Tiny steps add up to building healthy communities in WA, PA, NC, DE and NY

The Children’s Resilience Initiative in Walla Walla, WA, is one of 42 cities and towns in Washington State that’s using research to improve the health of its community. (Some day soon I’ll tell you the story about how a state built a state-wide community network that pulled off some miraculous and remarkably innovative cost- and life-saving changes, and then how the state — perhaps inadvertently — yanked the plug on the community it built.)

The research includes the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE Study), studies that show how toxic stress damages children’s brains, and economic analyses that shows how prevention programs reduce health, criminal justice and social service costs.

For CRI, this means taking many tiny steps that add up to big changes. These tiny steps focus on how this community of about 30,000 souls builds in resilience

Continue reading

Trauma is VERY common, manageable, and treatable

In the U.S., 70% of adults have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives. That’s 223.4 million people. Check out this great infographic from the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare for more information on addictions and treatment.

Below are a couple of screen grabs from the very long info graphic. Other parts include symptoms, coping strategies and effective treatments.


Child abuse on the rise; social environment affects kids’ IQs; dying without fear and anxiety

Infant’s broken ribs (Natl. Institutes of Health)

In light of former Pennsylvania State University football coach Jerry Sandusky being sentenced today to spend at least 30 years in prison for the sexual abuse of children, this story out of Yale School of Medicine is noteworthy. Despite many social service agencies experiencing the contrary, until today the expert understanding was that physical abuse of children was decreasing. But Yale School of Medicine professor of pediatrics John Leventhal, Dr. Kimberly Martin of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Julie Gaither, a graduate student in the Yale School of Public Health, found that physical child abuse has increased nearly 5 percent from 1997 to 2009, according to this story by Kathryn Crandall in the Yale Daily News.

The studies completed by Leventhal and [New Hampshire sociology professor David] Finkelhor differ in several ways, most notably in their data collection techniques. Finkelhor considered “substantiated cases of physical abuse” ­— cases which have undergone legal review by a child protective services commissioner and are registered in the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect data system — while Leventhal scrutinized reports from the Kids’ Inpatient Database.

Continue reading

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — the largest, most important public health study you never heard of — began in an obesity clinic

Mentions of the ACE Study – the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — have shown up in the New York Times, This American Life, and Salon.com recently. In the last year, it’s become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice and even business. Many people say that just as everyone should be aware of her or his cholesterol score, so should everyone know her or his ACE score. But what is this study? And why is it so important to, well, almost everyone in 2012, the same way polio became important to almost everyone in the 1950s? Here’s the backstory.

The ACE Study – probably the most important public health study you never heard of – had its origins in an obesity clinic on a quiet street in San Diego.

It was 1985, and Dr. Vincent Felitti was mystified. The physician, chief of Kaiser Permanente’s revolutionary Department of Preventive Medicine in San Diego, CA, couldn’t figure out why, each year for the last five

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: