GCACH’s Community and Tribal Engagement Specialist, Rubén Peralta, attended the 2018 Biennial Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Conference: Action to Access to learn more about this movement, and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) in general, as well as find resources that will help us develop a campaign to address ACEs (which can also be considered SDOH). Rubén returned even more convinced of the need for a media campaign to raise public awareness of the effects ACEs have on a person’s health. GCACH is working on a recommendation for such a media campaign, and just as important, a recommendation to invest in accelerating capacity in resiliency-building programs. It will not be sufficient to just make the public aware of the devastating effects of ACEs, we need to be able to provide the public with the tools to overcome them by building resilience.
In the conference, Dr. Vincent Felitti, one of the two principal researchers of the study, touched on several health improvements experienced by the group of 17,000 subjects simply by becoming more aware of the effects ACEs had on their health. Among other improvements, the group experienced lower A1C, a drop in ED visits, and lower readmissions rates. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician and early adopter of the ACEs study in her practice, echoed Dr. Felitti’s words.
Furthermore, Carol Moser and Rubén Peralta recently joined Premera and Camber Collective in a listening tour of our rural areas to learn about the challenges rural health care providers are facing. One of the common themes that surfaced, directly or indirectly, was mitigating the effects of ACEs/SDOH. Premera is seeking to invest significant funds in rural health and social impact strategies in Washington and Alaska.
GCACH believes that by going upstream to the root of poor health in our population to address ACEs/SDOH through a media campaign and by accelerating the capacity of existing evidence-based programs that build resiliency, we will create effective interventions that complement the work of physical and mental health providers.