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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Washington: Doctoral Student Receives Kaiser Permanente Grant to Study Firearm-related Suicides

Ms. Julie E. Richards, a PhD candidate with the Department of Health Services in the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a two-year, $400,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente to evaluate how clinicians could help prevent some firearm-related suicides in health care settings.

“Firearm-related research has been underfunded for the past couple decades, so this is a really big opportunity for us to collaborate on a line of research that is important to all of us,” she said. “Those opportunities don’t come along every day, and my research team and I are very grateful.”

Ms. Richards and her team will use existing data to explore the relationship between responses to screening questions with Kaiser Permanente Washington and subsequent firearm injury events. Researchers will complement this data with interviews to assess the acceptability of the questions for patients. In parallel, clinicians will offer patients an anonymous, web-based decision aid for safe firearm storage. The team will examine the utility of this new decision aid for clinicians and the extent to which the aid is used by patients at risk of suicide.

Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, associate professor with the Department of Epidemiology in the UW School of Public Health, is a co-investigator.

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