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Arizona ACE Consortium: Catalyzing a Statewide Movement

  • Aug 16, 2019
Anndee Hochman

The elementary school principal routinely broke into tears.

At Wednesday afternoon meetings of the Creating Trauma Sensitive Arizona Schools work group, a committee of the Arizona ACE Consortium, the leader of a high-need, inner-city K-5 school frequently wept as she talked about the trauma her students carried into the classroom and the ways it percolated throughout her campus: in lagging test scores, behavior problems, even teacher retention.

The other committee members became her cheering squad, recalls Marcia Stanton, senior program specialist in the Center for Family Health and Safety at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and leader of the ACE Consortium from its 2007 inception until this year. The classroom teachers, superintendents and behavioral health specialists at the table asked questions of the principal: Who is your community? What would inspire people to become involved? How can we help?

Healing10: Catalyzing a Movement in Camden

  • Aug 12, 2019
Anndee Hochman

In 2017, two youth-focused Camden organizations were angling for the same pot of grant money—funding for a youth-led initiative to learn about community health concerns and develop projects to address them.

But instead of scrabbling for the grant as rivals, Hopeworks and UrbanPromise became one another’s cheerleaders. In phone conferences with funders, representatives of both organizations noted their history of collaboration and stressed the importance of taking a trauma-informed approach to the project.

Catalyzing a Movement in Crawford County

  • Aug 07, 2019
Anndee Hochman

In 2011, a county-wide training on trauma, hosted by Crawford County Human Services and attended by 150 professionals, yielded curiosity, a brief ripple of enthusiasm and…not much else.

Two years later, another Crawford conference—this time, drawing 170 professionals and service providers, family members and youth—became a catalyst, a key moment in the genesis of Peace4Crawford, a cross-sector, grass-roots movement to build a healthy and resilient community in the western Pennsylvania county.

The difference, according to Peace4Crawford steering committee members, is that by the time of the second conference, social service agencies, the juvenile probation department, drug and alcohol recovery center and schools had begun to collaborate, using the shared language of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience to plumb the root causes of the disparate problems all were seeing.

Building Stronger Networks (Issue Brief)

  • May 28, 2019

This brief, Building Stronger Networks (May 2019), explores how a framework recognizing adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and resilience (ATR) can facilitate and accelerate community collaboration.  It builds on existing literature regarding common collaboration challenges and draws from a series of key informant interviews conducted by Andrea K. Blanch, Ph.D., and David L. Shern, Ph.D. 

Supporting Older Trauma Survivors as They Heal Their Pasts, Grow Their Futures

  • May 20, 2019
Anndee Hochman

Marie-Monique Marthol handed out the cards to older adults at meetings of her local civic association. With the pastor’s permission, she left some at a neighborhood church. She stacked them in restaurants, community centers and even at the laundromat.

On the front, the cards read, “Time never runs out for change. Let go of fear and guilt. Focus on healing and growth from ACEs.” The flip side said, “Healing from your past; giving to your future.”

From Film Festival to City Council Chambers: Philadelphia ACE Task Force Charts a Path toward Policy Change on Secondary Traumatic Stress

  • Mar 29, 2019
Anndee Hochman

The path toward policies that would buffer Philadelphia workers from secondary traumatic stress began with a simple ask: Come see a movie.

That movie was a documentary, Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion, Their Pain, viewed by an audience of 250 as part of a 2016 film festival hosted by the Philadelphia ACE Task Force (PATF).

The screening launched a three-year effort to put secondary traumatic stress on the radar of Philadelphia’s policy-makers—a journey of relationships and resolutions, work groups and literature reviews, persistence and patience.

In December 2018, the issue landed in City Council’s ornate chambers: a hearing that included testimony from physicians, officers of city agencies, behavioral health experts, a union president and representatives from the police and fire departments.

Investing in Cross-Sector Networks to Build a Trauma-Informed Region

  • Jan 15, 2019
Anndee Hochman

When Suzanne O’Connor first joined the Philadelphia ACE Task Force (PATF)—a group then composed mostly of pediatricians who wanted to put ACE science into practice—she did more listening than talking.

“I wasn’t a doctor, I wasn’t a clinician, but a teacher trying to integrate trauma-informed care into early childhood education,” she says. “What struck me the most was what educators didn’t know about social services, mental health and even physical health. We didn’t have language for what we were seeing with kids who were particularly challenging.”

ACEs gave O’Connor that language. She became a passionate advocate for trauma training for early childhood and K-12 teachers. Now, as director of education for United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, O’Connor is helping trauma-informed practice to ripple across the region.