Dr. James Mercy, Director of the Division of Violence Prevention in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), invited the HOPE team to visit the CDC on January 29, 2020. The full day visit started off with a presentation by Dr. Sege on what HOPE is all about, as well as an explanation of the research backing up the concept that positive experiences have an important influence on health outcomes and the biological basis for this phenomenon. The ~50 in-person and ~100 virtual participants from the NCIPC were thoroughly engaged. The post-presentation discussion yielded comments such as, “This is amazing work and will go a long way in combating the stigma attached to seeking help” and “This work challenges some of our narrative around prevention – this is promotion of well-being rather than prevention.”
Following this presentation, the HOPE team met with center leadership where a more detailed discussion of how the HOPE framework may fit with the work they are doing ensued. The day was capped off with a roundtable discussion with staff involved in work directed at combating Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs). This diverse group represented a variety of disciplines from physicians to data scientists to communications specialists. Their work on preventing and mitigating the effects of ACEs, as well as their surveillance efforts utilizing national surveys such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), present an enormous opportunity for collaboration and integration of the HOPE framework. The HOPE team left the CDC confident that this was just the beginning of a long and productive relationship.