Santa Rosa, CA – October 25, 2016 – The Sonoma
County Department of Health Services (DHS) announces the start of an Adverse
Childhood Experiences (ACEs) & Resiliency Fellowship that will train 25
community members to serve our county as community educators. This fellowship
is unique to Sonoma County and is being launched at a time when community
members and service providers are increasingly seeking out information about
how to prevent and heal from adverse childhood experiences.
childhood adversity is being recognized as one of the best ways to improve the
wellbeing of human populations. Recent research on ACEs confirms that adversity
during early childhood development increases the risk of physical, mental, and
behavioral problems later in life. Individuals with high levels of ACEs have
significantly worse health outcomes across the lifespan than those without ACEs.
Negative impacts include a wide range of health and social issues, including
depression, addiction, obesity, and homelessness. High levels of adversity in
childhood leads to what is known as toxic stress, which generates predictable
patterns in brain development. A child’s early experience causes the brain to
adapt to what it predicts will be either a safe or dangerous world. The impact on younger children can be devastating. Exposure to ACEs
puts our children at higher risk for learning difficulties, emotional problems,
developmental issues, and long-term health problems.
County is leading the way on strengthening the resilience in our community. We
must continue to focus on how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are linked
in all our cultures and homes. This fellowship will support peers, individuals
and the community as we explore how we can change the way we think about
community problems and solutions,” Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane
conveyed. Supervisor Zane is the Board liaison to the Department of Health Services.
fellows will participate in a nine-month intensive program to learn in-depth
about toxic stress, trauma and ACEs. The launch of the fellowship featured a two-day
training session led by Dr. Robert Anda and Laura Porter, which occurred last
week on October 18 and October 19. Dr. Anda was the co-principal investigator
of a groundbreaking research project titled “ACE Study” that was funded by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the late 1990s. Laura Porter is the
co-founder of ACE Interface, LLC. With Dr. Anda, Porter develops and
disseminates educational products and empowerment strategies on ACES and
population health. Porter concurrently serves as the Senior Director of The
Learning Institute at the Foundation for Healthy Generations.
largely preventable. This new fellowship helps our community focus on the
childhood origins of ACEs and work to prevent the many associated health risks and
the health and social problems that develop over the course of one’s life. With
this fellowship, we have the opportunity for primary prevention of the leading
health and social problems in our community. These program participants will
focus on how our county can eventually become a more resilient community that is
informed by education, community feedback and resident engagement.
“Research over the last two decades confirms that children carry the
effects of childhood experiences into adulthood. The challenges they face in
school, life and ultimately, their health are often the symptoms of toxic
stress. With this fellowship, DHS is providing support for our community to
come together and address ACEs,” DHS Interim Director Barbie Robinson said.
fellows will serve as Master Trainers to then take their training and education
to train 35 individuals as Presenters in the community. Together, they will
raise the awareness about resources to build resiliency and the public health
impacts of ACEs. The 25 trainers were selected from a competitive application
process that presented a range of community sectors and experiences. The entire
list is available on Sonoma
County ACEs Connection.
& Resiliency Fellowship is funded in part by The Health Federation of
Philadelphia (with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The
California Endowment) through the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities
(MARC) grant to the Department of Health
Services. Sonoma County is one of 14 communities across the nation to receive
this funding to expand innovative work in addressing Adverse Childhood