After witnessing the self-inflicted death of a young woman admitted to his hospital, Gary Dean Parker, PhD, MS, BSN, pledged to help his employer, Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City, to become a leader in the fight against suicide – the second leading cause of death for young Oklahomans. As the hospital’s manager of clinical education and research, Parker met with state and advocacy groups and helped develop a training program based on the fact that most people who attempt or commit suicide display prior warning signs that hospital staff are in a position to recognize and flag for intervention. Parker has presented his findings at a state nursing research conference and an international health conference in China.
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