Activity

Recording: Trauma-Informed Policy Making presentation at Alaska State Capitol

Last Wednesday, March 13th, I had the opportunity to present a Legislative Lunch and Learn to legislators, legislative staff, administrative staff, and the public in the Alaska State Capitol Building. To a room of ~ 30 - 40 people munching on lunch provided by the Alaska Children's Trust , and broadcast live via Gavel to Gavel (now archived here ), I had the honor to premiere the policymaker version of our History and Hope curriculum. This curriculum, and the policy-maker version, was...

Alaska’s ‘Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan’ draft released [State of Reform]

The Department of Health & Social Services, in collaboration with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, recently released a draft of their 2020-2024 Strengthening the System: Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan . The purpose of the program plan is to provide a blueprint for the creation of a comprehensive integrated mental health program for the state. Specifically, the program plan outlines the objectives and strategies to integrated services for beneficiaries of the...

Alaska Children’s Caucus Forms in 31st Legislature [Anchorage Press]

For the first time in nearly seventeen years, members of the Alaska House of Representatives will relaunch the House Children’s Caucus. This edition of the caucus will be co-chaired by Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) and Representative Sara Rasmussen (R-Anchorage). “Because children are at the heart of our communities, we should cherish and protect them at all costs. The earlier we invest in the health and education of children the better the outcomes for our communities. We all...

One Student; 123 Bowls for the Needy [Anchorage Press]

The Nov. 30, 2019, earthquake destroyed more than half of the bowls Molly Estes had made in her quest to help others in need via the 25 th Annual Empty Bowl Project set for Sat., March 9 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage. “The whole week (students were out of school post the quake), there was this rush of worry,” Estes said, noting that she had finished 63 bowls prior to the seismic event. “I was anxious to get back.” But it didn’t stop her drive. The...

Prescription for Play: Children’s play is critical for healthy development [Peninsula Clarion]

Some doctors are starting to write a very different kind of prescription for their young patients — a strong recommendation to “play every day.” While this may sound curious or frivolous to some, research shows that unstructured play is an essential building block for healthy child development. Unfortunately, children today have fewer opportunities to play and grow in healthy ways, which negatively affects their ability to decrease stress, overcome adverse childhood experiences, learn...

A Revolving Door of Risk: Homelessness and Recidivism [Anchorage Press]

For the past two years, one of the most persistent and hotly contested questions in Anchorage has been what to do about the number of unlawful homeless encampments cropping up in public spaces. Local officials have been bombarded by disgruntled community groups calling for a solution and in December 2017, the Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance that promised to help the community “gain control of our spaces.” Under the ordinance, residents of illegal homeless encampments have 10 days...

Lunch & Learn: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Resilience and Trauma-Informed Policy-Making

Join me in Juneau to learn about the impact of ACEs on our communities, workplaces and state. ACEs are a significant contributor to all the issues we struggle with, and cost Alaskan an estimated $866 million per year. Learn examples of trauma-informed approaches to business and policy-making. For those not in Juneau, the Lunch and Learn will be broadcast live and archived at www.360north.org/watch . When: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 12 PM – 12:45 PM Where: Capitol Building in Juneau,...

ACEs mural project offers hope to victims of childhood trauma [anchoragepress.com]

“Art is a powerful venue through which to have hard conversations,” said Trevor Storrs, President and CEO of the Alaska Children’s Trust, as he was drawing the attention of the crowd at the Church of Love for the opening of Resilience After Trauma: An ACEs Mural Project last week. It was an accurate description for the nature of the project being unveiled. Steve Gordon, a renowned local artist, art instructor at UAA and creator of the project, explained that it had all started a year ago as...

Transforming perspectives on trauma through paintings of hope [AlaskaPublishing.org]

Tarah Hargrove stands before a massive painting. One side is dominated by grey cinder blocks and stencils of guns. The other by a yellow sky filled with birds. And in the center is a giant portrait of Hargrove, herself. Her chin is lifted, and she looks defiantly at the viewer, magenta radiating from her hair. “So my inner narcissist was like, ‘Yay! My face!” Hargrove said, laughing about her first impression of the four-panel mural painted by University of Alaska Anchorage students. Though...

Join a webinar on Friday (Jan. 11) featuring Alaska’s new statute directing state policy to incorporate principles of brain development

Please join ACEs Connection and the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) for a free 60-minute webinar this Friday (Jan. 11) starting 8:00am AK/ 9:00am PT/ 12:00pm ET that features a new Alaskan statute directing state policy to incorporate principles of brain development. Hear the story first hand from the champion of the bill in the Alaska legislature, Rep. Geran Tarr, and the lead advocacy group—the Alaska Resilience Initiative —executive director, Laura Norton-Cruz.

