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February 18, 2005

Dwight L. Evans, MD, Elected President of
the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

(Philadelphia, PA) – Dwight L. Evans, M.D., the Ruth Meltzer Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been elected President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Dr. Evans has received numerous awards for his work, including the AFSP Beck Award for Excellence in Suicidology – the study of suicide, suicidal behavior, and suicide prevention – for his extensive contributions to expanding the scientific knowledge in the field of depression.

Suicide is a major national health problem that takes an enormous toll on family, friends, co-workers, and the entire community. In this country, a person dies from suicide every 18 minutes; it is estimated that an attempt is made about every 45 seconds. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and the second major cause of death among college students.

“I look forward to working with the concerned scientists, business and community leaders, and survivors of suicide that make up AFSP to help further the Foundation’s cause,” said Dr. Evans. “The Foundation is uniquely positioned to help marshal the national forces necessary to address death from suicide as a major public health problem.”

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to funding research, developing prevention initiatives, and offering educational programs and conferences for survivors, mental health professionals, physicians, and the public.

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PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

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