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Webinar Oct. 17 — Integrating ACEs science in pediatrics: Early adopters share lessons from the field


An ACEs Connection webinar co-sponsored with 4 CA

In 2017, California became the first state in the country to pass a law supporting universal screening for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the 5.3 million children in the state’s Medicaid program. As clinicians around California await the state’s announcement of what this new policy will entail, many are wondering what it takes to integrate ACEs science in a pediatric practice. 

Meet Drs. Deirdre Bernard-Pearl, R.J. Gillespie and Ariane Marie-Mitchel. Together they have more than 15 years experience in how to transform an entire clinic or medical residency program for screening families for ACEs and offering them support. 

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How these practitioners changed their clinics;
  • What lessons they learned;
  • What they wish they had done differently;
  • What the results of the transition are;
  • What they’re working on now.

When: Thursday, October 17, 8 am PST/11 am EST

Register here:


Deirdre Bernard-Pearl, MD is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine ‘94 and completed her pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland ‘97. She is passionate about medical education and was awarded the UCSF Pediatrics Residency teaching award during her tenure at UCSF School of Medicine ‘98-‘01. She has worked in community health for the past 10 years and is the medical director of two clinics in Santa Rosa, Ca., as well as part of the core pediatrics faculty in the Santa Rosa Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. Her interests include health equity and trauma-informed care. She is currently a fellow in the UCSF - California Healthcare Foundation’s Clinical Leadership Fellowship.

R.J. Gillespie, M.D., M.H.P.E, is a general pediatrician with The Children’s Clinic in Portland, Or. He attended medical school at Oregon Health Sciences University, graduating in 1997, and completed his residency and chief residency at Rush Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Ill., in 2001. He also earned a Master of Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2007. He is studying parental ACE assessments in pediatric practice, and the effects of parental ACEs on key child health outcomes.

Ariane Marie-Mitchell, MD, PhD, MPH, received her medical degree and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Southern California. She continued her training with an internship in pediatrics and board certification in general preventive medicine and public health from the University of Rochester in New York. She is currently a faculty member at Loma Linda University, a senior scientist with the Community Translational Research Institute, and a consultant for the Riverside Public Health Department.

As a clinical practitioner, she has several years of experience in primary care pediatrics, behavioral health consults for children, and general preventive medicine for all ages. The goal of her research is to translate knowledge about associations between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and risk of adult chronic diseases into prevention through primary care practice. She is also actively involved in community initiatives to build resilience through education, organizational change and cross-sectoral collaborations.

Laurie Udesky is a staff reporter for ACEs Connection and has been a health and science reporter for more than 25 years. Her work has appeared in many news outlets, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Morning News. She has received many national and regional awards including the Sidney Hillman award and awards from Investigative Reporters & Editors, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California. 

Register here:

Suggested reading

To prevent childhood trauma, pediatricians screen children and their parents…and sometimes, just parents...for ACEs, ACEs Connection

CA pediatrician develops, tests, gets state OK for whole-child assessment tool that includes ACEs, ACEs Connection

A fast, easy way for pediatricians to screen kids for ACEs...and other health issues, ACEs Connection

After 5-year journey to integrate ACEs science, Santa Rosa, CA, pediatric clinic is trauma-informed, from head to toe, ACEs Connection,

Dayton,L, Agosti, J, Bernard-Pearl, D, Integrating Mental and Physical Health Services Using a Social-Emotional Trauma Lens (2016) Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care, DOI 10.1016/j.cppeds.2016.11.004

RJ Gillespie, Screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences in Pediatric Primary Care: Pitfalls and Possibilities, Pediatric Annals. 2019;48(7):e257-e261

Gillespie, R.J., Folger A.T.  Feasibility of Assessing Parental ACEs in Pediatric Primary Care:  Implications for Practice-Based Implementation. (2017) Journ Child Adol Trauma.  DOI 10.1007/s40653-017-0138-z.

Folger AT, Eismann EA, Stephenson NB, Shapiro RA, Macaluso M, Brownrigg ME, Gillespie RJ.  Parental Adverse Childhood Experiences and Offspring Development at 2 Years of Age. Pediatrics. 2018;141(4):e20172826.

Eismann EA, Folger AT, Stephenson NB, Brownrigg ME, Shapiro RA, Macaluso M, Gillespie RJ.  Parental Adverse Childhood Experiences and Pediatric Healthcare Use by 2 Years of Age. J Pediatr 2019;211:146-51).

Marie-Mitchell, A, Lee, J, Siplon, C.,Implementation of the Whole Child Assessment to Screen for Adverse Childhood Experiences, American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2019)

Marie-Mitchell, A, Kostolansky, R. A Systematic Review of Trials to Improve Child Outcomes Associated With Adverse Childhood Experiences, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, DOI:

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