#1 Top Story of 2018: ANTHC opens Walk-in Clinic for non-emergent health care services

An important part of ANTHC’s plan to achieve our vision is to provide the right care at the right time in the right place. As our Alaska Native population continues to grow, demand for health services at ANMC also increases and ANTHC is improving access by creating more clinical space. For our patients living outside of the Anchorage Service Unit, ANTHC now offers a new specialty clinic, the Walk-in Clinic, for non-emergent health care services for our people while visiting Anchorage. ANTHC...

ITRC calls for Universal Resilience Education and Skills Training for Climate Trauma

Sneak Preview for ITRC ACEs Connection Members! Next Tuesday, Jan. 8, the ITRC will release a major report Preparing People on the West Coast for Climate Change. The media release about the report is below (and attached). It includes a link to the webpage for the report, where people can download the full report, and find a link to the webpage with examples of resilience programs across the west coast. You can connect with the ITRC CA and PNW Facebook page:...

Mining the “lessons learned” from trauma legislation successes

L to R: Afomeia Tesfai, Rep. Geran Tarr, Jeff Hild _____________________________________________________________________ The planned agenda for the “Learning Series: Policy Approaches to Childhood Adversity” workshop at the 2018 ACEs Conference: Action to Access went out the window when an unexpected guest— California Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, MD —was invited to open the session and join the other participants in lively exchanges about their advocacy experiences and perspectives on...

Taking the Next First Step to Healing Communities in Alaska

On the heels of a state policy victory , grassroots advocacy led by the Alaska Resilience Initiative continues to move toward the goal of systemic change by publishing a brief for people who occupy strategic positions across the state. While Alaska Senate Bill 105 builds a framework for changing the system, that's only a beginning. A new document, “ Toward a Trauma-Informed, Resilient, and Culturally-Responsive Alaska ,” authored by Andrea Blanch, is designed to help elected officials,...

Alaska passes trauma-informed legislation

In the dark early hours of Mother’s Day, May 13th , before the 2018 Alaska legislative session adjourned, Senate Bill 105 was approved by both the Alaska House and the Senate...making Alaska one of only a handful of states to pass ACEs awareness into statute. This represents years of education, collaboration, and some creative and dogged advocacy this last legislative session. It also represents a promising path forward.

Kindness for children with an incarcerated parent [juneauempire.com]

11.2 percent. More than 1 in 10. This is the number of adults in Alaska, that had experienced having a family member in jail at some point during their childhood. Seventy percent of those reporting an incarcerated family member grew up with four or more adverse childhood experiences (i.e. witnessed or experienced domestic violence, substance abuse in the household, sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, household mental illness). These ACEs can lead to physical and mental health issues...

As teens, they faced the same temptations. One made it, one didn’t. Why? [ADN.com]

This is the story of two childhoods that brought two grown men to opposite sides of a table in Mountain View, one after a life of pain and one of privilege. The meeting was a little awkward. A fine art painter was recruited to learn about a recovering addict, now a car salesman, and depict how childhood events had shaped his life. "It's certainly not something that I'm used to," said painter David Pettibone. "I was absolutely nervous going in. I wasn't quite sure of the questions I was going...

Stemming the tide of childhood trauma [ADN.com]

As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and community members, we all know children and care about their well-being. Likely all of us know at least one child who struggles in school, who acts out in class or shuts down and withdraws, who often goes to the nurse or goes home sick, and who shows up at school late many days — if at all. Perhaps we find ourselves wondering what is the most likely cause of all these different problems and what we can possibly do to help. The good...

Homework: Moving Toward Compassionate, Trauma-Informed Schools

It was the little red trauma-informed schoolhouse. Katherine Wickersham-Wade, the Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax (Chickaloon Village) clan grandmother who started the Ya Ne Dah Ah School , Alaska’s first Tribally operated school in 1992, might not have used that language. But she did envision a school that would wrap its students in Native ancestral traditions and Ahtna language, instill self-confidence and repair some of the damage inflicted by historical trauma—the disruptions to culture and...

To solve Alaska’s opioid crisis, call addiction what it is [adn.com]

Another opioid overdose death. Another drug-related crime. Another billion dollars spent on ineffective treatments. News about the opioid crisis keeps getting worse. Simple solutions haven't changed the epidemic's course. The number of deaths has continued to increase, driven by an influx of illicit fentanyl sold as heroin, as well as counterfeit pills and other illicit drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine often contaminated with fentanyl. To effectively treat this evolving public health...

