New community resource center for the prevention of youth suicide
Ribbon Cutting (l to r) Clark Flatt, president, JFI; Joseph D. Melchiode, CEO, UHMC; Sharon Blaire-Moxam, director, UHMC Behavorial Health Services; Bob Hale, HCA East Florida Division VP, Behavioral Health Services; Michele Ray, SVP/CEO, JFI; and Manon Lepage, director, UHMC Behavioral Services Outreach, Physician & Provider Relations.
By Renee Crotts
TAMARAC, FL — University Hospital and Medical Center (UHMC) and The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) celebrated the grand opening of The Jason Foundation Community Resource Center at UHMC on May 27. The new Center will provide access for the community to resources and educational materials that help in the awareness and prevention of youth suicide. Located in The Center of Behavioral Health at UHMC, The JFI Community Center is the first in Broward County and the 88th in the U.S.
“This was an incredible event with non-profit organizations, educational leaders, and members of the community coming together,” says Clark Flatt, president and founder of JFI. “I can’t be more proud of the work our JFI Representatives and the staff at UHMC are conducting.”
JFI is dedicated to the prevention of the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide through pro-grams that equip young people, educators, youth workers and parents with the tools and re-sources to help identify and assist at-risk youth. It was founded by Flatt after his 16-year-old son Jason committed suicide in 1997. Since then, through its network of sup-porting businesses and organizations, Community Resource Centers and other programs, JFI has become one of the largest youth suicide prevention efforts in the country.
The Center for Behavioral Health is a 60-bed inpatient unit, with eight-beds dedicated to children and adolescents. Their partnership has the potential to help save many young lives that are taken by suicide every year. Suicide is a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. today. It is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24.
“We’re proud to partner with JFI to bring this important re-source to our community,” says Joseph D. Melchiode, CEO, University Hospital and Medical Center. “It’s important for people to know the warning signs of youth suicide and to have a place they can turn to for help. We’re here to help children and adolescents cope and manage the issues in their lives in healthy ways, as well as their families.”
University Hospital and Medical Center, an HCA hospital located in Tamarac, Fla., is a 317-bed medical center and health care complex, serving the Broward County community since 1974. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the hospital is known as a leading center for innovative medical care, a reputation maintained through its excellent staff and dedication to facility expansion and technological advances.
The Jason Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in youth suicide awareness and
prevention programs. JFI employs a “grass-roots” approach utilizing a network of Community Resource Centers to reach communities across the nation. Through the efforts of both the corporate office and the community resource centers, JFI’s suicide prevention programs are in use in all 50 states and several foreign countries.