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.
Walker RL, Shortreed SM, Ziebell RA, Johnson E, Boggs JM, Lynch FL, Daida YG, Ahmedani BK, Rossom R, Coleman KJ, Simon GE. Evaluation of electronic health record-based suicide risk prediction models on contemporary data. Appl Clin Inform. 2021;12(4):778-787. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1733908. Epub 2021 Aug 18. PubMed
Simon GE, Shortreed SM, DeBar LL. Zelen design clinical trials: why, when, and how. Trials. 2021;22(1):541. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05517-w. PubMed
Richards JE, Kuo E, Stewart C, Bobb JF, Mettert KD, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Betz ME, Parrish R, Whiteside U, Boggs JM, Simon GE. Self-reported access to firearms among patients receiving care for mental health and substance use. JAMA Health Forum. 2021 Aug 6;2(8):e211973. doi: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.1973. eCollection 2021 Aug. PubMed
Boudreaux ED, Rundensteiner E, Liu F, Wang B, Larkin C, Agu E, Ghosh S, Semeter J, Simon G, Davis-Martin RE. Applying machine learning approaches to suicide prediction using healthcare data: overview and future directions. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Aug 3;12:707916. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.707916. eCollection 2021. PubMed
Penfold RB, Whiteside U, Johnson EE, Stewart CC, Oliver MM, Shortreed SM, Beck A, Coleman KJ, Rossom RC, Lawrence JM, Simon GE. Utility of item 9 of the patient health questionnaire in the prospective identification of adolescents at risk of suicide attempt. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2021 Jul 31. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12751. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Coley RY, Boggs JM, Beck A, Simon GE. Predicting outcomes of psychotherapy for depression with electronic health record data. J Affect Disord Rep. 2021 Dec;6:100198. doi: 10.1016/j.jadr.2021.100198. Epub 2021 Jul 24. PubMed
Penfold RB, Johnson E, Shortreed SM, Ziebell RA, Lynch FL, Clarke GN, Coleman KJ, Waitzfelder BE, Beck AL, Rossom RC, Ahmedani BK, Simon GE. Predicting suicide attempts and suicide deaths among adolescents following outpatient visits. J Affect Disord. 2021 Jul 1;294:39-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.06.057. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Rossom RC, Richards JE, Sterling S, Ahmedani B, Boggs JM, Yarborough BJH, Beck A, Lloyd K, Frank C, Liu V, Clinch SB, Patke LD, Simon GE. Connecting research and practice: implementation of suicide prevention strategies in learning health care systems. Psychiatr Serv. 2022 Feb 1;73(2):219-222. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000596. Epub 2021 Jun 30. PubMed
Platt R, Simon GE, Hernandez AF. Is learning worth the trouble? - improving health care system participation in embedded research. N Engl J Med. 2021;385(1):5-7. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2101700. Epub 2021 Jun 26. PubMed
Simon GE, Bindman AB, Dreyer NA, Platt R, Watanabe JH, Horberg M, Hernandez A, Califf RM. When can we trust real-world data to evaluate new medical treatments? Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Jan;111(1):24-29. doi: 10.1002/cpt.2252. Epub 2021 May 28. 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