Jeannie DiClementi

Jeannie DiClementi, associate professor, Department of Psychology, PFW.

Purdue University Fort Wayne has been awarded a $582,000 grant to fill gaps in mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention needs of students.

The funding has been awarded to Jeannie DiClementi, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology.

The three-year grant was secured through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is funded via the 2004 Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, signed by President George W. Bush, which authorized $82 million for youth suicide prevention programs on college campuses nationwide.

Programming from this most recent grant is called Partners United for Student Mental Health. In addition to filling gaps in care, its focus is to strengthen the links that already exist between the university and area service providers, including those located on campus.

“This new program is a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to serve the mental health needs of our campus community,” DiClementi said. “In addition to education, training, and awareness efforts to identify those in need of help, we can now work to reinforce individualized pathways to intervention resources.”

In 2012, DiClementi received her first Garrett Lee Smith suicide prevention grant for $618,000 to start Project COMPASS, an ongoing program that provides suicide awareness and gatekeeper education and training throughout the Purdue Fort Wayne community.

DiClementi was also awarded a $369,000 grant in 2018 for the program Purdue Aware: Helping Our Students through Faculty and Staff Training.

In her role as grant author and principal investigator, she has helped Purdue Fort Wayne receive more than $1.5 million in mental health funding through three total applications.

Parkview offering free advance care planning discussions

Parkview Regional Medical Center will be hosting free group discussions on advance care planning. Attendees are encouraged to bring family members, significant others or close friends to these sessions, which will be facilitated by Parkview’s Advance Care Planning team.

“Most of us have preferences about the care we want to receive if we experience a sudden, serious illness or accident,” said Erica Downing, BSW, LBSW, advance care plan facilitator, Parkview Health. “These are conversations that many people want to have with their family or physician, but they aren’t sure how to begin. Advance Care Planning fosters the environment to start this discussion, so your loved ones are prepared to carry out your wishes.”

Downing will guide the conversation to cover these topics:

• Thinking about healthcare values and goals

• Considering personal healthcare choices that may need to be made in the future

• Learning how to talk about these choices with your doctor and loved ones

• Making a written plan, called an advance directive

Discussions will be 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Advance Care Planning conference room at Parkview Regional Medical Center, 11104 Parkview Circle, Suite 420. Attendees should park near and use Entrance 11.

Session dates for 2020 are March 17, April 22, May 7, June 16, July 29, Aug. 20, Sept. 15, Oct. 21 and Nov. 12.

These sessions are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested to ensure discussion materials are available for all participants. For more information or to register, email Downing at

Parkview ‘Best and Brightest in Wellness’

For the third year in a row, The National Association for Business Resources has named Parkview Health one of the nation’s “Best and Brightest in Wellness” for 2019. The program honors organizations that promote employee well-being, worksite health and wellness.

“Parkview is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of not only our patients, but also our co-workers,” said TaMara West, director of total co-worker health, Parkview Health.

MyWell-Being, which is offered to all Parkview co-workers, includes health assessments, educational materials, coaching sessions and other resources to promote a healthy mind, body, spirit and community. The program offers both individual and group activities that are fun and rewarding.

“A company that cares about its employees’ well-being is a better place to work. Employers with a strong culture of health are happier, less stressed and maintain a healthy and productive workforce,” said Jennifer Kluge, president and CEO of the Best and Brightest Programs.

The 2019 Nation’s Best and Brightest in Wellness winners were evaluated by an assessment, created and administered by SynBella. Each survey was scored on a point system based upon criteria to benchmark and improve wellness program effectiveness. Criteria included outcomes, analysis, tracking, participation and incentives, benefits and programs, leadership, employee input, culture and environment.

The Best and Brightest in Wellness, a program of the National Association for Business Resources, celebrates companies that are making their businesses more healthy, the lives of their employees better and the community a healthier to place to live. The Best and Brightest program provides yearlong education, benchmarking, assessment tools and interaction among the best employers. Nominations are now being accepted for 2020. Visit for more information.

Cindy Larson is a longtime Fort Wayne journalist and is a Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly reporter. To submit items, send email to or call 260-426-2640, Ext. 3369.

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