The ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the nation effort to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to help improve and save lives.
Initially led by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG) as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s California For All initiative, ACEs Aware strives to create a better world for children, families, and communities by working together across the health, human services, education, and non-profit sectors to prevent and address the impact of ACEs and toxic stress.
On October 1, 2021, the ACEs Aware initiative transitioned to a new organizational home within the University of California. The newly created University of California ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network (UCAAN) is a multi-campus initiative that leverages the substantial interdisciplinary resources of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) public health sciences campuses to develop, promote, and sustain evidence-based methods to screen patients for ACEs and create treatment plans to help patients heal from the impacts of trauma and toxic stress. UCAAN is led and administered through the Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCSF Center to Advance Trauma-Informed Health Care.
More than 60 percent of Californians have experienced at least one ACE, and 16.7 percent have experienced four or more. [ 1 ] The good news is toxic stress is treatable. A consensus of scientific data demonstrates that early detection and early intervention significantly improves health outcomes.
ACEs Aware is bringing communities together in ways never before imagined to prevent, screen for, treat, and heal trauma-induced toxic stress. Together, we are getting to the root cause of some of the most harmful, persistent, and expensive health challenges facing our state and nation.