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New State Initiative Trains Providers to Screen Patients for Childhood Trauma

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California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and Dr. Karen Mark, medical director for the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), have unveiled a new initiative to help health care providers screen patients for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that increase the likelihood of health conditions caused by toxic stress.

The state is now offering provider training for screening pediatric and adult patients for 10 categories of ACEs, which include abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. The two-hour online curriculum will be accessible for a wide range of health care professionals and will provide continuing medical education and maintenance of certification credits. 

Through the initiative, called ACEs Aware, Medi-Cal providers can receive training, clinical protocols, additional resources, and payment  beginning Jan. 1, 2020  for screening children and adults for ACEs. Detecting ACEs early and connecting patients to interventions, resources, and other support can significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and families.

More information is available at