Principal Investigator and Program Director, Chair of Education Subcommittee
Dr. Wintersteen is an Assistant Professor and Director of Research in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University/Jefferson Medical College. He came over to Jefferson after five years at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). There, Dr. Wintersteen served as coordinator and co-investigator for a large randomized clinical trial of suicidal youth recruited from the primary care system funded by the CDC. He was awarded a pilot grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and developed a standardized screening protocol for suicidal youth at CHOP. Included as a byproduct of this project was a pediatric suicide risk assessment and management training that Dr. Wintersteen has offered primary care providers and school personnel in and around the City of Philadelphia for the past seven years.In the fall of 2006, he assisted Garrett Lee Smith grantees to develop strategies to engage primary care providers in suicide risk assessment and management at a SAMHSA technical assistance meeting.
Currently, Dr. Wintersteen is working on a longitudinal study funded by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) designed to assess parent, adolescent, and family predictors of suicidal behavior in high-risk youth, with participants being recruited from a family medicine practice and Philadelphia’s only pediatric crisis response center. He is Co-Director of a SAMHSA-funded State/Tribal suicide prevention project designed to build training, screening, and intervention into primary care in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He is also a member of Pennsylvania’s Youth Suicide Prevention Monitoring Committee, a public/private partnership formed to provide support and guidance to youth suicide prevention efforts across the Commonwealth.Dr. Wintersteen led an extensive assessment of mental health and suicide risk among students in the health profession fields at Jefferson and is collaborating with colleagues on this nationally. He routinely participates in research endeavors focused on suicide prevention for adolescents at the Pediatric Crisis Response Center in Germantown and Belmont Comprehensive Center for Treatment. In addition to his grant-funded projects, Dr. Wintersteen was on a national task force sponsored by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) to develop a suicide prevention training program for primary care providers and is now the Master Trainer for that program. He served on national task forces convened by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the National Institute of Mental Health, and AAS designed to develop ideas and methods to support organizational and systems change to reduce suicide in primary care and facilitate better care for suicidal patients in the Emergency Department.