. Healthcare utilization among patients with psychiatric hospitalization admitted through the emergency department (ED): a claims-based study. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 7;67:92-99. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2020.10.001. PubMed
Kline-Simon AH, Sterling S, Young-Wolff K, Simon G, Lu Y, Does M, Liu V. Estimates of workload associated with suicide risk alerts after implementation of risk-prediction model. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Oct 1;3(10):e2021189. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.21189. PubMed
KPWHRI researchers are contributing to better mental health care for people nationwide.
Models that are easier to explain, use could have better uptake in health care settings.
Findings provide roadmap for addressing barriers and improving suicide prevention.
Kaiser Permanente physician-scientist will receive American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Lifesavers Research Award.
STAT News, May 2, 2023