Blog

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.

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