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After much discussion and consideration, the ACHE Board of Governors and leadership team have decided to cancel the 2020 Congress on Healthcare Leadership due to the need for leaders and healthcare organizations to manage their responses to coronavirus (COVID-19) within their communities. Learn more at

02A – From the Ground Up: A Journey to Zero Suicides

Monday, March 23rd

About the Session

When a patient named John took his own life, he became one of six patients who died by suicide in a seven-month period who had touched our behavioral health services, and one of 21 individuals who died by suicide that year in the county we serve. His death was preventable and prompted our hospital to begin our Journey to Zero Suicide. Under the leadership of our CNO, we sought to transform care delivery; engage leadership, providers and frontline staff to prevent death by suicide—including workforce suicide; and to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable patients. Despite having limited financial and workforce resources, we have seen incredible results. Today, our emergency services, inpatient units, behavioral health, and primary care offices universally screen for suicide and engage patients in evidence-informed collaborative safety planning and post-discharge caring contacts. We improved our navigation of care transitions through the implementation of consistent hand-off tools and rapid-access appointments with our ambulatory partners, and we created platforms to monitor adherence and optimized EHR functionality to track outcomes. What began as one small hospital’s journey became a system-wide effort that involves even the highest-ranking members of our system’s leadership. This is our story.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how one hospital garnered leadership support to promote and implement Zero Suicide strategies across a healthcare system to improve patient outcomes and quality.
  • Identify evidence-based strategies for universal screening, care transitions and suicide-specific care that reduces risk within your hospital setting.


Presented By

Lori B. Knitt, RN, FACHE

Vice President, Nursing
AdvocateAuroraHealth–Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center

Rebecca L. Babcock

Performance Advisory Consultant

Shelby L. Kuhn

Manager, Behavioral Health Programming
Advocate Aurora Health, Aurora Behavioral Health