New Leaders to Join National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee

May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

Members bring unique backgrounds, perspective, and expertise to leverage suicide prevention nationwide

Washington, DC – The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) is pleased to announce five new Executive Committee members who will provide strategic direction and work to guide the Action Alliance in its goal to save 20,000 lives in five years. The senior leaders who comprise the Executive Committee (EXCOM) are carefully chosen for their ability to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) in diverse sectors and networks.  The new members – Joel Bosch, eCD Market; General Arthur Dean, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; Robert Gebbia, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Debbie Osteen, Universal Health Services, Inc., and Peter Provet, Ph.D., Odyssey House – are well-positioned to leverage significant changes in business, health care transformation, and substance abuse prevention and treatment and to strengthen the Action Alliance’s impact and longevity.

"Our new Executive Committee members bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will be a tremendous asset to making actionable, life-saving changes in the field of suicide prevention," said Secretary of the Army John McHugh, the Action Alliance Public Sector Co-Chair. "All five are prominent leaders in their respective fields, and each will influence their professional, health care, and substance abuse prevention and treatment networks to further advance the Action Alliance's mission of saving lives."

Introducing the new Action Alliance Executive Committee Members:

Joel Bosch – Mr. Bosch is COO of eCD Market, an online marketplace for FDIC-insured accounts, where he is responsible for product development and technology operations.  Mr. Bosch brings decades of business leadership that will further progress the Action Alliance’s goal of developing partnerships to advance suicide prevention efforts in comprehensive and coordinated ways with Corporate America and the public sector communities. [Read the full biography]

Arthur T. Dean – General Dean is Chairman and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), where is he responsible for providing strategic direction, diversifying and increasing funding, leading the board, being the primary spokesman for the organization, and overseeing the operations and personnel of CADCA. Before joining CADCA, he spent 31 years in the U.S. Army and retired at the grade of Major General.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol and drug abuse are second only to depression and other mood disorders as the most frequent risk factors for suicide.  Founded in 1992, CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy, and drug-free communities. CADCA’s membership of over 5,000 community coalitions offers a significant opportunity to explore linkages between substance abuse and suicide and develop effective, comprehensive strategies for prevention. [Read the full biography]

Robert Gebbia– As Chief Executive Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s leading private funder of suicide prevention research, Mr. Gebbia is responsible for the overall management of the organization and developing strategies to support AFSP’s mission: expanding suicide prevention by funding scientific research, adding new educational programs, public awareness initiatives, national and local advocacy campaigns, and supportive services for individuals and families that have lost a loved one to suicide. [Read the full biography]

Debbie Osteen – As Senior Vice President of Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) and President of the company’s Behavioral Health Division since 1999, Ms. Osteen has led her division to become the largest system of freestanding behavioral health facilities in the US.  Under her leadership, the division has grown from 23 to 195 behavioral facilities, currently operates approximately 20,000 inpatient psychiatric beds, and treats more than 400,000 patients yearly in 37 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2013, UHS and the Action Alliance teamed up to strengthen the country’s clinical capacity to prevent suicides by providing competent suicide care. The Action Alliance refers to this initiative to transform health systems as its Zero Suicide approach. This partnership marked UHS’ commitment to be at the leading edge of the transformation. As a corporate supporter of the Action Alliance, UHS provides critical support for the development, implementation, and evaluation of a “whole-system” approach. UHS is funding a state-of-the-art, web-based resource for mainstream medical and behavioral health systems engaged in transformational change, This resource will support the adoption of a comprehensive set of standards, procedures, trainings, and policies that will be adapted to varied clinical settings with a goal of becoming a universally accepted, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention in health care. [Read the full biography]

Peter Provet, Ph.D. – Since 1999, Dr. Provet has been President and CEO of Odyssey House, a multi-site drug treatment, mental health services, and supportive housing agency that daily serves 1,500 men, women, and children in residential and outpatient treatment and in a range of housing options. Previously, Dr. Provet was Vice President and Director of Adolescent Programs and Clinical Support Services at Phoenix House, where he ran the largest adolescent treatment system in the country. He has more than 25 years of clinical experience treating people with addictions and mental illness.

Dr. Provet’s deep experience and knowledge of substance abuse treatment provides the Action Alliance with much-needed expertise to help deepen connections with substance abuse organizational systems.  He also brings diverse expertise of how suicide is related to mental illness, trauma, and violence and will be integral in helping the Action Alliance catalyze culture and treatment changes for patients in substance abuse treatment.  Compared with the general population, individuals treated for alcohol abuse and dependence are at about 10 times greater risk for suicide.1 [Read the full biography]

1Wilcox HC, Conner KR, Caine ED. Association of alcohol and drug use disorders and completed suicide: An empirical review of cohort studies. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. (2004);76:S11–S19.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention ( is the public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and make suicide prevention a national priority. Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) operates the Secretariat for the Action Alliance, which was launched in 2010 by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates with the goal of saving 20,000 lives in five years.

Contact: Eileen Sexton, Director of Communications, 202-572-5383,