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Notes from our 1-23-19 meeting - Check these out!

ACEs Enthusiasts Community Meeting NOTES!
Date: January 23, 2019

About this community: We bring the community together to prevent, heal, and treat ACEs while promoting resiliency.

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New Year - New Focus! With start of new year, Sonoma County ACEs Connection will re-start fresh with a community focus, while seeking opportunities to leverage and coordinate with others.

Welcome & Gather - thanks to Nancy for bringing (lots of!) refreshments!

Report out from Steering Committee meeting:
Recurring themes - desire to return to “grassroots”, interest in continuing policy committee, keeping track of what is going on with SCAC, managing the speakers bureau list and presentation tracker. How to better engage with the authentic community members/voice?

Participant sharing & learning
The group welcomed Larry from Center for Innovation and Resources based in Cotati, in new position as project manager (?) overseeing grant funded trauma informed, brain science, quality improvement trainings to organizations and their staff on an as requested bases. This was his first meeting!

Nancy from the community - expressed how impressed and excited she is to have participated in the Center for Mind Body Medicine training along with (about 109) other individuals using a unique training model that broke down silos and humanized participants (CEOs sitting next to community members, working in collaboration). Here is background written by Holly: SCAC message and further details Resilience Fund

Emma shared that she also works at the Center for Innovation and Resources and provides training and technical assistance. They have locations in Cotati and S CA.

We welcomed Amanda is with Sonoma County Human Services Department, in the Employment and Training department. HSD identified 3 “trauma informed champions” who are seeking ways to share their knowledge with others in a very large and diverse department.

Jesus spoke of his work with Sonoma County Public Health, Home Visiting Department, and he shared his role in screening HV clients for ACEs - they ask for the total number, not which specific ACEs the person has experienced. It can be an emotional time, some clients are very forthcoming and others are more cautious. The screening is part of a education goal that reduces multi-generational ACEs.

Sue a longtime SCAC member shared the work happening in Sonoma Valley and about a new High School Task Force -involving parents of high school students. After some denial about any substance use issues etc, they are getting ready to host a discussion on opioids on 1/31 which will include a film and a panel discussion. They are seeking professionals to be on the panel. Plan to attend!


Bethany from Sonoma County Regional Parks enthusiastically described local parks as an important pillar in the community and how exposure to nature is now part of healthcare system throughout Sonoma County! Regional Parks are using a theory of change in their logic model - which specifically identifies their programs as a way of reducing ACEs. The Board of Supervisors endorsed this program and set the criteria for eligibility. Their handouts are in English and Spanish, a significant benefit is the $5 annual park pass for families of student who qualify for free and reduced lunches. They’ve partnered with all 40 school districts and with CalWorks, CalFresh, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Alliance Medical Center to spread the word. Learn more:


We welcomed well known youth advocate, formerly with Social Advocates for Youth SAY Tony represents Catholic Charities as the new (new position!) childcare resource manager and is overseeing a two year pilot program designed to ensure families who are in the shelter, receiving housing assistance, and have children ages 0-5 - will have a childcare or preschool placement when they transition to more stable housing. WOW! Their goal is to reduce the ongoing trauma associated with unstable housing. Exciting news for 2019 is that they’re planning a new building designed to increase capacity, make multiple related services accessible etc. They will break ground later this year. Lots of hope for the future!

Bryan leads the Tool Box program, a widely adopted model utilized by schools across Sonoma County and nationally, in addition he is an ACEs presenter. Based out of Sebastopol, he helps reframe students’ behaviors and supports teachers to understand the “why” behind the student’s behavior so teachers feel more empathetic and are better able to manage their own emotions. Bryan’s passion is bringing ACEs information to teachers!

Maria is perinatal services coordinator and works with clinics across the county that serve low income pregnant and postpartum women. Previously her role was as a public health nurse for Nurse Family Partnership. Her sense is that their department has become more trauma informed. In her unique role, Maria has the opportunity to weave ACEs into each of the more than 15 health centers throughout the county!

Karen is the NW regional facilitator for ACEs Connection and encourages all to become a member (it's free!) and then join the Sonoma County ACES Connection an online community where you’ll find lots of information and  resources (power points, talking points, handouts, etc - free to use!).  

Remy shared her role as record keeper - keeper of all knowledge! And, her work to promote and support the Speakers Bureau - the Master Trainers from the ACEs Interface trainings.  

Carla from Sonoma County First 5 shared that they work at a system level and were part of the MARC grant. Currently they are expanding their Watch me Grow program, and supporting efforts to increase developmental and ACEs screening countywide. They’ve partnered with Early Learning Institute to have a “navigator” to assist families in accessing services. Carla also share Triple P, and teen Triple P training efforts!

Alison from Sonoma County (adult) probation shared examples of how their department has begun to operationalize trauma informed practices. For example they have their 1st ever peer support group, next week they're hosting a training focused on grief and is designed to support staff, who are increasingly using a relationship based model when working with clients. These relationships make the difficult situations or outcomes they experience be felt more deeply. In addition they are in the early in the process of putting together a wellbeing class and bringing yoga to the juvenile probation department. There is tremendous hope that a culture shift is happening!

