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Notes and materials from our first meeting of 2015

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We had a good meeting last Wednesday. Allen Nishikawa greeted us with a mindfulness practice that helped us relax and be present.

ACEs Connection staff Alicia and Jesus joined us and it was a pleasure to meet them in person!

Karen Clemmer once again produced some great documentation of our meeting. Her notes are below and attached as a PDF along with some other materials she shared with us.

Let's stay Connected! We hope to see you at our February meeting.

Cheers, Alison


Dear Sonoma County ACES Connection members!

For all who were able to come to the meeting – what did you think about Allen’s welcoming ceremony?  As I looked around the table, it appeared that the warm hand towels were very welcome sensory experience.  What a nice way to bring our thoughts and senses to the meeting.  Thank you Allen for bringing this experience to the whole group!


These notes only reflect the essence of our meeting.  The passion of the participants and the richness of ideas that are shared just cannot be fully captured.  Please join us next time:  February 25th, 12:30 to 2:00 at 625 Fifth Street in SR! 


Frequently we discuss ACES (obviously!) and Trauma Informed Care (very important too!) and today we were also reminded of the importance on Resilience!  The how & why some folks overcome high ACE scores.

Ü  Adverse Childhood Experiences 

Ü  Trauma Informed Care

Ü  Resilience


There were several new members were welcomed at this meeting, including Nubia Padilla from Community Action Partnership, Liz George a home visiting Public Health Nurse, Gabrielle Trubach a Health Information Specialist in Maternal Child Adolescent Health ANDJesus Gaeta and Alicia St. Andrews from


First 5 reported out on the work of their collaborative Perinatal ACES group – their work to date and what they hope to accomplish in the future.  Here is just a sampling of their collaborative effortsHome Visiting, Strengthening Families, Triple P and other parent education, Violence Profile, Trauma-informed services, Drug Free Babies, MHSA funded programs, SBIRT, Health Action, Cradle to Career, DHS Schools Partnership, community schools/family resource centers movement


Child Parent Institute shared how they have embedded the Five Protective Factors into all facets of their work with vulnerable children and families.  CPI provides service on site, in the home, in collaboration with FY&C and they have a non public school that incorporates the same principles.


Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 8.08.32 PMThe ACES Connection staff, Jesus and Alicia shared information on other ACES efforts in LA, San Diego, and San Francisco. San Francisco recently published this report on their efforts to transform their public health system of care into a trauma informed system. 


We also learned of efforts to establish groups to focus on ACES and parenting, ACES and youth, ACES and peer to peer health education – etc.  Jesus is also working in SF on trauma associated with unstable housing, and ACES in the LGBT community


Allen brought up the issue of ACES in other cultures such as refugees who may have been child soldiers, and Jesus said this is an area he is also focusing on.   It was mentioned that resilience comes in different ways, in different cultures.  


Clearly, there is still tremendous work to do, to fully integrate ACES into multiple sectors of society.

The group discussed the pros and cons of sharing ACE scores with parents, the benefit of working with families vs working with professionals and how best to effect positive change.  Carrie share how the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) works with families, including children and parents over several weeks.  Their curriculum builds the participant’s understanding and prepares them to transition into Triple P positive parenting training. 


Learn more about Triple P:

Triple P gives parents simple tips to help manage the big and small problems of family life. Problems like a child’s tantrums. Self-esteem issues. Bedtime battles. Disobedience. Aggression. Triple P can help you deal with them all – and more! And Triple P is one of the few parenting programs in the world with evidence to show it works for most families.


Listening for Change is creating connections—one story at a time.  Their goal is to promote understanding and acceptance of human diversity through education, oral history, and the arts. 

TED Talk:    Website:


Carol shared emerging plans for a Leadership Summit on March 11th designed to - increase key policy makers’ understanding of ACES and the local impact trauma has on families and the economy. In the afternoon, Master Level Triple P training will be held to continue to build local capacity to support families in need.


We’ve talk about screening & intervening with individuals with high ACE scores ….

But have we spent enough effort focused on prevention?  More on local prevention focused efforts a bit later ….

Prevent             Screen              Intervene


Nubia from Community Action Partnership’s AVANCE program asked a brilliant question – how can AVANCE incorporate ACES into their curriculum? Shelley explained the evidence based curriculum, developed 40 years ago, pre-dates ACES! The group brainstormed ways to build in ACES at a local level. Grace offered to train AVANCE staff – Karen asked if the preventative benefits of AVANCE could be added to their data set?    


Other prevention focused efforts include the Public Health Nursing home visiting program – which build ACES into their logic model and Nurse Family Partnership. Additionally, Triple P provides preventative benefits. 


These and other efforts that prevent ACES, align with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor’s Upstream Initiative. This policy, sponsored by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and widely supported throughout the community, seeks to eliminate poverty in Sonoma County and ensure equal opportunity for quality education and good health in nurturing home and community environments.


As part of our effort to operationalize ACES and Trauma Informed Care into multiple settings throughout the county, we’ve begun an Asset & Gaps mapping process. Our efforts were stymied a bit by the tool we were using and the lack of common definitions. Allen and Alison worked together (using their grant writing expertise) to develop a scale that soon each of us will be able to complete a self assessment for our organization. Stay tuned for more details! 




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