Top U.S. health philanthropy – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – awards ACEs Connection Network $384,000


As part of its commitment to improving the health of the nation’s most vulnerable people and building a culture of health, the nation’s largest health-focused philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently awarded a $384,000, two-year grant to the ACEs Connection Network.

Jane Stevens, a long-time health, science and technology journalist, launched the network two years ago. It comprises, a community of practice social network, and its accompanying news site,

ACEsTooHigh publishes news, features, essays and analysis for the general public about the short- and long-term consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The site has received more than one million page views over the last two years. Its stories are also distributed to other media sites, including The Huffington Post and With the additional resources provided by the grant, the site will feature more stories about how people and communities are implementing practices based on ACEs research and concepts, and distribute these stories more widely.

The grant will also help grow ACEsConnection, ACEsTooHigh’s companion community of practice social network, from its current 2,000 members to 8,000 participants and more than 100 groups. ACEsConnection links people – online and face-to-face — who are implementing trauma-informed and resilience-building practices based on adverse childhood experiences research. ACEsConnection participants include physicians, judges, social workers, nurses, academics, educators, legislators, advocates, philanthropists, peer support specialists, probation and parole officers, therapists, researchers, members of the faith-based community, writers, documentary producers, business owners, artists, and community officials.

The first five members of the ACEs Connection Network team are:

  • Valerie Krist, graphic designer for ACEsConnection and ACEsTooHigh. She also provides design assistance for group pages on ACEsConnection, and creates infographics for selected articles.
  • Sylvia Paull, a well-known network marketing strategist, develops marketing materials, strategic partnerships, outreach strategies, and new distribution channels for content.
  • Jasmine Pettis, a Masters of Public Health student at San Jose State University, is ACEsConnection’s information specialist.
  • Elizabeth Prewitt, ACEsConnection community manager, also does policy analysis for both sites. Formerly, she was director of public policy for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and director of government affairs and public policy for the American College of Physicians.
  • Joanna Weill, ACEs Connection Network intern. She is working on her doctorate in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on the experiences and relationships that put people at risk for criminal behavior and recidivism.

6 responses

  1. Congratulations! Epic. A starting point. We need to talk. Check out how the Finnish people do early education and childcare. Report on NPR this weekend. Their system works.

    Poverty is abusive. Poverty is traumatic. Poverty breeds a sense of lack and the resulting anger, destruction, drug abuse, child abuse perpetuating the cycle of children who have children and beat them a thousand different ways. Society aids the destruction with band aids and no protection for the most vulnerable.

    The cycle of “the sins of the father and mother” is escalating and intensifying.

    The Fins know how to protect and nurture the babies and children. Babies and children who are protected and nurtured can focus and learn and fulfill their highest potential.

    Babies and children who starve, are made bad or wrong because of their parents’ poverty, in the FACE of so much wealth seen on TV and the Internet, are hammered into hating themselves and everything and everybody. Sent to impoverished schools where they are punished for acting out their despair and ultimately put into a pipeline to prison, they are totally set up for failure.

    Jane – the parents cannot do it. It has to happen in the schools when kids are young so they form the neural connections that solve problems instead of create and perpetuate them.

    Sent from Carey Sipp 4044089566


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