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This forum will house updates from the Philadelphia ACE Taskforce (PATF) and the designated working groups to further the goals of the Philadelphia ACE Taskforce.



In April 2012, the Institute for Safe Families (ISF) formed the Philadelphia Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Task Force to develop policies, practices, and research within pediatric settings that mitigate conditions arising from toxic stressors and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and that increase the health and wellbeing of children and their families.  The Philadelphia ACE Task Force is now housed through the Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) with additional support from the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation . As many are now aware, the ACE Study demonstrates that toxic stress and traumatic childhood experiences can lead to significant social, emotional and cognitive impairments, as well as chronic diseases and unhealthy behaviors across the life span.  The Philadelphia ACE Task Force is a collaboration and partnership between practitioners and public health leaders. 



The Philadelphia ACE Task Force is co-chaired by:  Sandra Bloom, MD, Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy and Co-Director of the Center for Non‐Violence and Social Justice at Drexel University; Joel Fein, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, Attending Physician in the Division of Emergency Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center; and Lee Pachter, DO, Chief of General Pediatrics and Associate Chair for Community Pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University’s College of Medicine.  



The Philadelphia ACE Taskforce is staffed by: Leslie Lieberman, Director, Special Initiatives and Organizational Consulting, The Health Federation of Philadelphia; Alyson Ferguson, Director of Grantmaking, Scattergood Foundation; Carolyn Smith-Brown, Administrative Manager for Special Initiatives, The Health Federation of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia ACE Taskforce is supported by the following interns: Aniela Glinski, The Health Federation of Philadelphia, Caitlin O'Brien, Scattergood Foundation and Shoshana Akins, Scattergood Foundation.


Last edited by Alyson Ferguson
Original Post

On April 6th, 2015, the Philadelphia ACE Taskforce convened the members for the quarterly meeting.  The meeting included two presentations from experts on adverse childhood experiences and trauma. 


  • Jonathan Purtle, PhD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health Drexel University

Presentation: Trauma Policy Research: Charting a Course (download it from the bottom of this post)

Discussion on: Toy Libraries



The Philadelphia ACE Taskforce has four unique workgroups focusing on different areas of action at the 4/6/2015 each workgroup met and reported out with the following updates:


  • Priority Area/Workgroup #1 - Community Education
    • Michael O’Bryan, Co-Chair, and Leslie Lieberman reported that through the generous support of the Atlantic Center for Population Health Sciences and First Hospital Foundation, a series of three, 1/2 day workshops will be held in which professionals and community members in Philadelphia and New Jersey can collaborate with one another to gain content knowledge about ACEs and toxic stress, read and discuss the book Contagious: Why things Catch On by Jonah Berger, Ph.D., and finally, work with Jonah, an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The goal of these trainings is to create accessible and compelling messages about ACEs that educate, inspire and galvanize activism for the general community.
  • Priority Area/Workgroup# 2 - Practical Interventions
    • Esther Chung, Co-Chair, reported that the workgroup is creating Google Docs that will eventually be shared with the full ACE Taskforce. Google Docs will include a survey of trauma-informed agencies in Philadelphia, a master list for the audience of the survey, and a collection of trauma-informed definitions and trainings. As of now, the SAMHSA definition was established as our guiding definition. Specifically, three buckets were established for the survey: education and prevention resources, clinical services, and community organizations interested in trauma-informed care/reducing ACEs. The group will review the Google Docs again and add their edits and/or fill out the forms.
  • Priority Area/Workgroup# 3 - Workforce Development (Higher Education)
    • Suzanne O’Connor, Co-Chair, reported that their group was provided with an overview of the progress on the Philadelphia Web-based Environmental Scan. The discussion focused on the next steps of the Casey Grant as there was a debate among working group members regarding the goals of the workforce development group. Members engaged in a dialogue about developing different standards for each of the disciplines and discussed the difficulties that might be involved in creating a course. The group seemed to agree that lobbying accrediting boards to include some level of competency in ACEs-related material might be a more effective alternative. The group then agreed that new members should be added to include individuals from each of the targeted disciplines. The group will meet in the coming weeks to make broader decisions about how to move forward with this work.
  • Priority Area/Workgroup# 4- Philadelphia ACE Study Working Group (Research & Publication)
    • Joel Fein, Co-Chair, reported that the workgroup will be meeting between now and the next PATF meeting, to discuss and coordinate more opportunities for the Philadelphia data set to be incorporated in research and further published.


Last edited by Alyson Ferguson

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