Alaska Transfers Child Welfare Services for Native Alaskans to Tribes [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

In Alaska , a coalition of tribal governments has now begun to assume responsibility for offering some child welfare services to Alaska Native children. The Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact , which was signed into law in October 2017 by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I), allows 18 Alaska tribes to provide child welfare services with the goal of reducing the disproportionate number of Native children in foster care in the state. Previously, these services were managed solely through the state’s...

Alaska Resilience Initiative to begin trauma-informed training program [stateofreform.com]

In December, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield granted two years of funding to the Alaska Resilience Initiative (ARI) to develop a program to train professionals in recognizing and responding to trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The Alaska Resilience Initiative is a statewide organization that brings together a variety of groups and individuals with the goal of ending child maltreatment and systemic trauma. The ARI works to develop solutions to systemic trauma in Alaska while...

How ACEs Play Out In Small Town Alaska [sewardcitynews.com]

Seward is a thriving and warm community, full of people who care and want to nurture one another. Even so, the fact remains that we don’t all start with the same opportunities and that early childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on people’s lives. This is the concept that has broken into the field of child development over the last few years. The new way of talking about this concept of unequal starts is known as ACES. According to the national Prevention Institute “Adverse Childhood...

Story about the Aleut Community of St. Paul in The Guardian

This story, told compellingly for The Guardian by Alaskan journalists Jill Burke and Ash Adams , shows the power that communities, tribes, and individuals hold for healing from child maltreatment and intergenerational trauma, and the importance of funding community-led solutions. This story was made possible in part through travel support from the Alaska Resilience Initiative , via funding from the Health Federation of Philadelphia Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities project. ...

ROCK Juneau carries kindness forward [JuneauEmpire.com]

Tayler Shae and Becky Roth _________________________________________ Two thousand and seventeen thank yous to former Juneau Police Department Lt. Kris Sell and her 2017 Year of Kindness Committee members. Their vision and efforts really activated our community to be more thoughtful and compassionate. Kindness really does make a difference. R.O.C.K. Juneau (Raising Our Children with Kindness) is continuing the kindness celebration by hosting a Year of Kindness for Kids during 2018. R.O.C.K.

Community Voices: Creating a Just, Healthy and Resilient World

Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC) is a vibrant learning collaborative of fourteen sites actively engaged in building the movement for a just, healthy and resilient world. Using the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resiliency as their organizing framework, these communities have built strong cross-sector networks to help heal and prevent early childhood adversity. From October 2016 through May 2017, we were privileged to travel to all fourteen MARC...

Community Voices: Creating a Just, Healthy and Resilient World

Two years ago Alaska (as a partnership between ARI , Southern Kenai Peninsula Resilience Coalition , and ROCK Mat-Su ), was chosen as one of the fourteen pilot sites across the country building strong cross-sector networks to help heal and prevent early childhood adversity. See some of these amazing, inspiring stories: Go to the Collection Download the PDF

Principal Progress: Trauma-Informed Efforts at One Alaska Elementary School

Before Deanna Beck had ever heard of the 1998 ACE study, before she became principal of Northwood ABC Elementary School in Anchorage, she was a special education teacher who saw the ways trauma scrawled through her students’ lives. On the one-minute reading tests Beck administered, she would notice steady progress—40 words a minute, then 50—followed by dramatic drops; a child would suddenly be stumbling along at three or four words a minute. She began to ask the kids what had happened.

Program increases awareness of effects of childhood trauma [JuneauEmpire.com]

Posted January 14, 2018 06:24 am - Updated January 14, 2018 05:44 pm By ALEX McCARTHY Those running CLEAR hope to help students who have suffered from trauma to perform better in school and society. As Natalie Turner walked into a fourth-grade classroom at Glacier Valley Elementary on Friday, the fingers started wiggling. The fourth-graders greeted her silently, holding up their index fingers and bending them up and down. Turner returned the gesture, which they call the “one-finger wave,”...

Webinar Learning Series begins tomorrow: State Policy Approaches to Addressing Childhood Adversity, Wednesday, January 10, 10am PST (1:00 PM EST)

Reminder of tomorrow's ( Wednesday, January 10, 10am PST/1:00 PM EST) webinar on State Policy Approaches to Addressing Childhood Adversity Please join us for a three -part learning series hosted by the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity and ACEs Connection . We'll hear from states that are making great strides towards adopting trauma-informed policies and practices. Three-Part Learning Series: Webinar 1: Overview of State Level Efforts to Address Childhood Adversity and...

Webinar Learning Series: State Policy Approaches to Addressing Childhood Adversity, January 10, 10am PST (1:00 PM EST)

Please join us for a three -part learning series hosted by the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity and ACEs Connection . We'll hear from states that are making great strides towards adopting trauma-informed policies and practices. Three-Part Learning Series: Webinar 1: Overview of State Level Efforts to Address Childhood Adversity and Highlights from Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin Date: January 10th, 10AM PST (1:00 PM EST) Speakers: Elizabeth Prewitt, Policy Analyst, ACEs...

