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PACEs science champion Becky Haas recognized with “Friend of Children Award” from Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth


Becky Haas (L) receives the "Friend of Children" award from Jill Stott of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

Becky Haas, whose work in child safety led to her learning about the 1998 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study in 2014 – and her ultimately embracing and teaching the science as a career – was recently honored by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY) with the “Friend of Children” award.

In giving the award to Haas, Jill Stott, Northeast Regional Director of TCCY, said, “Becky Haas is a local, state, and national leader in implementation and support of trauma informed services and communities. She has a deep understanding of the importance for every professional sector to have intimate knowledge of healthy early childhood development and the potential for early adversity to disrupt that healthy development.”

“This award is designed and intended to recognize an individual or organization who goes above and beyond to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families in their communities,” Stott said. “Haas’s vast experience ranges from local, regional, and state governments, justice and education systems, healthcare, and the faith-based community.

“Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she is an inspiration to all she comes in contact with. Her dedication to this work is an incredible asset for our state,” said Stott.

Haas first learned about ACEs science, (now PACEs, for positive and adverse childhood experiences) in 2014, while employed by the Johnson City, TN, police department.

“I was so taken by the ACE Study that I thought it was criminal not to tell everyone about how preventing childhood trauma could also help prevent adult mental health and health problems such as depression, suicidality, cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, and more, as well as the increased likelihood of becoming a victim or perpetrator of a crime, or becoming someone who is unemployable,” she said.

Haas and fellow community members subsequently started the Northeast Tennessee ACEs Connection community in early 2017. They held an ACEs Symposium in 2108, bringing together speakers from throughout the country.

Haas now speaks and consults worldwide on building trauma-informed methods and policies into multiple sectors including  education, law enforcement, healthcare, and faith communities.

For more information Haas can be reached at, or via her website at

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