Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Laura K. Andrews


Aristotle’s saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is as true today as it was in the mid 300 B.C., especially when it comes to making federal healthcare policy decisions. The Veterans Administration is facing an epidemic amongst its veteran population and is looking for novel ways to ensure “no solider is left behind” despite a complex data structure that makes it hard to extrapolate rates of suicide.

An epidemiologic approach grounded in the understanding of patterns as well as identifying the risk factors for suicide is at the epicenter for a population health approach. Positive correlates have been studied and reported in isolation and there is a mounting body of knowledge that may shed light on the risk factors that place individual and veteran populations at higher risk for suicide.

It is the understanding of the positive correlates for veteran suicide that provide an opportunity to ensure resources and policy intersects to advocate and allocate resources appropriate for geographically defined populations. Advanced modeling technologies, such as geographic information systems (GIS), shows promise as a solution for a population health approach to the epidemic of veteran suicide to look at the system as a whole rather than the individual parts.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access