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.
Jones SMW, Crane PK, Simon G. A comparison of individual change using item response theory and sum scoring on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Ann Depress Anxiety. 2019; 6(1): 1098.
Simon GE, Shortreed SM, Coley RY, Penfold RB, Rossom RC, Waitzfelder BE, Sanchez K, Lynch FL. Assessing and minimizing re-identification risk in research data derived from health care records. eGEMS (Wash DC). 2019;7(1):6. doi: 10.5334/egems.270. PubMed
Shortreed SM, Rutter CM, Cook AJ, Simon GE. Improving pragmatic clinical trial design using real-world data. Clin Trials. 2019 Jun;16(3):273-282. doi: 10.1177/1740774519833679. Epub 2019 Mar 13. PubMed
Simon GE. Big data from health records in mental health care: hardly clairvoyant but already useful. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 Apr 1;76(4):349-350. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4510. PubMed
Gong J, Simon GE, Liu S. Machine learning discovery of longitudinal patterns of depression and suicidal ideation. PLoS One. 2019 Sep 20;14(9):e0222665. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222665. eCollection 2019. PubMed
Simon GE, Richesson R, Weinfurt K, Hernandez AF, Curtis LH. Statistical code for clinical research papers. Ann Intern Med. 2019;170(1):80. doi: 10.7326/L18-0613. PubMed
Lewis CC, Boyd M, Puspitasari A, Navarro E, Howard J, Kassab H, Hoffman M, Scott K, Lyon A, Douglas S, Simon G, Kroenke K. Implementing measurement-based care in behavioral health: a review. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 1;76(3):324-335. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.3329. PubMed
Simon GE, Yarborough BJ, Rossom RC, Lawrence JM, Lynch FL, Waitzfelder BE, Ahmedani BK, Shortreed SM. Self-reported suicidal ideation as a predictor of suicidal behavior among outpatients with diagnoses of psychotic disorders. Psychiatr Serv. 2018 Dec 10:appips201800381. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201800381. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Owen-Smith AA, Ahmedani BK, Peterson E, Simon GE, Rossom RC, Lynch F, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Beck A, DeBar L, Sanon V, Maaz Y, Khan S, Miller-Matero LR, Prabhakar D, Frank C, Drake CL, Braciszewski J. The mediating effect of sleep disturbance on the relationship between non-malignant chronic pain and suicide death. Pain Pract. 2019 Apr;19(4):382-389. doi: 10.1111/papr.12750. Epub 2019 Jan 18. PubMed
Richards JE, Whiteside U, Ludman EJ, Pabiniak C, Kirlin B, Hidalgo R, Simon G. Understanding Why Patients May Not Report Suicidal Ideation at a Health Care Visit Prior to a Suicide Attempt: A Qualitative Study. Psychiatr Serv. 2018 Nov 20:appips201800342. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201800342 [Epub ahead of print] 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