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Welcome to ACEs Aware in Action! []


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ACEs Aware in Action

Welcome to the first issue of the ACEs Aware monthly newsletter, ACEs Aware in Action. Our goal is to keep you up to date on all the important work being done by providers, ACEs Aware partners, and the community to make sure everyone is ACEs Aware. Please share this with your colleagues and constituents and encourage them to visit to join the mailing list.

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2 Like many of you, we have watched as the events of the last weeks have brought renewed attention to the structural racism that is deeply embedded in our society, which we also see clearly in the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color. Please find a recent blog post on this by Dr. Burke Harris here.

We recognize that our collaborative work — to educate providers on how toxic stress affects health and share best-practices on how to respond with trauma-informed care — is more critical now than ever. We sincerely value your partnership in these efforts.

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ACEs Aware Awards Provider Engagement, Provider Training, and Communications Grants

ACEs Aware, an initiative of the Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), announced 150 grant awards to 100 provider and community-based organizations on June 16, 2020.

The ACEs Aware grants provide funding to organizations to design and implement training for providers to screen for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and respond with trauma-informed care. Additionally, grantees will host provider engagement and education activities for Medi-Cal providers and organizations that serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

  • Read more about the grants on our blog.

May Revision Budget Impacts to ACEs Aware

The ACEs Aware initiative is a vital part of the Medi-Cal program’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, helping providers identify, prevent, and treat the secondary health impacts of the emergency. This is reflected in the Governor's proposed May revision budget, which includes continued funding for the ACEs Aware initiative, although at a reduced amount.
  • Read more on the May Revision Budget from California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Department of Health Care Services Medical Director Dr. Karen Mark on our ACEs Aware blog.

Get Trained and Get Paid. Medi-Cal Providers Must Attest by July 1 to Continue Receiving ACE Screening Payments

In January 2020, California’s Medi-Cal program began paying eligible providers for conducting Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) screenings for Medi-Cal patients. Starting July 1, 2020, Medi-Cal providers must have self-attested to taking the certified training available at to continue receiving payment for screening patients for ACEs.
  • Read more about ACEs Aware training, attestation and payment for qualified screenings on the ACEs Aware blog.

A Health Problem and an Opportunity:

A Physician Perspective on Screening for ACEs

Dr. Dayna Long, an advisor to the ACEs Aware effort, authored a Medium post called "A Health Problem and An Opportunity: Screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences." The piece talks about how the state of California has chosen a deliberate approach to ACE screening that includes education for providers, engagement for communities, and a commitment to collaboration, learning, and advancing the science. It addresses some of the conversation around screening itself.

Resources Available for COVID-19 & Stress

The ACEs Aware website features resources and information for providers, their teams, and their patients for managing stress related to COVID-19 and mitigating the impact of stress on physical and mental health. View them now on the COVID-19 & Stress webpage.

ACE Screening Tools Available in Multiple Languages

Both the ACE Questionnaire for Adults and the Pediatric ACEs and Related Life-events Screener (PEARLS), designed and licensed by the Center for Youth Wellness and University of California San Francisco, are now available in 15 additional languages. Visit ACEs Aware for details.

ACEs Aware Provider Toolkit Available

The new ACEs Aware Provider Toolkit provides information on the ACEs Aware initiative, including how to screen for and respond to ACEs, and how Medi-Cal providers can get trained and receive payment for conducting ACE screenings.

In Case You Missed It:

May ACEs Aware Webinar on Secondary Health Effects of the COVID-19 Emergency

You can now watch the May educational webinar on “Primary Care & Telehealth Strategies for Addressing the Secondary Health Effects of COVID-19” at ACEsAware.orgPanelists included emergency room physician Dr. James Hardy, pediatricians Dr. Devika Bhushan and Dr. Moira Szilagyi and women's health physician Dr. Rachel. They covered the long-term health consequences of the COVID-19 emergency, including delays and disruptions in care, and using telehealth and trauma-informed approaches in response to the emergency.
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Join Dr. Nadine Burke Harris for the June Webinar: "Fundamentals of ACE Screening and Response in Pediatrics"


Please register for the next educational webinar scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Noon – 1 p.m. on “Fundamentals of ACE Screening and Response in Pediatrics.” Panelists include:
  • Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General;
  • Dr. Lisa Gutierrez Wang, Director of Children’s Behavioral Health, Santa Cruz County;
  • Dr. Eva Ihle, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences; and
  • Simone Ippoliti, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Site Director, Bayview Child Health Center.

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How to Keep Children’s Stress from Turning into Trauma

The New York Times; May 7, 2020
The New York Times interviews California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and other leaders in their fields to explore how parents can identify and mitigate the effects of stress on their children.

California’s Surgeon General on the Science of Toxic Stress

KCRW Radio; May 2, 2020
California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris sat down with KCRW to discuss the science behind toxic stress and to offer helpful tips for self-care during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Orange County pediatrician Dr. Eric Ball talks about the effects of stress related to the COVID-19 emergency in young patients and why addressing stress is essential to help prevent chronic disease in adulthood. Read more from Dr. Ball on the ACEs Aware blog. 

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