Passing the Torch

Author:  Jerry Reed, PhD, MSW, Portfolio Leader, Injury, Violence, and Suicide Prevention, Education Development Center, Inc.
October 06, 2017
News Type:  Director's Corner

In my final Director’s Corner, I would like to introduce you to SPRC’s new director, Elly Stout. Although new to this position, Elly is not new to SPRC or Education Development Center (EDC). She came on board in 2007 as the state and tribal prevention support coordinator and rose through the ranks to become the grantee and state initiatives director in 2015. During the past 10 years, Elly has served SPRC, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the field of suicide prevention in many capacities. In addition to leading the Grantee and State Initiatives Team and guiding the efforts of the Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, Elly has represented SPRC on SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith National Outcomes Evaluation Advisory Panel, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) Transforming Communities Priority Group, and a number of other initiatives. Many of you have seen Elly present at the American Association of Suicidology annual conference, SAMHSA grantee meetings, and countless other events. 

Elly’s service to SPRC and suicide prevention go far beyond accomplishments that can be listed in bullet points on a resume or included in a conference bio. Her care and dedication to the field is reflected by the esteem in which she is held by her colleagues at SPRC, as well as the many strong relationships she has built with other national organizations, state suicide prevention coordinators, and directors and staff of Garrett Lee Smith suicide prevention grants. Her deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by the people “on the ground” who lead state, community, campus, and tribal suicide prevention programs is second to none. She also brings in-depth knowledge of national stakeholders and priorities in suicide prevention. These experiences and relationships make her ideal for the position of SPRC director.

As I announced in a previous issue of the Weekly Spark, I am transitioning to a broader role within EDC. As a senior vice president for practice leadership, I will guide our portfolio of work in injury, violence, and suicide prevention. I will miss many aspects of my position as SPRC director, which I had the privilege of holding for nine years, but I am looking forward to new challenges in my new role. My commitment to the field of suicide prevention—to which I have proudly dedicated my professional career—remains unchanged. I am confident that my new position at EDC will provide me with many opportunities to advance our work. I will continue to collaborate with my colleagues at SPRC, the Action Alliance, Zero Suicide Institute (ZSI), and Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention (ICRC-S), in addition to our state and federal partners, the many wonderful nonprofit agencies that serve our communities, and countless friends and partners in our field. I will work closely with Elly as she takes the helm. I am confident that she brings the experience and skill needed to lead SPRC and look forward to SPRC’s continued contribution to the field of suicide prevention under her leadership.