Trauma – an event, series of events or set of circumstances, such as neglect and abuse, that is experienced by an individual as harmful or life-threatening – is a nearly universal experience. The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente, revealed that experiences of trauma can impact every area of a person’s functioning.
When Brigid McCaw, M.D., first started practicing medicine, research around the long-term health impact of trauma was just emerging. When she was in medical school, she learned that her sister was in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship and found that resources available for individuals who experience trauma were limited. While her sister had to reach out for help on her own, Dr. McCaw wanted health care to provide a place where patients could get resources and support.
With the success of programs addressing family violence and advances in the science exploring the impact of both childhood and adult trauma, Dr. McCaw realized that it was time to expand beyond family violence and begin to incorporate a trauma-informed approach into the health care setting more broadly.
With this goal in mind, Dr. McCaw focused on using an innovative systems model approach that includes creating a supportive and empowering environment for all individuals impacted by family violence to create the Family Violence Prevention Program at Kaiser Permanente and assumed the position of medical director.
To read the full article, written by Rashida Asante-Eccleston, click HERE