A hearing of unprecedented scope and depth (this link will take you to a list of witnesses and all of their statements plus an overview memo on the hearing from committee staff) on ACEs science and childhood trauma — "Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Childhood Trauma: A Pervasive Public Health Issue that Needs Greater Federal Attention" — will be held today in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. You can watch the live stream at 10:00 am ET through this link.
Nine witnesses will present testimony in two panels— trauma survivors will share their personal stories on the first panel followed by expert witnesses from academia and local, state, and federal government on the second panel. Witnesses include William Kellibrew, an activist from Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Debra Houry of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), James Henry, Former Tennessee Deputy Governor, and Charles Patterson, Health Commissioner, Clark County, Ohio. The length of the hearing is not specified.
The hearing will address the prevalence and impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and the adequacy of the federal response to trauma. Testimony by one of the nation's leading researchers on ACEs science, Dr. Christina Bethell, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, will draw upon state information on ACEs prevalence and key outcomes for children and adults. Some of this information is now available in new fact sheets using 2016/2017 NSCH (National Survey of Children’s Health) data and recent data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).
The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI), from which the fact sheets were developed, aims to advance policies to catalyze well-being across the nation by addressing the ACEs epidemic and tailoring fact sheets for each state. Bethell is the founding director of CAHMI. In addition to state fact sheets, there are also fact sheets for national data and the District of Columbia.
These fact sheets were designed to provide a succinct overview of ACEs prevalence and impacts at the state level to generate local awareness and action. Advocates should find them useful in their work with public officials, the media, and other stakeholders across sectors. While national data is valuable, local advocates and officials often find local data more relevant and useful in developing responses to local problems, especially when a comparison with the national level and other states is possible.
Additional information and resources, including an issue brief, “A national and across-state profile on Adverse Childhood Experiences among U.S. children and possibilities to heal and thrive,” which was published in 2017, are available in the “Childhood Trauma and Positive Health” section of the CAMHI website.