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On January 1, 2020, California launched a first of its kind program to combat the ill effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), the ACES Aware Initiatives spearheaded by California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, MD. Through this program, the state will help train providers and offer reimbursement via Medi-Cal to screen pediatric and adult patients for ACES.  The goal is to identify individuals who have experienced ACES, refer them to appropriate treatment, and reduce the long-term health effects of ACEs.  

We went to California to learn about this program, and to work together to incorporate the language of HOPE into their efforts. Working collaboratively with ACES Connection in California and Health+ Studio, we conducted workshops in Sacramento and Long Beach. These events gave participants an overview of the language of HOPE and gathered insights from practitioners and policy makers about how HOPE might have added value in trauma-screening. They let us know what tools and resources would speed along this integration. We were enthusiastically received and are currently processing all the ideas and data gathered to help us move forward with creating what is needed to incorporate the language of HOPE into the ACES Aware Initiative.

That’s not all the HOPE team was able to accomplish during their visit to California. Dr. Robert Sege presented an overview of HOPE to the California ACEs Learning and Quality Improvement Collaborative (CALQIC) leadership in San Francisco. This 18-month long statewide learning collaborative will oversee the implementation of ACES screening in a group of pediatric and adult clinics in five different regions of California. The collaborative will provide training and support to these sites, and will collect data which will inform changes and improvements to this important program. The CALQIC team was very receptive to the idea of incorporating the language of HOPE into their efforts. The HOPE team will undoubtedly be making future trips to California as we work together to incorporate HOPE into ACES work in the Golden State.

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