"In the mid-1990s, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente discovered an exposure that dramatically increased the risk of 7 out of 10 leading causes of death in the US." – Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, FAAP
The exposure was identified as childhood trauma. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study asked over 17,000 adults 10 questions to assess childhood maltreatment and household dysfunction that might cause toxic stress for a child. The science was clear: the accumulation of early trauma and adverse experiences directly influences health and well-being across the lifespan.
Recognizing ACEs as a public health crisis
As a healthcare organization committed to enriching every life, we have a responsibility to understand and address the impact of adverse childhood experiences within the context of patient experience and care across the lifespan. That's why Gundersen Health System has identified ACEs and trauma informed care (TIC) as a Population Health strategic priority in 2019.
ACEs impact that is not recognized, managed or treated results in high costs to healthcare systems and communities
Expanding our knowledge of ACE science will enable us to develop solutions to interrupt the progression of ACEs to disease, disability and early death. By shifting our perspective to one of trauma-informed care, we can begin to use the right toolkit to provide the right care to those impacted by ACEs.
Watch this short video for an introduction to ACEs. This is just the beginning - more information and resources will be available here in the coming months.