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ACEs Aware in Action: May Newsletter []


ACEs Aware in Action

May 2021


Our State of CAre is ACEs Aware

This month, we launched a statewide health care provider engagement campaign to expand the reach and impact of the ACEs Aware initiative. The campaign is designed to help clinical health care teams understand the importance of screening for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and invites them to join the ACEs Aware movement by getting trained and certified to screen for ACEs.
The campaign uses digital and print media to raise awareness about ACEs and the long-term health effects they can have on children and adults if not addressed. The campaign tagline, “Let’s make our State of CAre ACEs Aware,” reminds us that when we screen for ACEs, we can treat toxic stress and prevent the negative health impacts that affect so many Californians.
unnamed (2)“Decades of research demonstrate that ACEs and the resulting toxic stress response, when left untreated, contribute to some of the most significant and costly societal challenges facing our communities,” said California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. “The State of CAre campaign is designed to help providers understand the importance of screening for ACEs and to leverage our ACEs Aware resources to effectively integrate ACE screening and referrals into their practices.”
The launch of the State of CAre campaign includes updates and improvements to the online Becoming ACEs Aware training modules, a refreshed ACEs Aware website, and lessons learned and best practices shared on the ACEs Aware Grants webpage.
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The ACE Screening Implementation How-To Guide

The health care setting offers a unique opportunity to help educate patients and families about the impact of ACEs on health and to prevent and treat toxic stress. We recently released a new, first-of-its kind ACE Screening Implementation How-To Guide to give clinical health care teams a full set of tools and considerations so they can successfully integrate ACE screening and trauma-informed care into their practices.
The How-To Guide provides practical, step-by-step guidance, tools, and resources to help clinics complete their ACE screening implementation journey. There are four stages of the guide:
  1. Prepare the foundation for ACE screening implementation.
  2. Select the organization’s approach to screening and trauma-informed care.
  3. Implement the screening program.
  4. Ensure sustainability over time.
The first stage – Preparing the Foundation – is available now at Subsequent stages will be added in the coming months.
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Mark Your Calendar for June 2

"The Science of ACEs & Toxic Stress (Part One)"

Join California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris on June 2 at noon for the first in a series of webinars that will explore the science of ACEs and toxic stress.

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This webinar will:

  • Cover the science of how ACEs and toxic stress can affect our biology.
  • Explain how ACE screening can be used to identify toxic stress risk and the potential health benefits of utilizing evidence-based strategies to regulate the toxic stress response.
  • Highlight the importance of joining a trauma-informed network of care to provide and coordinate buffering resources across sectors.
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Joint Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, Office of the California Surgeon General, California Department of Health Care Services, and Aurrera Health Group. The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and American Nurses Credentialing Center to provide continuing education for the health care team.

See registration websitefor full accreditation information.

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What's Your Number Story?

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In addition to the launch of the ACEs Aware State of CAre provider engagement campaign, ACEs Aware and California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris are partnering with the national ACE Resource Network on a consumer education campaign to raise awareness and understanding of ACEs and toxic stress.
The campaign theme, “The Story of Your Number,” is a reference to understanding the story behind one’s ACE score, and how this can support and empower people and families to heal. can also be used as a tool to educate staff, clients, patients, and partners through videos (like What is a Number Story?) and information appropriate for a general audience.
ACEs Aware is proud to partner with the ACE Resource Network to promote public awareness about ACEs.
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May is Trauma Awareness Month

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In recognition of May as National Trauma Awareness Month, the California Department of Public Health and Office of the California Surgeon General produced a social media campaign (#IamTraumaAware) to raise up trauma survivors and highlight available resources for those experiencing trauma, especially due to the pandemic.
Please download and share the following #IamTraumaAware toolkit (with resources in English and Spanish). Included in the toolkit are three video messages from Dr. Burke Harris speaking about how ACEs Aware can bring awareness to solutions that can prevent potentially traumatic experiences. And, if you haven’t already, please use these tools to help us spread the word!
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May Revise Budget: California Comeback Plan

On May 14, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 May Revision of his budget proposal. The May Revision supports vital services that reinforce the state’s commitment to preserve and improve the overall health and well-being of all Californians, while operating within a responsible budgetary structure.
The May Revision includes several proposals designed to advance and augment the impact of ACEs Aware, as well as proposals relevant to supporting the goals and objectives of the initiative. Additional information is available in the May Revision 2021-2022 Budget Summary.
Visit our blog for specific information on initiative-related funding updates, including:
  • Transforming the Behavioral Health System for Children and Youth
  • Trauma-Informed Training for Educators
  • ACEs Research Grants
  • Proposition 56 Suspensions
  • Medi-Cal Benefits Expansions
  • Medi-Cal Eligibility Extension for New Mothers
  • Health Information Exchange Leadership
  • Workforce Investments

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ACEs Aware Grantee Highlights

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ACEs Aware grantees are hard at work advancing trauma-informed care and mitigating toxic stress across California. The ACEs Aware grants program is essential to meeting our goal of reducing ACEs in California by half in one generation.

This month, we asked the California Black Health Network and Western Youth Services to share their experiences engaging with local communities, overcoming challenges, and advancing the mission of ACEs Aware across the state.

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#IamTraumaAware campaign encourages community to share stories of healing and resilience

May 19 | Orange County Department of Education Newsroom
This article from an ACEs Aware grantee highlights the importance of trauma awareness after more than a year of pandemic-related stress and trauma, and includes information on participating in the statewide #IamTraumaAware campaign.

There's a score to quantify childhood trauma. Some health experts want you to know yours

May 15 | Washington Post
California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris talks with the Post about how ACE awareness can help address the emotional and psychological toll of the pandemic, and why knowing your ACE score can create space for healing and self compassion.

National campaign aims to mitigate negative impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences through awareness, education

May 13 | Yahoo News
Learn more about the recent launch of, the first national public awareness campaign aimed at educating the public on the potential negative physical and mental health impacts of ACEs.

'Heartbreak on top of heartbreak': California's first surgeon general navigates the pandemic

May 6 | Los Angeles Times
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Burke Harris discusses her experiences as California's first surgeon general amidst a global pandemic, including overseeing the state's Community Vaccine Advisory Committee, incorporating ACE awareness, and working to ensure an equitable recovery that prioritizes vulnerable populations.


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