Discussions and sharing
Nancy shared BIG NEWs re Nadine Burke Harris appointed as the 1st California Surgeon General! Lots of discussion and buzz about how this appointment might influence policy across the state, especially related to ACEs, trauma informed practice, and resilience building!

minding the gap

A must see! Oscar nominated Minding the Gap movie available for free on Hulu! Check it out! Bing Liu's impressive documentary feature debut is a revealing look at skateboarding and toxic masculinity.

We had a robust discussion about work happening in adult and juvenile detention facilities, as an example, the Community Advisory Council toured a new facility and noticed how the staff interacted with inmates and appeared to be using trauma informed practices, however, when asked they were not aware of the concept, and said “this is just how we work”. Folks also noted that there are now gardening projects, service dog training for some inmates, substance use treatment, encouragement to complete their GED if needed, and more!

Sue and Alison from North Bay Alternatives to Violence NB-ATV shared how they host trainings within detention facilities, in the community and within organizations. They encouraged folks to requests trainings!  Contact Sue or Alison for more info! AVP sees the conflict in our country, schools, communities and even homes as fertile ground for creativity, peaceful cooperation and personal growth. And now you can too! AVP’s community workshops allow everyone to grow when it comes to their interpersonal skills,while having a good time. Get ready for focus on integrity, respect and shared humanity through interactive exercises, stimulating games and role-playing. You’ve got everything to gain, so give AVP a try!

Sue shared that Nick Dalton from Hanna is developing resilience resource list for people in Sonoma Valley. It will highlight the people and services within the community that support resilience building. More to come!


Folks started to brainstorm how their organizations collect and or utilize ACEs screening (like) data. We learned that our local juvenile justice uses the Positive Achievement Change Tool for assessing for ACEs and recidivism risk. Informally crunching the local numbers it seems to support a strong association. Learn more: here is an article that discusses PACT validation related to recidivism - it is a technical report.

Maria shared how the public health field nurses are collecting ACEs data (see Jesus’ comment above) and are now looking at associations between parent’s ACEs and their children’s ACE scores. The average ACEs score among their population is much higher than the original study. Now they are seeking to publish the findings! And ideally, share their learnings with other public health nursing programs (these are “field nursing” not nurse family partnership programs) within the Bay Area. Their hope is that these data will demonstrate improved outcomes and provide evidence of the benefit of PHN HV services. Up until now there has been little data to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness which resulted in limited funding and support.

Intake assessments in Human Services also have ACEs like questions that they are beginning to explore how to adapt their efforts to better meet the needs of their clients. Sort of a “CalWorks 2.0”. They will “meet them where they are”. They use the OCAT Online CalWORKs Appraisal Tool (OCAT). The new CA Budget is specifically addressing ACEs.

We strategize ways to collaborate with other individuals and organizations who are already doing amazing work. Nancy has reached out to AnnMarie and Griselda in hope of setting a meeting time to consider if SCAC and the Resilience Fund efforts may be able to support one another.

Thinking of who is already doing ACEs related work - we brainstormed: VOICES, Catholic Charities, food bank, etc - and had early thoughts about finding ways to bring all together down the road. One idea is to rotate our meetings to these facilities - if they have public meeting space.

We also talked how ACEs is now part of the new employee orientation in public health and HSD. Although limited to only 13 minutes, they use the Robert Wood Johnson graphics to convey complex information in a short period of time. HSD highlights the estimate from the Center for Youth Wellness showing that in Sonoma County 1:3 adults have an ACE score of 4 or more. HSD adds that 1:5 people in Sonoma County are on public assistance. They are seeking ways to provide more training to staff and also recognize that “it isn’t them, it’s us”. More to do!

Remy is conducting the MCAH 5-year community needs assessment - contact Remy if you know of a person to participate in a focus group. Here is a link to background information.


Additionally, local not for profit hospitals conduct “community health needs assessments” every three years. This article was shared in the North Bay Business Journal. And, here is the Kaiser report. Maybe they’ve identified priorities that might be aligned with our efforts? Let’s check it out!

We also shared the local Boards and Commissions in Sonoma County - and noticed vacancies. Contact Remy or Carla if you’re interested in applying to be on a board or commission - most report directly back to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Calling all Master Trainers - we need you! Please connect with Remy to sign up for presentations - in your organization, with community organizations, churches, schools, rotary, and more!  Let’s get the word out about ACEs! Additionally, we are coming up on the end of the ACE Interface contract and there may (still TBD) be options about slides that are used.

Ideas for our February 27th meeting at CPI: Invite others - EVERY VOICE MATTERS!

Brainstorming activity: Let’s find a new name for Sonoma County ACEs Connection! Maybe consider Latin words that more easily translate into other languages, including Spanish - thus being more inclusive!

Review committee SCAC structure - and seek opportunities to participate!

SCAC Listserv - to share or not to share!? How to facilitate communications with other members?

Bring your logic model - if you have one that addresses ACEs! Let’s learn how others are embedding ACEs into their programs and work!

Have a brief “new employee” introduction to ACEs? Please share - let’s see how others introduce ACEs to new workforce!

See you at our next meeting -
Held monthly at 3:30 on the 4th Wednesday!
Bring a friend!  


Images (5)
  • ACEs+and+Juvenile+Offenders
  • CHNA
  • sonoma-county-parks-map
  • SAY
  • minding the gap

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