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Keynote Address

8:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. PDT

Understanding ACEs: Building Self-Healing Communities

Keynote Presentation and Community Conversation

Keynote presenter: 

Robert F. Anda, MD, MS

Co-Founder, ACE Interface, LLC

Co-Principal Investigator, Landmark ACE Study

This keynote presentation will include a review of how adversity gets embedded in neurodevelopment and affects the way our genome may be used and affected. The public health and community-wide implications of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study will be reviewed, with specific examples of how the science shows that ACEs affect goals and practices in human service systems (education, justice, health care).

Self-Healing Communities use this science—and the understanding and compassion that flows from it—as a platform to engage the creativity, minds and hearts of all people in the community. This type of engagement can lead to healing at the individual level and can help to create a culture of change that brings people who have been affected by ACEs together with the systems that serve them. This brings hope, new meaning, and the understanding that is necessary for moving beyond old ways of thinking about trauma, ACEs, and their related outcomes. These changes unlock the latent potential and creativity in communities that lead to new ways to interrupt the intergenerational cycle of ACEs and reduce exposure to ACEs for the generations to come.

The ACE Study demonstrates the relationship of childhood abuse, neglect, domestic violence and related experiences to health throughout the lifespan. The findings are consistent with recent discoveries about the neurobiology of stress and the effect of stress on the developing central nervous system. Unlike other studies, the ACE study assessed a wide array of traumatic childhood experiences as well as many health and social problems from adolescence to late adulthood. The number of ACEs has a graded relationship to many common medical and public health problems. An overview of these concepts and their application to building community capacity to prevent ACEs will be presented.

Keynote Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the basic biology of the effects of childhood trauma on neurodevelopment

  • Understand that Adverse Childhood Experiences  are common and highly interrelated

  • Understand that the  number of Adverse Childhood Experiences has a strong, graded, “dose-response” relationship to many health and social problems. This is consistent with the impact of cumulative stress on childhood neurodevelopment   

  • Understand the concept of the “ACE pyramid” life course model for the long-term effects of impaired neurodevelopment

  • Review the “dose-response” relationship of the ACE score to: leading causes of death, mental health problems-including the risk of suicide and risk factors for suicide attempts, substance abuse, reproductive health, violent revictimization

  • Review the obvious costs of ACEs to society and how they affect human service systems

  • Understand the intergenerational aspect of ACEs

  • Review concepts of community application and systems change

  • Review ideas needed to reduce the intergenerational cycle of adversity

Community Conversation with Dr. Anda


Victoria Kral, Santa Barbara County Juvenile Services

Manny Arroyo, Kids & Families Together (Ventura County)

Nisha AbdulCader, MD, San Luis Obispo County SART Team

Q&A with Dr. Anda

Sessions: Schedule

Educational Sessions

Six simultaneous sessions. Participants choose one.
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. P.D.T.

Ripple Effects of Transgenerational Trauma and Racism on Families of Color 


Dr. Sayida Peprah, PsyD

Diversity Uplifts, Inc.

This presentation will focus on increasing the cultural sensitivity and awareness of medical providers regarding the impacts of transgenerational trauma on families of color. The audience will be taken on a journey through the transgenerational traumas of African Americans, Native/Indigenous Americans and immigrant communities. There will be a dissection of both the mental and physical health impacts of transgenerational trauma on individuals and families, as well as exploration of the resilience and strengths evidenced in the communities. Recommendations and examples for providing services, care and support to children and families with a history of historical trauma in the community, will be offered.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe how historical trauma and racism has impacted families/communities of color.

  • Detect, identify and assess for the mental and physical health impacts of transgenerational/historical trauma on children and families.

  • Construct support strategies and interventions for children and families with a history of transgenerational/historical trauma.

The Importance of Youth Resilience in Overcoming Adversity


Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MS, Ed

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Center for Parent and Teen Communication

Young people who have endured adverse childhood experiences may have lifelong effects on their brain, health, and behaviors.  However, they are also equipped with a different kind of credential – deep sensitivity and compassion.  The power of caring adults in their lives cannot be exaggerated.  Caring adults can work with youth in a way that nurtures their strengths rather than triggers their earned reactivity.  This session will focus on the importance of healthy, healing connections and strategies that restore control to young people from whom it may have been taken away.

