Authors Posts by Sarah Eyster

Sarah Eyster

Ms. Eyster represents the association at state-level meetings and serves as staff liaison to the Mental Health Committee. She is responsible for member communication of, and the analysis of, Department of Human Services and other key policy decisions.

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Message from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Suicide is a serious public health issue that affects individuals, families, and communities across the nation. Fortunately, we know that suicide can be prevented. To help states and communities plan and prioritize suicide prevention activities, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is releasing the Suicide Prevention Resource for Action (Suicide Prevention Resource). The Suicide Prevention Resource was previously known as Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices. It is now updated, expanded, and renamed and includes strategies with the best available evidence to make an impact on saving lives. Strategies include those that prevent risk for suicide in the first place and those to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of suicidal behavior for individuals, families, and communities.

The Suicide Prevention Resource has three components:

  1. Strategies are the collection of actions to achieve the goal of preventing suicide.
  2. Approaches are the specific ways to advance each strategy.
  3. Policies, programs, and practices show evidence of impact on suicide, suicide attempts, or risk and protective factors.

States and communities can use the Suicide Prevention Resource to prioritize and tailor activities that are most likely to reduce suicide.

The new Suicide Prevention Resource provides a roadmap for action under CDC’s Comprehensive Suicide Prevention program. This program currently funds 15 states and 2 universities to implement and evaluate a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. These funded programs use strategies from CDC’s new Suicide Prevention Resource to focus on activities with the greatest potential to prevent suicide among populations that are disproportionately impacted by suicide. CDC recently published Program Profiles and success stories to show how these funded programs have implemented and evaluated a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.

Suicide is an urgent public health crisis in the United States. Despite a decrease in suicide rates in 2020 compared to 2019, nearly 46,000 lives were lost to suicide. Provisional 2021 data are showing that suicide is once again increasing, with more than 48,000 people dying by suicide. Further, every year, millions of people think about, make a plan, and attempt suicide.  Suicide has devastating consequences on individuals, families, schools, workplaces, and entire communities. Importantly, we know there is no single cause of suicide. Factors increasing suicide risk occur at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels. These include job/financial, health, criminal/legal, and relationship problems. Substance use, loss of a friend or loved one to suicide, a history of suicide attempts, and mental health concerns may also increase a person’s risk for suicide.

We can all #BeThere to prevent suicide by taking actions that can promote healing and help and give hope. Many people find it difficult to talk about suicide and especially difficult to know how to talk to someone that is having thoughts of suicide. But there are clear actions that we can take. We can all learn the five steps for how to talk to someone who might be suicidal.

In addition to what we can each do individually, CDC’s comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention helps address the range of risk factors. You can read more about CDC’s suicide prevention strategies, access and download the Suicide Prevention Resource, access and download the Suicide Prevention Resource summary, and read the CSP Program Profiles.

Learn more:

  1. Suicide Prevention
  2. Suicide Prevention Resource for Action
  3. Suicide Prevention Resource for Action Summary
  4. Comprehensive Suicide Prevention
  5. Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program Profiles
  6. Prevention Strategies
  7. Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Message from Nancy D. Spector, MD, of Drexel University College of Medicine:

I am pleased to announce that the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) program has expanded its leadership team to include three nationally recognized leaders in their fields. Erika Brown, PhD, (ELAM 2015) has been appointed Associate Director of ELAM, and Sara Jo Grethlein, MD, MBA, (ELAM 2007) has been appointed Associate Director of Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH), ELAM’s new program for women leaders with aspirations to executive-level health system roles. Donna N. McNelis, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine, Associate Dean for Professionalism and Continuing Education, and Director of Behavioral Healthcare Education, has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer for ELAM and ELH. Mary Anne Delaney, MD, (ELAM 2008) will retire from her role as Associate Director of ELAM at the end of 2022.

Dr. Brown is the Dean of Faculty Affairs at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She previously held faculty and administrative appointments at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). Prior to joining Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, she held leadership roles as an Inaugural Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development and promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professional and Academic Development. Dr. Brown also held a faculty appointment as Professor of Pathology and Anatomy, having started her career as a biomedical researcher studying breast cancer and DNA repair pathways, and has received multiple awards for her research, teaching, administrative roles, and community service. Dr. Brown has been an active member of the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs and served on its Steering Committee from 2018–2021. She is a nationally recognized expert in faculty affairs and professional development and a highly sought speaker and consultant. She has nearly 10 years of experience in this field and nearly 20 years of experience in academic medicine.

Dr. Grethlein is the Executive Medical Director of the Swedish Cancer Institute, overseeing cancer care across the multiple Providence-Swedish hospitals, clinics, and facilities in the Puget Sound. She leads a robust research enterprise which includes the Paul G. Allen Research Center. Dr. Grethlein joined Swedish in 2021, coming from Indiana University, where she held numerous positions, including medical director of Cancer Services at the Simon Cancer Center — a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center — and the Joe and Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center. Dr. Grethlein previously served as Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at Indiana University. She has decades of experience as a medical oncologist, researcher and organizational leader.

ELAM, now in its 28th year, is the only national, longitudinal leadership program for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy. Its nearly 1,300 graduates hold positions at 300 institutions around the country. 75% of women deans of medical schools are alumnae of ELAM. The ELH program is built upon ELAM’s unique fellowship model to include the concepts, tools and skills that will enable women leaders to bring their full potential to health care organizations. The two programs enjoy numerous opportunities for cross-learning and networking. In 2023, ELAM and ELH will expand their class size to accommodate the rising demand from applicants and institutions. ELAM will run two cohorts of 48 fellows each, and ELH will run one cohort of 48 fellows.

Dr. Brown, Dr. Grethlein and Dr. McNelis bring innovative leadership and professional development skills to ELAM and ELH, and we are thrilled to have them join our leadership team. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Brown, Dr. Grethlein, and Dr. McNelis to their new roles.


Nancy D. Spector, MD
Professor of Pediatrics

Betty A. Cohen Chair in Women’s Health
Senior Vice Dean for Faculty
Executive Director, Lynn Yeakel Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership (IWHL)
Executive Director, Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) and Executive Leadership in Health Care (ELH)

Drexel University College of Medicine