Grantee Stories

Highlighting the work of our grantees furthering the mission of ACEs Aware

Doctor reviewing form with patient

Community Spotlight: Heyman Oo and Caren Schmidt, Marin Community Clinics

Heyman Oo, MD, MPH, a pediatrician, is the Associate Medical Director at Marin Community Clinics (MCC). Caren Schmidt, PsyD, is MCC’s Associate Director of Behavioral Health. For the past six years, they have championed trauma-informed care and ACE screening and intervention at their clinic. Their work is a featured case study in the ACEs Aware ACE Screening Implementation How-To Guide, in which they described their experiences obtaining buy-in for piloting and designing the implementation process for organization-wide ACE screening, training staff on trauma-informed care, and expanding internal and…

Community Spotlight: Deirdre Bernard-Pearl, MD, Santa Rosa Community Clinics

Dr. Deirdre Bernard-Pearl has been practicing Primary Care Pediatrics since 1997 and is the Pediatric Faculty member of the UCSF-Sutter Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and Santa Rosa Community Health. She shared her experiences incorporating trauma-informed principles to promote worker wellness at her health center in a past ACEs Aware webinar.

Community Spotlight: Sara Johnson, Obstetrician Gynecologist at La Clínica de la Raza

Sara Johnson is an Obstetrician Gynecologist at La Clínica de la Raza in Contra Costa County. She advances trauma-informed care in reproductive health and focuses on supporting patients’ power to create health and well-being across the life course and across generations. Dr. Johnson was the team lead for La Clínica’s California ACEs Learning and Quality Improvement Collaborative (CALQIC) project, which implemented prenatal ACE screening, and with an ACEs Aware grant developed a supplemental training entitled, ACE Screening and Trauma-Informed Care in Reproductive Health. She is the lead author of California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative’s recommendations for addressing adversity in prenatal care, to be published in the June edition of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Community Spotlight: Lisa James, Director of Health, Futures Without Violence

As part of a National Health Initiative on Domestic Violence, James has collaborated with health care providers, domestic violence experts, and health policymakers in more than 25 states across the U.S. to develop statewide health care responses to domestic violence through training, health policy reform, and public education. A former ACEs Aware grantee, Futures Without Violence ( has developed curricula, webinars, and other resources to train health care providers on improving responses to violence and abuse. Currently, James is leading an ACEs Aware pilot project addressing the health…

California’s ACEs Aware Initiative Awards $19.5 Million in Grant Funds to Increase Capacity to Screen and Respond to ACEs and Toxic Stress

On September 16, 2022, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced $19.5 million in ACEs Aware funding to 25 teams across California. The awarding of funds was done in partnership with the Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG), UCLA-UCSF ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network (UCAAN), and Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL), a program of the Public Health Institute (PHI).

Network of Care (Round 2) Planning Grant Report

The Network of Care Round 2 report is focused on the 26 Network of Care Planning grants designed to support communities whose Medi-Cal providers were in the early stages of screening for ACEs and contemplating approaches for coordinating across clinics, community-based organizations, and social services agencies. This report outlines areas where Network of Care Planning grantees achieved success and where challenges emerged.

ACEs Aware Grantee Spotlight – December 2021

On December 14, 2021, three ACEs Aware Network of Care grantees shared their successes promoting ACE screenings, sustainable trauma-informed networks to mitigate toxic stress. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris listened to each presentation with an opportunity to ask the grantees targeted questions about what their efforts have accomplished for their communities through their Planning or Implementation Networks of Care grants.

Tri-City Mental Health, Hanna Institute, and Kings County Department of Public Health

The ACEs Aware initiative funds community-based approaches to identify, treat, and heal the effects of ACEs and stress. Last month, we asked grantees Tri-City Mental Health Authority, Kings County Department of Public Health, and the Hanna Institute to share their strategies for engaging with local communities.