Learning objectives:

  • Introduce the behavioral change process and understand how a respectful strengths-based interaction addresses demoralization that serves as the impediment to initiating positive actions.

  • Be better prepared to eliminate shame from interactions by focusing on building confidence in youth. They will understand that confidence has to be rooted in existing competencies.

  • Understand the importance of restoring a sense of control to young people from whom it may have been taken away in their childhood.

Shifting from the Stress System to the Wisdom System


John Horton, MD

This presentation will discuss new brain research pertinent to the healing of ACEs and understanding the common denominator of healing, shifting from the stress system to the wisdom system. Personal research on the natural healing process for trauma, based on 50 years of medical practice, will be shared. Participants will learn the three boxes exercise and the tree of stability exercise. Clinical stories of healing will be presented, including a discussion of the necessity for an armor of understanding, sword of clarity and shield of courage. 

Learning objectives:

  • Greater understanding of the menu of the stress system

  • Greater understanding of the menu of innate human wisdom

  • Introduced to resilience related to inner stability

  • Recognize simple dynamic of shifting from stress to wisdom

SPEAK Up 2 Disrupt! Disrupting Fragility to Create Opportunity


Sara Rex


Sara Rex provides insight into the role of disruption as it relates to intrinsic fragility based on implicit bias.  During this session, she shares how fragility impacts one’s response to and engagement with “otherness” and how the unconscious implications of fragility affect communications, classrooms, communities, corporations, and clinical practice.  Participants will explore the SEEDS and SCARF models as tools to disrupt inherent fragility; to address and minimize the use of protective microaggressions; to cultivate meaningful conversations; to mitigate conflict; and to create intentional opportunities beneficial to advancing and sustaining personal and community growth in cultural competence.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the concept of intrinsic fragility

  • Understand the implications of implicit bias and the impact on how we communicate, educate, cultivate inequity and disparities in classrooms, communities and corporations.

  • Understand the benefits of employing “Disruption” strategies to advance personal and community development of cultural competence.

  • Understand the conceptual framework of the SEEDS and SCARF Models to drive intentional opportunities for personal and community based change.

Trauma-Responsive Family Engagement Practices for Early Childhood


Julie Kurtz

Center for Optimal Brain Integration®

Designed for all professionals working with parents and families of young children, this training offers concrete examples for building trauma-responsive family engagement in your school, community program or healthcare clinic. We will explore evidence-based practices that promote trauma-response family engagement and tools that strive to create trusting, asset-focused partnerships with families that improve equity and promote culturally responsive family engagement practices.

Learning Objectives:

  • Evaluate the difference between family involvement and family engagement.

  • Describe 1-2 concrete trauma-responsive family engagement strategies to support relational connections.

  • Apply 1-2 trauma responsive principles to practice in the program.

Road to Resilience: Connecting Pediatric and Community Service Providers


Andria Barnes Ruth, MD – Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative

Ama Atiedu – Cottage Health

This presentation will introduce the concepts and broad categories of the network of care, as outlined in the California Surgeon General’s ACEs Aware Network of Care Roadmap. Presenters will share steps taken and lessons learned in developing the vision and activities of the Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative, including the role of Resilient Santa Barbara County and the emerging partnership that will take their collaboration to the next level. This discussion will show how numerous organizations and funders are aligning efforts to build healthier families and communities by expanding ACEs screening and referral services throughout pediatric clinics and linking providers to relevant community systems. Presenters will demonstrate how a network of care can function by discussing a pediatric case with panelists and by sharing compelling future directions for the Network of Care, building on the purpose of this collaborative. Lessons learned are applicable to any community or coalition that is interested in developing their network of care to support individuals and families impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the components of a trauma-informed network of care and sectors/organizations that contribute to this care

  • Understand the status/partners of the network of care in Santa Barbara County

  • Recognize the places and resources where you can learn more about a network of care

  • Understand the role of care coordination and navigation in a network of care and what these services look like for patients

Sessions: Schedule

Affinity Groups

Four simultaneous sessions at two time periods:

Round 1 ~ 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Participants choose one 

Round 2 ~ 1: 45 p.m. - 2: 45 p.m. - Participants choose one

Affinity Groups: Connecting the Coastal Tri-counties

Affinity Groups are live 60-minute virtual discussions facilitated by a sector expert with a Bridges Network Team Liaison. Sessions will begin with an overview of our Networks of Care that support physicians in linking patients to appropriate buffering resources and prescribed treatments. Each group will present and identify community-based organizations, partnerships, and trauma-informed best practices in the tri-counties. Participants will gain understanding in how integrated systems and trauma-informed services will improve the experiences of individuals and families and hopefully lead to improved outcomes. Local representatives from each county and each affinity area will contribute to the discussion.

