ACES Aware Grantee RCMG

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress are a public health crisis. We can take action to change and save lives.

About the ACEs Aware Initiative

The ACEs Aware initiative seeks to change and save lives by helping Medi-Cal providers understand the importance of screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and training them to respond with trauma-informed care.

This first-of-its-kind effort to enable early detection and mitigate against the health and societal impacts of ACEs and toxic stress is led by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, and Dr. Karen Mark, Medical Director for the California Department of Health Care Services.

ACEs Aware offers Medi-Cal providers training, screening tools, clinical protocols, and payment for screening children and adults for ACEs. Screening for ACEs, assessing for toxic stress, and responding with evidence-based interventions can significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and families. The ACEs Aware initiative is part of a statewide effort, to cut Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress in half in one generation.

River City Medical Group is among over 100 Grantees throughout the state working to extend the reach and impact of the initiative. The goal of our ACEs Aware effort is to engage our providers about the impact of ACES on health and provide support, tools and resources to facilitate the implementation of trauma informed care within their practice to address ACEs.

ACEs for Members

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic experiences people have by age 18 that were identified in the landmark ACE Study. ACEs describe 10 categories of adversities in three domains: abuse, neglect, and/or household dysfunction. ACEs affect all communities. They cross ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, and geographic lines. Children are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of an overactive stress response due to ACEs because their brains and bodies are still developing. ACEs are strongly associated with some of the most common and serious health conditions ( ie: asthma, obesity, COPD) facing our society today, including at least nine of the 10 leading causes of death (ie: heart disease, stroke, suicide) in the United States. Screening for ACEs, assessing risk for toxic stress, and responding with evidence-based interventions can significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and families.

ACES for Providers

The ACEs Aware initiative empowers providers to care for their patients. Screening for ACEs and toxic stress and providing targeted, evidence-based interventions and trauma-informed care for toxic stress can:

  • Improve efficacy and efficiency of health care.
  • Better support individual and family health and well-being.
  • Reduce long-term health costs.

Screening for ACEs is a critical step toward transforming care to be more trauma-informed, addressing the potential root causes of health issues. Trauma-informed care is critical for reducing the impacts of ACEs and improving patient outcomes.

The ACEs Aware initiative is led by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, and Dr. Karen Mark, Medical Director of the Department of Health Care Services. The California Surgeon General has set a bold goal to cut ACEs in half in one generation.

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