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.
Boggs JM, Lindrooth RC, Battaglia C, Beck A, Ritzwoller DP, Ahmedani BK, Rossom RC, Lynch FL, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Owen-Smith AA, Simon GE, Anderson HD. Association between suicide death and concordance with benzodiazepine treatment guidelines for anxiety and sleep disorders. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 17;62:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2019.11.005. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Coleman KJ, Yarborough BJ, Beck A, Lynch FL, Stewart C, Penfold RS, Hunkeler EM, Operskalski BH, Simon GE. Patterns of health care utilization before first episode psychosis in racial and ethnic groups. Ethn Dis. 2019 Oct 17;29(4):609-616. doi: 10.18865/ed.29.4.609. eCollection 2019 Fall. PubMed
Simon GE, Shortreed SM, Johnson E, Rossom RC, Lynch FL, Ziebell R, Penfold ARB. What health records data are required for accurate prediction of suicidal behavior? J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2019 Dec 1;26(12):1458-1465. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocz136. PubMed
Ahmedani BK, Westphal J, Autio K, Elsiss F, Peterson EL, Beck A, Waitzfelder BE, Rossom RC, Owen-Smith AA, Lynch F, Lu CY, Frank C, Prabhakar D, Braciszewski JM, Miller-Matero LR, Yeh HH, Hu Y, Doshi R, Waring SC, Simon GE. Variation in patterns of health care before suicide: a population case-control study. Prev Med. 2019 Oct;127:105796. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105796. Epub 2019 Aug 7. PubMed
Simon GE. Self-reported suicidal ideation as a predictor of suicidal behavior. Psychiatr Serv. 2019;70(7):637-638. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.70704. PubMed
Simon GE, Shortreed SM, Coley RY. Positive predictive values and potential success of suicide prediction models. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 26. pii: 2737196. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.1516. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Yeh HH, Westphal J, Hu Y, Peterson EL, Williams LK, Prabhakar D, Frank C, Autio K, Elsiss F, Simon GE, Beck A, Lynch FL, Rossom RC, Lu CY, Owen-Smith AA, Waitzfelder BE, Ahmedani BK. Diagnosed mental health conditions and risk of suicide mortality. Psychiatr Serv. 2019 Sep 1;70(9):750-757. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201800346. Epub 2019 Jun 12. PubMed
Simon GE. Why the Nails Should Boss the Hammers. Psychiatr Serv. 2019 Aug 1;70(8):642-643. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201900218. Epub 2019 May 29. PubMed
Yarborough BJH, Ahmedani BK, Boggs JM, Beck A, Coleman KJ, Sterling S, Schoenbaum M, Goldstein-Grumet J, Simon GE. Challenges of population-based measurement of suicide prevention activities across multiple health systems. eGEMS (Wash DC). 2019;7(1):13. doi: 10.5334/egems.277. PubMed
Stewart CC, Lu CY, Yoon TK, Coleman KJ, Crawford PM, Lakoma MD, Simon GE. Impact of ICD-10-CM transition on mental health diagnoses recording. eGEMS (Wash DC). 2019;7(1):14. doi: 10.5334/egems.281. 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