Medical-Spirituality Conference shines light on suicide

The annual Wright State University Medical-Spirituality Conference takes place on April 21 at the Sinclair Conference Center in Dayton.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with nearly 50,000 lives lost a year.

The 14th annual Wright State University Medical-Spirituality Conference hopes to shine a light on suicide and provide healing and hope through connection.

The Medical-Spirituality Conference takes place on Thursday, April 21, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Sinclair Conference Center, 301 West Fourth Street in Dayton.

The conference is open to the public and continuing medical education credit will be offered. Registration information is available at

The cost is $150 for physicians, $75 for nurses, counselors, chaplains and the general public, $65 for seniors, $35 for medical residents and students, and free for Boonshoft School of Medicine students. Those who wish to attend but need financial assistance should email Nicki Crellin at

The conference will feature four keynote speakers.

Christine Moutier, M.D., chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will discuss the science-based approaches to suicide risk and prevention.

Michael Weinstein, M.D., a trauma surgeon and the author of the essay “Out of the Straitjacket,” will share his personal story and discuss provider burnout, depression, and suicide.

Chris and Martha Thomas will share their personal story of losing their 24-year-old daughter Ella by suicide. Ella’s loss led the Thomas family, including their son Solomon Thomas, a defensive tackle for the Las Vegas Raiders, to create a nonprofit organization called The Defensive Line to help build a world in which no young person of color dies by suicide.

In the afternoon, attendees will participate in breakout sessions. Moutier and the Thomases will lead a session on Postvention; Josh Egeland from Daybreak will host a session covering suicide among LGBTQ youth; Lisa Conn from Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton will lead a session on grief and suicide; and Birdie Meyer from Postpartum Support International will discuss perinatal moods, anxiety disorders and suicide.

This Medical-Spirituality Conference is sponsored by Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Proceeds from the conference benefit the Healer’s Art Fund. Created by the Boonshoft School of Medicine, the Healer’s Art Fund addresses the crisis of burnout and stress in physicians in today’s health care system. The fund helps both students and practicing physicians through the Healer’s Art course, offered by the Boonshoft School of Medicine, and the conference.

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