Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH

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“We bring a practical approach to mental health research, working to break down barriers between research and real-world health care.”

Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Psychiatrist, Washington Permanente Medical Group

Biography

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:

  • A pragmatic trial in four health systems examining the effect of systematic outreach programs to prevent suicide attempt among people at high risk.
  • Using electronic health records from seven health systems to develop and validate machine learning models to identify people at high risk of suicidal behavior.
  • A pragmatic trial in two health systems evaluating electronic health record tools to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
  • A rigorous evaluation of Zero Suicide care improvement programs in six health systems
  • Developing measures to assess quality of care for depression in two health systems.

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.

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Research interests and experience

  • Mental Health

    Depression; bipolar disorder; suicide prevention; self-management; treatment adherence

  • Chronic Illness Management

    Comorbidity of mental health conditions with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and substance use disorders.

Recent publications

Balestrieri M, Sisti D, Rocchi M, Rucci P, Simon G, Araya R, de Girolamo G. Effectiveness of clinical decision support systems and telemedicine on outcomes of depression: a cluster randomized trial in general practice. Fam Pract. 2020 Aug 7:cmaa077. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmaa077. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Yarborough BJH, Stumbo SP, Ahmedani B, Rossom R, Coleman K, Boggs JM, Simon GE. Suicide behavior following PHQ-9 screening among individuals with substance use disorders. J Addict Med. 2020 Jul 10. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000696. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Yang SW, Kernic MA, Mueller BA, Simon GE, Chan KCG, Vander Stoep A. Association of Parental Mental Illness With Child Injury Occurrence, Hospitalization, and Death During Early Childhood. JAMA Pediatr. 2020 Jun 22:e201749. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1749 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Gliklich RE, Leavy MB, Cosgrove L, Simon GE, Gaynes BN, Peterson LE, Olin B, Cole C, DePaulo JR Jr, Wang P, Crowe CM, Cusin C, Nix M, Berliner E, Trivedi MH. Harmonized outcome measures for use in depression patient registries and clinical practice. Ann Intern Med. 2020 May 12. doi: 10.7326/M19-3818. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Coley RY, Boggs JM, Simon GE. Measuring outcome of depression: it is complicated. Psychiatr Serv. 2020;71(5):528. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.71502. PubMed

Simon GE, Platt R, Hernandez AF. Evidence from pragmatic trials during routine care - slouching toward a learning health system. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(16):1488-1491. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1915448. PubMed

Shortreed SM, Simon GE. Using predictive analytics to improve pragmatic trial design. Clin Trials. 2020 Aug;17(4):394-401. doi: 10.1177/1740774520910367. Epub 2020 Mar 10. PubMed

Richards JE, Shortreed SM, Simon GE, Penfold RB, Glass JE, Ziebell R, Williams EC. Association between patterns of alcohol use and short-term risk of suicide attempt among patients with and without reported suicidal ideation. J Addict Med. 2020 Mar 5. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000637. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lynch FL, Peterson EL, Lu CY, Hu Y, Rossom RC, Waitzfelder BE, Owen-Smith AA, Hubley S, Prabhakar D, Keoki Williams L, Beck A, Simon GE, Ahmedani BK. Substance use disorders and risk of suicide in a general US population: a case control study. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2020;15(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s13722-020-0181-1. PubMed

Owen-Smith A, Stewart C, Sesay MM, Strasser SM, Yarborough BJ, Ahmedani B, Miller-Matero LR, Waring SC, Haller IV, Waitzfelder BE, Sterling SA, Campbell CI, Hechter RC, Zeber JE, Copeland LA, Scherrer JF, Rossom R, Simon G. Chronic pain diagnoses and opioid dispensings among insured individuals with serious mental illness. BMC Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 31;20(1):40. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-2456-1. PubMed

 

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