Calling all People Interested in ACEs in Pediatrics


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IMG_0883Dear Aces in Pediatrics members:

I want to let you all know that I have the honor of managing the ACEs in Pediatrics site. I began working with ACEs Connection in October. I came here with more than 25 years of experience as a health journalist, and a commitment to reporting on the remarkable shifts occurring in medicine and other sectors to promote trauma-informed and resiliency-building practices based on ACEs science.

ACEs in Pediatrics is a forum for pediatricians, their staff members, clients and parents of clients, medical educators and researchers – all of you who are on the frontlines of learning about the connections between adversity in childhood and health outcomes, and what they can do to help children, families and their communities thrive.

It’s been 20 years since the groundbreaking CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study emerged. ACEs in Pediatrics will be a place for you to share your resources, your best practices and lessons learned. We’ll host webinars on issues important to you. It’s where you’ll learn about what’s happening on the ground in the trenches of medical practices, how pediatricians are working with communities to integrate practices based on ACEs science, and in the halls of medical schools around teaching and implementing trauma-informed and resiliency practices.

You’ll hear what pediatric nurses are doing in Federally Qualified Health Center clinics, the trials and errors of setting up a health clinic at a school site, and what pilot projects are being scaled up for systems-wide shifts to trauma-informed practices. We’ll bring you backstory interviews with cutting-edge researchers about newly published studies. And we will bring you the data that tells stories about best practices that make a difference.

We are fortunate to be collaborating with Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a trailblazer in the field, and the organization she founded, the Center for Youth Wellness, as they begin a national project helping to train pediatric practices around the country about implementing ACEs screening. Stay tuned for more information about this.

In the meantime, please forward this welcome message to any provider whom you think may be able to contribute to or is interested in ACEs in Pediatrics. Please also send me, at, any of the following: 

  • questions you have related to implementing ACEs science and education;
  • links to resources that are not well known but helped you move forward in implementing ACEs screening and trauma-informed practices;
  • ideas for webinars for pediatric practices that haven’t been offered at any conferences related to ACEs education and trauma-informed practices.


Sincerely yours,

Laurie Udesky
ACEs in Pediatrics,
Community site manager
Reporter, ACEs Connection



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I completely agree with Tina Marie-Hahn. There is an equivalent large set of ongoing studies showing that adverse events in pregnancy, birth and infancy also profoundly affect long-term health and may initiate risk as well as contribute to bonding disruptions that increase risk for ACEs or more severe ACEs as well as difficulties in parent-child relationships that do not involve ACEs yet affect long-term health. These studies are known as the Fetal Origins of Adult Disease (FOAD) and started in WWII. They have now followed a few generations. Other separate studies support their findings as well. I think that is where our prevention strategies need to start too.

The name needs to be changed to ACEs in Pediatrics and Obstetrics. Our OB/FP’s Who Care for pregnant women are partners too because trauma /Toxic Stress effects are intrauterine, perinatal attachment disruption and longstanding abuse and neglect in childhood.   OB’s can serve in the education role for the pregnant woman at the beginning of the new child’s life. 

Dear Laurie,

I'm a former family doc who retrained as a somatic psychotherapist, learned about trauma and started exploring the research to see whether trauma is a risk factor for chronic illness (including my own). It's been 20 years now and there is SO MUCH out there it's staggering. Seeing the ACEs research lead the way to concepts of trauma-informed care in all kinds of fields is very encouraging.

The ACE studies were a huge find for me, as is the ACEs community. I'm one of those whose ACE score is zero and who has instead been affected by other kinds of traumas, many of them very subtle yet hugely relevant to my health. Healing the effects of trauma is ongoing and making all the difference in my life. The exploration, testing it out in my own life with a health condition, and having worked with clients from this perspective has shown me that all kinds of adverse events affect our health.

While I no longer practice medicine myself I am thrilled to hear about this group as trauma-informed medical care is desperately needed for all age groups. I currently blog about the trauma-chronic illness connection for those with chronic disease and seeing the connections, awareness, changes in practice etc grow like this is all very exciting.  

Congrats and look forward to seeing how this new home grows and evolves.


Chronic Illness Trauma Studies

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