Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Program to Receive Jordan Porco Foundation’s Community Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award

HARTFORD, CONN—The Jordan Porco Foundation will present Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center (IPC) with their Community Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award at the 7th annual Jordan’s Journey gala that will be held on April 7, 2018 at Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

The Community Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award honors an individual or group who is using their public voice to prevent suicide and promote mental health.

Injury Prevention Center’s uniquely holistic approach to their youth suicide prevention work throughout the state, including their support of the Jordan Porco Foundation’s programs for young adults, is exactly the right blend of the creative and clinical that is needed to make a lasting positive impact in our communities,” said Marisa Giarnella-Porco, CEO and President of the Jordan Porco Foundation.

IPC is working to reduce youth suicide through their four core activities: Research, training of students, community outreach programs, and policy/advocacy.

Suicide is a serious public health problem with lasting harmful effects on surviving family members and their communities,” said Garry Lapidus, director of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center. “While its causes are complex and determined by multiple factors, the goal of suicide prevention is simple: Reduce factors that increase risk (i.e. risk factors) and increase factors that promote resilience (i.e. protective factors). Ideally, prevention addresses all levels of influence: individual, relationship, community, and societal.”

Their research is focused on evaluating the impact of lethal means restriction counseling to parents and caregivers in their pediatric emergency department and understanding how to better support pediatricians to strengthen the integration of mental health care within pediatric primary care systems. IPC student interns from UCONN Medical School and the pediatric residency program learn the public health approach to suicide prevention and how they can integrate their work into clinical practice.

In addition, IPC researchers and student interns have been instrumental in assisting with Jordan Porco Foundation program evaluation and implementation.

Community education and outreach programs, such as those led by the Jordon Porco Foundation, are urgently needed to promote awareness of suicide and encourage a commitment to social change,” said Steven Rogers, MD, the director of mental health services for Connecticut Children’s Emergency Department and an IPC research scientist.

About IPC

IPC senior staff are members of key statewide advisory boards directly addressing youth suicide prevention programs and policy including the Connecticut Suicide Prevention Advisory Board, the Child Fatality Advisory Board, and the Violent Death Reporting System. Key IPC staff leading the suicide prevention work include Steven Rogers, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine physician and IPC research scientist; Garry Lapidus, PA-C, MPH, director of the IPC; and Kevin Borrup, JD, MPA, associate director of the IPC.

About the Jordan Porco Foundation

The Jordan Porco Foundation’s mission is to prevent suicide, promote mental health, and create a message of hope for young adults. They accomplish this by providing engaging and uplifting peer-run programs. Their programs strive to start a conversation about mental health that reduces stigma while encouraging help-seeking and supportive behaviors. The Jordan Porco Foundation is named in memory of the co-founder’s son, Jordan. Jordan died by suicide in 2011 as a college freshman. His parents turned their grief into action by creating unique programs to address the major public health concern of young adult suicide which is the second leading cause of death for individuals ages 15-24. What started as a pilot program in 2012 has grown nationally to reach tens of thousands of young adults.

About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. With a medical staff of more than 1,000, Connecticut Children’s provides comprehensive, world-class health care in more than 30 pediatric specialties and subspecialties. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization, which serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the UConn School of Medicine, has a teaching partnership with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and is a research partner of The Jackson Laboratory. Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health is a national leader in community-based prevention and wellness programs.


Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – Monica Buchanan, Director of Community and Media Relations, 860.837.5701

The Jordan Porco Foundation – Rachel Papke, Communications Manager, 860.904.6041