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield donates to Alaska Children’s Trust [newsminer.com]

By Erin Granger egranger@newsminer.com FAIRBANKS — Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, Alaska’s only individual health care company, announced will donate a grant of $220,000 to Alaska Children’s Trust, a state nonprofit program working to prevent issues related to child abuse in Alaska. The grant was part of eight donations Premera gave to eight total organizations across Alaska and Washington, finishing its first year of donations directed toward organizations that support behavioral health...

Alaska Day—Not Just for White People Anymore [progressive.org]

Gerry Hope of the Sik'nax.ádi clan of the Tlingit tribe sees good reason for native people to question Alaska Day, an annual celebration of the U.S. acquisition of this land from Russia. The acquisition happened 150 years ago, but the Tlingit people have called this land home for 10,000 years. “Our hurt, anger, and resentment have been simmering and smoldering for the past 150 years,” Hope said. Alaska Day parades feature charming homemade floats, proud high school marching bands,...

Childhood trauma could be causing your adult health problems [adn.com]

It’s no secret that Alaska struggles with high rates of sexual assault and abuse, neglect, and other crimes against children. Alaska consistently has one of the five highest child abuse rates in the country, according to the Child Welfare League of America. The state Office of Children’s Services told Alaska Dispatch News this summer that in 2017 it has averaged more than 50 reports of abuse and neglect per day. What's less well known is that these kinds of traumatic experiences, along with...

Wisconsin state agencies end year one of trauma-informed learning community; goal is to be first trauma-informed state

Here in California, many people think that it’s only liberal Democrats who have a corner on championing the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and putting it into practice. That might be because people who use ACEs science don’t expel or suspend students, even if they’re throwing chairs and hurling expletives at the teacher. They ask "What happened to you?" rather than "What's wrong with you?" as a frame when they create juvenile detention centers where kids don’t fight, reduce...

The Solutions Desk: Journalism on Resilience & Positive Change in Alaska

The Alaska Resilience Intiaitive 's summer intern, Kate Farmer, wrote this blog post about The Solutions Desk, which is radio and online reporting by Alaska Public Media's Anne Hillman . The series covers positive, resilience-building efforts throughout Alaska. When we go to put the science of ACEs and resilience to work, it helps to have ideas from other communities, schools, tribes, etc. and Ms. Hillman is telling these stories! Check out this blog post on her work, and click through to...

Walker signs opioid addiction prevention bill

"The state’s public health director, Doctor Jay Butler, leads that team and says prescriptions are only one part of the problem. 'Things that we still need to do address access to treatment for people with addiction, undoing some of the stigma that is associated with a variety of addictions, and then also getting into the more fundamental questions, such as how do we mitigate and prevent adverse childhood experiences, which we know is one of the drivers that puts people at risk for substance...

Conference in Anchorage Aug 18th on Complex Trauma and Addictions

Longitudinal Progression of Complex Trauma and Addiction: Case Studies and Interventions The University of Alaska Anchorage - Department of Human Services is hosting a conference on August 18, 2017 from 8 am -5:30 pm with a Dinner presentation from 6 pm - 7:30 pm at the UAA Lucy Cuddy Hall. The conference will spotlight case studies highlighting the necessity of a multi-disciplinary approach in addressing the complexity of trauma combined with addiction. See attached flyer for more...

Tools for Trauma-Informed Change

The Alaska Resilience Initiative website ( www.akresilience.org ) is meant to be a community-building hub, a place to come for resources and a place for you to share resources that you have developed or that you use. We have two resource pages on the site: one is for background on trauma and resilience, and this one is for tools to support trauma-informed and culturally-responsive practices: https://www.akresilience.org/traumainformed-change/ If you have tools, particularly if you have...

Superhero Dreams to Statewide network: My Story of the Alaska Resilience Initiative

I wanted to share with all of you the blog post I wrote about the Alaska Resilience Initiative for the Alaska Children's Trust blog. It's part personal story, part history of this Initiative, part updates on our work and guiding values. https://blog.alaskachildrenstrust.org/2017/06/14/superhero-dreams-to-statewide-network-my-story-of-the-alaska-resilience-initiative/

ARI Website Goes Live

The Alaska Resilience Initiative is excited to announce the launch of our first-ever website! After months of hard work, akresilience.org is live and looking good . Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think. For quite a while, we’ve been trying to fit all our work into a single page hosted by the Alaska Children’s Trust – but no longer! With our new website, you can check out our steering committee and staff, get updates from the workgroups, learn about and post events, connect...

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