Two California Counties Get Grants To Address Effects of Early Traumatic Events

Sonoma and San Diego counties have been tabbed as two of 14 communities across the country to receive grant funding to broaden the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients who have undergone adverse childhood experiences — a relatively new indicator of poor health outcomes later in life.

Researchers said patients with four or more ACE scores (an acronym that stands for adverse childhood experiences) have a much greater chance of developing asthma, kidney disease, pulmonary disease, stroke, depression, dementia and substance abuse. ACE indicators include abuse, neglect, going hungry or having an absent parent. 

The project, launched by the Health Federation of Philadelphia with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California Endowment, aims to share best practices and try new approaches to treating patients with high ACE scores. The grants range from $100,000 to $300,000.

“There can be no culture of health without preventing or healing the impact of childhood adversity and trauma,” said Natalie Levkovich, CEO of the Health Federation, in a written statement. The chosen communities across the country “are leading the nation’s most innovative efforts to reduce ACEs and promote resilience,” she said.

In Sonoma County, the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities project (MARC) combines efforts by the public health division of the Department of Health Services, a group called Sonoma County Upstream Investments and others in the community. They want to raise awareness among providers and the public about ACE indicators and to develop plans to reverse patients’ lifelong trend toward poor outcomes.

In San Diego County, the grant money will go to the Trauma Informed Guide Team and the Building Healthy Communities Central Region.

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