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Hospitals’ “QPR” program earns statewide recognition

The Wisconsin Hospital Association’s foundation has announced that HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals’ “Question, Persuade, Refer Gatekeeper Training ” program is a recipient of the WHA Foundation’s 2017 Global Vision Community Partnership Award.

This annual competitive grant award is presented to a community health initiative that successfully addresses a documented community health need. The Award, launched by the WHA Foundation in 1995, seeks to recognize and support ongoing projects that support improving the community’s health.

For three years, the two hospitals have been offering free sessions for anyone in the community who would like to learn how to recognize the warning signs that someone may be thinking about suicide, and how to help them. The training, called “QPR” for short, is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save a life. Within three years, more than 5,700 Chippewa Valley community members have been trained by colleagues at the two hospitals how to identify and refer their friends, family, coworkers to appropriate mental health resources when they needed it most.

“As a suicide survivor, it’s hopeful to see others receiving the training I never had,” said a QPR class attendee. “Suicide is in my family and it was hard to listen to [the training], but you hit every nail on the head,” said another attendee at a recent class at the hospitals.

Projects submitted to the WHA Foundation for the Award must be nominated by a WHA member hospital; demonstrate viable partnerships with community entities; utilize creative approaches to meet documented community health needs, and have been in operation for a minimum of two years. Award winners received a commemorative plaque and an unrestricted grant of $2,500 to support the program.

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