Interventions in the Early Years Affinity Group

Facilitator: Carrie Collins | Link Family Resource Center

with Florene Bednersh, MEd | Network Team Liaison

The first years of life (birth through 5) are foundational for a child’s healthy growth and brain development. Parents/primary caregivers play a critical role in providing supportive environments, nurturing relationships, and activities that spark children’s curiosity and learning – but they do not have to figure it out on their own. The Network of Care for Interventions in the Early Years includes parents/caregivers and their child’s primary care physician, providers of quality childcare, home visitation, developmental services, parenting education, and peer support. This interactive affinity group will share buffering strategies, resources, and interventions to support healthy early development.

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of the network of care for the Early Years Interventions sector

  • Perspective of care and support related to early years interventions

  • Beyond access and capacity issues, what are challenges or considerations important to recognize for interventions in the early years

  • Identify resources, providers, and opportunities for ongoing care and support in the Early Years sector

Family Strengthening Affinity Group

Facilitator: Magdalena Benitez, MSW |  Family Strengthening Consultant

with Lisa Fraser | Network Team Liaison


Strengthening families is a research-informed approach to increase family resilience, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.  Healthcare providers and community programs can engage and partner with parents to help ensure children thrive in supported families. This Network of Care Affinity Group will bring together qualified Parent Educators, Family Advocates and Human Service Providers to connect the medical community with multiple resources offered in the Family Strengthening sector. The discussion will increase participants' knowledge of local Family Resource Centers and referral services as well as improve understanding of the Strengthening Families Protective Factors such as building social connections and self -resiliency skills, and helping parents understand the importance of children’s social/emotional development - all key elements in family strengthening. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of the network of care for the Family Strengthening sector

  • Perspective of care and support related to family strengthening 

  • Beyond access and capacity issues, what are challenges or considerations important to recognize for family strengthening 

  • Identify resources, providers, and opportunities for ongoing care and support in the Family Strengthening sector

System-Involved Youth Affinity Group

Facilitator: Jim Roberts | Family Care Network, Inc.

with Kathleen Van Antwerp, EdD |  Network Team Liaison

Multisystem-involved youth are children and adolescents with complex needs who are concurrently served in child welfare/foster care, behavioral health, regional centers and/or juvenile justice/probation systems. This interactive affinity group will provide a shared platform for practitioners and community-based providers to move from conversation to collaboration to create effective care-network pathways for system-involved youth and their families.

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of the network of care for System-Involved Youth sector

  • Perspective of care and support related to system-involved youth

  • Beyond access and capacity issues, what are challenges or considerations important to recognize for system-involved youth

  • Identify resources, providers, and opportunities for ongoing care and support in the System-Involved Youth sector.

Behavioral Health and Wellness Affinity Group

Facilitator: Danielle Shaw, MD, FAAP, FAPA | Casa Pacifica Center for Children and Families

with Terri Allison | Network Team Liaison 

The Network of Care for Behavioral Health and Wellness Affinity Group will bring together physicians and representatives from a wide range of local county mental health departments, private and community treatment programs, therapists and community navigators to share buffering strategies, resources and interventions.This session will evoke discussions about healing strategies that can be integrated into therapy and also taught outside of clinical settings to facilitate deeper collaboration and a well-integrated system of care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Importance of the network of care for Behavioral Health and Wellness sector

  • Perspective of care and support related to behavioral health and wellness

  • Beyond access and capacity issues, what are challenges or considerations important to recognize for behavioral health and wellness

  • Identify resources, providers, and opportunities for ongoing care and support in the Behavioral Health and Wellness sector

Sessions: Schedule
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