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Marian (Emmy) Betz, MD, MPH

​​University of Colorado School of Medicine

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Contact information

Anschutz Medical Campus
Leprino Building, Campus Box B215
12401 East 17th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045


Dr. Betz, Co-Founder of the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition, teamed up with the Centennial Gun Club to host information sessions during Ladies Night. Read the Full Article.​ ​

Dr. Marian Betz conducts research in injury prevention, with specific interests in the role of healthcare providers in (1) older driver safety and (2) suicide prevention. Dr. Betz is currently receiving support from the National Institute on Aging (through a Paul Beeson Career Development Award) and is the 2014-15 President of the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (Society of Academic Emergency Medicine). Her current focus is on the use of mixed methods to developed a tiered evaluation system for older drivers, and she has also worked extensively in the area of “lethal means restriction” for suicide prevention. Dr. Betz also teaches medical and graduate students and residents about injury prevention and geriatrics. ​

Degree Year ​Focus
Yale University, New Haven, CT B.S 1999
​Biology with distinction, Magna Cum Laude
John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD M.P.H. 2004 Public Health
John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD M.D. 2005 ​Doctor of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 2008 Emergency Medicine Residency
Funded Project
  • Physician Screening of Older Drivers: Decision Rules for Geriatric Injury Prevention (PI)
    Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH): National Institute on Aging (NIA; Paul Beeson Career Development Award)
    Supplemental Funding from: American Foundation on Aging Research (AFAR)
    Funding Period: August 15th 2013- May 31st 2018
    Aim: To apply the model of a clinical decision rule to a public health intervention, through tiered assessment of brief older driver screening in ambulatory care settings followed by referral for more comprehensive testing.
  • Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers (LongROAD) (Site Co-PI)
    Funding Agency: Columbia University via AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
    Funding Period: October 1st 2013-current 
    Aim: To generate empirical evidence for understanding the dynamics, mechanisms, determinants, and consequences of mobility in senior drivers and for developing effective interventions to ensure safe mobility for older people.  With a prospective cohort design, the AAAFTS Senior Driver Cohort Study will involve enrolling a sample of at least 3,000 active drivers from five states located across the U.S. and following them for a minimum of five years. 
  • Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation (ED-SAFE) (Site PI)
    Funding Agency: University of Massachusetts via National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIMH)Funding Period: September 2009 – September 2014
    Aim: In a multi-site study, to
    (1) develop and test a standardized approach to screening ED patients for suicide risk using a tool suitable for systematic use in general medical EDs; (2) refine and test an ED-initiated intervention to reduce suicidal behavior and associated morbidity and mortality among people who self-identify or screen positive for suicidal ideation; and (3) complete a comparative economic analysis of treatment as usual, screening, and the intervention.
  • Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation 2 (ED-SAFE-2) (Site PI) 
    Funding Agency: University of Massachusetts via National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIMH)Funding Period: June 2015 – May 2019
    Aim: In a multi-site study, to use Lean approaches to (1)
    implement a new, best-practice Safety Plan Intervention for suicidal ED patients and (2) sustain universal suicide screening in ED patients long-term (up to four years after initial implementation).
  • Lethal Means Restriction for Suicide Prevention (PI)
    Funding Agency: American Foundation on Suicide Prevention (AFSP) 
    Funding Period: October 11th 2011- January 31st 2014
    Aim:  To describe the behaviors of Emergency Department (ED) physicians, nurses and other staff in relation to suicide prevention and “means restriction”—limiting access to firearms and other highly lethal methods of suicide—and to examine how these behaviors are affected by the implementation of a suicide assessment and intervention program for ED patients.
  • Means Restriction for Discharge of Suicidal Patients in Emergency Care (Co-I 
    Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH): National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
    Funding Period: December 2014- November 2016
    Aim:  To examine, in the Mountain West, the potential adoption of emergency department discharge practices that include counseling on limiting access to guns during times of mental health crisis. Also, we will examine the practices and perspectives of law enforcement, gun retailers, and shooting range proprietors about offering temporary safe storage of firearms for families of suicidal patients.
View All PubMed Publications


Selected Publications (10 out of 32)

  • Betz ME, Barber C, Miller M. Suicidal behavior and firearm access: Results from the Second Injury Control and Risk Survey (ICARIS-2). Suic Life Threat Behav. 2011;41:384-391.
  • Betz ME, Bernstein SL, Gutman D, Tibbles CD, Joyce N, Lipton R, Fisher J. Public health education for emergency medicine residents. Am J Prev Med . 2011;41(4 Suppl 3):S242-S250.
  • Betz ME, Schwartz R, Haukoos JS, DiGuiseppi C, Valley M, Johnson R, Lowenstein SR. A Pilot Study to Develop a Brief Question-Based Screening Tool to Identify Higher-Risk Older Drivers. J Am Ger Soc. 2012 Sep;60(9):1791-4.
  • Betz ME, Sullivan AF, Manton AP, Espinola JA, Miller I, Camargo CA, and Boudreaux ED, on behalf of the ED-SAFE Investigators. Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Emergency Department Providers in the Care of Suicidal Patients. Depression and Anxiety. 2013;30(10):1005-12. Epub 2013 Feb 20.
  • Betz ME, Miller M, Barber C, Miller I, Sullivan AF, Camargo CA, and Boudreaux ED, on behalf of the ED-SAFE Investigators. Lethal Means Restriction for Suicide Prevention: Beliefs and Behaviors of Emergency Department Providers. Depression and Anxiety. 2013;30(10):1013-20. Epub 2013 March 13.
  • Betz ME, Jones J, Petroff E, Schwartz R. “I wish we could normalize driving health:” A Qualitative Study of Clinician Discussions with Older Drivers. J Gen Intern Med. 2013;28(12):1573-1580. Epub May 29. DOI 10.1007/s11606-013-2498-x.
  • Betz ME, Dickerson AE, Coolman T, Schold Davis E, Jones J, Schwartz R. Driving rehabilitation programs for older drivers in the United States. Occup Ther Health Care. 2014 Jul;28(3):306-17. doi: 10.3109/07380577.2014.908336.
  • Ranney M, Locci N, Adams-Harris E, Betz ME, Burmeister D, Corbin T, Dalawari P, Jacoby J, Linden J, Purtle J. Gender-Specific Research on Mental Illness in the Emergency Department: Current Knowledge and Future Directions. Acad Emerg Med. 2014. 21(12):1395-402. Epub Nov 20. doi: 10.1111/acem.12524.
  • Betz ME, Jones J, Carr D. System facilitators and barriers to discussing older driver safety in primary care settings. Injury Prevention.2015. Epub Jan 23. doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041450.
  • Betz ME, Arias AA, Miller M, Barber C, Espinola JA, Sullivan AF, Manton AP, Miller I, Camargo CA, Boudreaux ED. Change in Emergency Department Providers’ Beliefs and Practices After New Protocols for Suicidal Patients. Psych Serv. 2015 Epub March 1. doi: appips201400244
  • Spotlight: Health Scholar for 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival         
  • 2014-15 Women in Leadership Training Cohort (University of Colorado School of Medicine)
  • 2015 Early Career Award, Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (Society for Academic Emergency Medicine)
  • Speaker at 2015 “TEDxMileHigh: Ideas Unbridled”
                               "How To Talk About Guns And Suicide"
  • Core Faculty in Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research (PIPER), Colorado School of Public Health
  • Commissioner (representing hospitals with emergency departments) on Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission; Chair of Emergency Services subcomittee
  • President of Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (Society for Academic Emergency Medicine; 2014-15)
  • Co-Founder and Co-Leader, “Lean In CU: Women in Medicine and Science”