HFP Contributes to Academic Journal Outlining Opportunities to Help Children Exposed to Childhood Trauma Thrive

September 5, 2017

Special issue of Academic Pediatrics provides comprehensive research and policy agenda for addressing epidemic of adverse childhood experiences and promoting well-being

Philadelphia, PA – The Health Federation of Philadelphia’s (HFP) senior director of special initiatives and consulting, Leslie Lieberman, and Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) program manager, Clare Reidy, recently contributed to the new special issue of Academic Pediatrics on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Released in print today and available for free online, the journal highlights a comprehensive national research and policy action agenda to heal the epidemic of childhood trauma and advance much needed improvements in child well-being in the U.S.

HFP has been a leader, both locally and nationally, in advancing trauma-informed practice, including through its work with the Philadelphia ACE Task Force. Lieberman and co-authors Lee Pachter (lead), Sandra Bloom, and Joel Fein, wrote the article “Developing a Community-Wide Initiative to Address Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress: A Case Study of The Philadelphia ACE Task Force.” The article describes how the Philadelphia ACE Task Force, which is a community-based collaborative, successfully developed a research agenda, conducted research on ACEs in the urban environment and identified areas of focus in professional training, workforce development, community education and practical interventions.

The Philadelphia ACE Task Force is also part of HFP’s MARC program, a national cross-sector learning collaborative focused on preventing ACEs and promoting resilience. Reidy and co-authors Jennifer Jones (lead), Margaret Hargreaves and Debra Rog contributed commentary about national initiatives, including MARC, in “Translating Brain Science Research into Community-Level Change.” Since 2015, MARC has worked with 14 sites across the nation, all of which are engaged in building the movement for a just, healthy and resilient world. The MARC program, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment, aims to show how investing in community networks that span different sectors can help build partnerships, collaboration, engagement, advocacy and policy change to mitigate and prevent ACEs.

Members of MARC’s national advisory committee also take center stage throughout this publication which includes contributions from Wendy Ellis, Laura Porter, and Sandra Bloom.

This special issue is the result of a four-year effort to engage practitioners and advocates in child and family health across many sectors, and includes collaboratively identified priority goals, research areas and actions. Some of these priorities and policies include:

  • Translating the science of ACEs, cultivating the conditions for collaboration across sectors, fueling initiatives to support innovation and real-time learning, and rewarding outcomes that support stable and nurturing relationships centered around individual, family and community self-care, prevention and healing.
  • Capitalizing on short-term policy opportunities, such as prioritizing early screening, testing and prevention, as well as leveraging existing policy systems, practice transformation efforts, and research and data platforms.

Recent data show that nearly half of American children – 35 million kids – are at risk from exposure to ACEs.  This special issue addresses the ACEs epidemic and highlights the new research that identifies opportunities to assess, address and improve resilience so children can thrive.

The special issue is available free online now. View Child Well-Being and Adverse Childhood Experiences in the US on the Academic Pediatrics website.

For More Information: For more information about HFP's role in this special issue of Academic Pediatrics please contact communication coordinator Andrea Miller.

This media release was originally posted September 5, 2017, here.