Through August 6 - Basket Ball Raises Funds for Suicide Prevent Foundation Founded by Medical Assistant

by John Wrubel

At Urologic Consultants we strive to provide neighborhood care with big city expertise. What you may not know, is that this care extends beyond our walls and into the community. Dionne Williams, Founder and Treasurer of the Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation and a Registered Medical Assistant at our Hahnemann location, is a perfect example of this extension of care. 

After the loss of her son, Donovan to suicide, Dionne, her family and friends created the foundation in order to “turn a traumatic experience into a continued ray of light; to raise awareness of behavioral health problems and suicide prevention tactics.” The Foundation holds an annual basketball tournament that begins Memorial Day weekend and goes through the first weekend of August. This is to commemorate Donovan’s nature to excel in sports while giving back to the community and it’s been very successful so far, growing from 9 teams in its first year to 17 this year. In addition to the basketball tournament, the Foundation has conducted a community festival, provided HIV screenings, brought in Health Partners to hand out insurance information, and even hosted Pennsylvania State Representatives Jason Dawkins and Christine Tartaglione as well as Councilwoman Maria Sanchez.

Not only is Dionne involved in the Foundation, she also helps run a group called G4 Girls for Life Experience which meets twice a week. G4 offers a wide variety of services to young ladies in the community including games, mentoring, cooking, baking, and even a Career Day where professionals talk to the children about their jobs. 

Dionne’s efforts towards suicide prevention started with her dedication to learn more about it and how to help people struggling with depression. She got enrolled in First Mental Health Classes at Life Savers University that taught her a wealth of knowledge including; crisis intervention, verbal and non verbal depression, counseling, myths surrounding suicide, and other resources for help. 

This knowledge has allowed Dionne to offer guidance to other parents and children through her outreach and even while at work. Along with providing Urologic Consultants’ high standard of healthcare for patients, Dionne has even counseled a couple of patients who were verbal about their depression. She reflected back on the situation; “I knew the steps to take because they were verbal. I contacted their primary doctors’, gave them the number to the suicide hotline, and made them aware that they were doing the right thing by making others aware of the situation.” 

Suicide and what we know about it is changing on a daily basis. The website posts the latest research and findings on suicide and the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 is always aware of this new information. Anyone who wants to participate or attend the Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation basketball tournament can find registration and contact information on its website Dionne is a prime example of how Urologic Consultants takes neighborhood care to another level.

Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation

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The mission of The Donovan Williams Memorial Foundation is for the youth to compete at their best level of basketball skills in the area, embolden academics and social excellence, and to end suicide among the youth. It is our hope that our players improve their basketball skills, academics, and have some fun. The organization works to fulfill this mission through four strategies:

  1. Engage youth into active sports and academic excellence that will enhance positive decision-makings.

  2. Embrace opportunities for youth to become mentored and or participate into internship programs offered.

  3. Empower youth with additional comprehensive programs to advance social development. 

  4. Offer resources and provide supportive counseling and a sense of community to young people to reduce the risk that they will become suicidal. Educate both the youth and adults who interact with competent youth suicide prevention, risk detection and response.

Posted July 01, 2016