Event designed to link healthcare providers with partners to address childhood trauma

Staff Report

With the support of California’s ACEs Aware Initiative, the “Bridges to Resilience” conference is designed to link regional healthcare providers with community partners and build resiliency-focused networks of care throughout San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. Due to COVID-19, the free conference will be held virtually from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 9. Information and registration is online at bridgestoresilience.com

The term Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) comes from the landmark 1998 ACEs Study, conducted among more than 17,000 adult patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente. 

When capitalized, the term ACEs specifically refers to 10 categories of adversities in three domains – abuse, neglect, and household challenges. ACEs are strongly associated with some of the most common, serious, and costly health conditions facing our society today, including nine of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

This virtual program is intended for those who serve children, youth and families interested in understanding, preventing and addressing childhood trauma, and want to help make the coastal tri-counties a resilient region. Cross-sector participants include physicians and other health care professionals, educators and early care providers, social workers and therapists, police and probation officers, philanthropists and community agencies, faith leaders, parents and foster parents. Attendees will learn tools and techniques for addressing ACEs, and they will connect with local resources for referral and collaboration.

The live, virtual conference features a keynote and community panel with Robert Anda, MD, MS, co-founder, co-principal investigator of the landmark ACEs Study. The program provides 14 sessions on a variety of topics by physicians, field experts and facilitators including: “Ripple Effects of Transgenerational Trauma and Racism on Families of Color”; “Road to Resilience: Connecting Pediatrics and Community Service Providers”; “Shifting from the Stress System to the Wisdom System, Disrupting Fragility to Create Opportunity”; “The Importance of Youth Resilience in Overcoming Adversity”; and “Trauma-Responsive Family Engagement Practices for Early Childhood.”

KIDS Network and the Bridges to Resilience conference gave rise to Santa Barbara’s growing ACEs initiative, Resilient Santa Barbara County. Through the ACEs Aware Provider Engagement Grant, KIDS Network led a tri-county planning process for this year’s conference to engage new partners and strengthen care networks in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.

The event offers continuous opportunities to network and discover community resources through the digital Resource Hall. Registration is free to attendees; pre-register by midnight (PDT) June 3. Continuing Education credits are available for healthcare professionals; fees apply for CE.