Contact Information

Preventive Medicine and Biometrics: Faculty

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
Bldg. A, Room A1044
Phone: (301) 295-9773
FAX: (301) 295-0335

Michael Bell, MD, MPH, FACOEM (LTC, MC, USA)

Associate Program Director, National Capital Consortium OEM Residency
Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine/Biometrics
Fellow, American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Education and Training

  • Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency, USUHS
  • Master of Public Health, USUHS
  • Internship in Internal Medicine, Madigan Army Medical Center
  • Doctor of Medicine, F. Edward H?bert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Syracuse University
  • Bachelor of Science in General Management, University of Alabama

Research and Professional Experience

Public Health Practice: Developed groundbreaking Epidemiological Consultations (EPICONS) and field investigations pertaining to suicide, homicide, and other negative behavioral health outcomes.

Ft. Carson Violent Death EPICON: Led a large multi-disciplinary team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the fields of epidemiology, public health, forensic psychology, and social work that conducted the most comprehensive field investigation to date of violent behavior among Soldiers returning from war. The EPICON used a mixed-methods approach that included a retrospective cohort study, targeted surveys, and focus groups. Oversaw design, execution, analysis, report generation, and staffing of EPICON results through the Department of the Army (DA) Staff to the Secretary of the Army. Led design and administration of the Aggression Risk Factors survey which focuses on aggressive behavior, behavioral health risk, and deployment/combat exposure. The EPICON refined the understanding of stigma among Soldiers and explored the convergence of individual, unit, and environmental level factors which lead to negative behavioral health outcomes at the individual and population levels. The EPICON resulted in numerous DA policy changes regarding behavioral health staffing of combat units, reintegration of units after deployment, and the Army Substance Abuse Program.

Ft. Hood Behavioral Health Surveillance Plan: Led design and implementation of the ongoing behavioral health surveillance of the Fort Hood Community in the wake of the 5 November 2009 mass murders. This is an unprecedented surveillance of a community under stress from tragedy. Utilizing a rigorous mixed-methods approach, the surveillance plan has 3 major lines of effort which include a quantitative assessment of highly exposed individuals and populations, installation level analysis and comparisons, and cross-sectional community assessments employing focus groups and telephone/web based surveys.

Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Suicide/Preventable Death EPICON: Led design and execution of a multi-site mixed-methods investigation of suicides, overdoses, and preventable deaths in the WTU population. Supervised creation of tailored survey instruments to assess prescription drug abuse, pain management practices, and cadre attitudes and knowledge regarding behavioral health. The EPICON examines the scope, severity, and burden of behavioral health issues within the WTU population and evaluates the effectiveness of risk screening protocols and suicide prevention programs.

Led establishment of the Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment (ABHIDE), the most comprehensive suicide registry in the Nation. The ABHIDE contains all Army suicides since 2001 and all suicide attempts and suicidal ideation since 2005. Cases are maintained in a relational dataset that includes extensive information on demographics, deployment history, Post Deployment Health Assessments (PDHA), Post Deployment Health Reassessments (PHRA), health care utilization, Army Suicide Event Reports, Family Advocacy Program history, and Army Substance Abuse Program history.

Consultant to the Canadian Armed Forces: Served as Epidemiology Consultant to the Canadian Armed Forces in design and implementation of their Suicide Prevention Program.

Served as the Command Surgeon (medical director) for the Walter Reed Army Medical Center Warrior Transition Brigade and the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency

Key Words

Behavioral Health Epidemiology, Chemical Weapons Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response, Survey Development

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

Black SA, Gallaway MS, Bell MR, Ritchie EC. Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated With Suicides of Army Soldiers 2001-2009. Military Psychology. 2011; vol 23:4, 433-451.

Bell MR, Ritchie EC. Breastfeeding in the Military: Part I. Information and Resources Provided to Servicewomen. Military Medicine. 2003; vol 168:807-812.

Bell MR, Ritchie, EC. Breastfeeding in the Military: Part II. Resource and Policy Considerations. Military Medicine. 2003; vol 168;813-816.

Technical Reports

Black SA, Millikan A, Bell MR. U.S. Army Public Health Command (Provisional). 2010 Epidemiological Report No.14-HK-0BW9-10c Analysis of Army Suicide 2003-2009 (4th quarter update).

Black SA, Millikan A, Bell MR. USACHPPM. 2009. Technical Report No. 14-HK-0BW9-10a, Analyses of Army Suicides, 1 January 2003-31 October 2009 (3rd quarter update).

Millikan A, Bell MR, Gallaway MS, Bergen G, Black SA, Lagana M, Cox A. USACHPPM. 2009. Epidemiologic Consultation Report No. 14-HK-OB1U-09, Investigation of homicides at Fort Carson, Colorado November 2008-May 2009.

Gallaway MS, Bell MR, Millikan A. USACHPPM. 2009. Site Assistance Visit Report No. 14-97G75B-09, Small Unit leader Turnover Assessment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky 1 JUN 2009 -10 JUN 2009.

Invited Oral Presentations

"Behavioral and Psychosocial Issues Related to Suicide, Accidental Death, and Violence" Michael R. Bell. Harvard Injury Control Research Center 19 April 2011.

"Symptoms, Stressors, and Health Care Utilization of Army Suicides 2005-2010", presented at the DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference in Boston on 14 March 2011

"An Overview of Army Suicide Epidemiology", presented at the DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference in Boston on 14 March 2011

"An Overview of the FT Hood Behavioral Health Surveillance Plan" Plenary Session of the Behavioral Health Track, U.S. Army Force Health Protection Conference, Phoenix, AZ, August 2010.

"Epidemiology of Suicide in the U.S. Army", presented at the Interagency Institute for Health Care Executives, Washington, DC and at the Harvard School of Public Health, April 2010.

"Behavioral Health Challenges Associated with Extended Combat Operations", presented at the Canadian Embassy's "Forum on Afghanistan", Washington, DC, September 2009

"Psychological Effects of Overseas Contingency Operations: Focus on Suicide Prevention", presented to the Canadian Forces Expert Panel on Suicide Prevention, Halifax, Canada, September 2009

"The Emerging Role of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine's Behavioral and Social Health Outcomes Program", presented at the U.S. Army Force Health Protection Conference, Albuquerque, NM, August 2009.

"An Overview of the Behavioral Health Epidemiologic Consultation (EPICON)", presented at the U.S. Army Force Health Protection Conference, Albuquerque, NM, August 2009.

"Fitness for Physically Stressful Duties", presented at the American Occupational Health Conference, Los Angeles, CA, May 2006.

"Cardiovascular Evaluation for Fitness to Work in Extreme Environments", presented at the Toxic Chemical Materials Training Course, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, 2006.

"Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology", presented at the Fundamentals of Occupational Medicine Course, Army Medical Department Center and School, San Antonio, TX. June 2003.

"Evaluating Fitness for Duty for Respirators and Protective Clothing", presented at the 2003 Force Health Protection Conference, in Albuquerque, NM and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine State of the Art Conference (SOTAC), Baltimore, MD, October 2002.

"Bioterrorism: Strategies for mitigating hazards in the workplace", presented at the 2002 Force Health Protection Conference, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Security Agency (NSA).

"Bioterrorism: Understanding the risk to your family", presented at NSA October 2001.

"Information and Resources Provided to Military Personnel Regarding Breastfeeding: Policy Implications", presented to the DoD Women's Healthcare Policy Working Group.