In 1998, researchers from the CDC and Kaiser-Permanente put out a groundbreaking study. They catalogued a variety of what they called ACEs. It stands for “Adverse Childhood Experiences.” ACEs included things like sexual or physical abuse, or living in a home with domestic violence or substance abuse.
The researchers found that the more ACEs someone has, the higher the chance of all kinds of negative health outcomes — from heart disease to cancer to mental illness.
Now the public health community is catching up with this cutting-edge science. Pediatricians, social workers and teachers are asking: Since we know just how damaging childhood traumas are, how do we respond to them? And how can we prevent them in the first place?
OPB’s Dave Miller sat down with national expert Nadine Burke Harris, author of “The Deepest Well;” RJ Gillespie, pediatrician at The Children’s Clinic; Amy Stoeber, child and adolescent psychologist; Sue Skinner, pediatrician at Children’s Center; Ellen Baltus, social worker in the North Clackamas school district and Fariborz Pakseresht, Director of Oregon’s Department of Human Services.
The Overcoming ACEs panel addresses:
- If we could design a system of care for kids with high ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) scores, what would it look like?
- Given the documented links between high ACE scores and long-term adverse health and life outcomes in adulthood, what strategies would you implement now?
- What outcomes would you seek and measure?