On October 9, 2019, Kaiser Permanente (Kaiser) announced their investment of $2.75 million to fund research on the prevention and mitigation of the health effects associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The funding will support the identification of both clinical and community-based interventions to address the impact of ACEs on health. This includes a systematic review of the existing literature to identify current gaps in knowledge, and build on existing research to find successful programs, best practices, and interventions that could be used to better understand and address ACEs across communities.
ACEs are traumatic events that occur before the age of 18; ACEs include environmental factors or situations such as abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, living in a dangerous neighborhood, and systemic racism. Experiencing one or more ACEs is commonly associated with long-term negative effects including chronic health conditions and risky health behaviors. According to Bernard Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser, the research initiative supports Kaiser’s additional work in providing a “total health” approach to care. Mr. Tyson discussed that the ultimate goal of the initiative is to prevent a child from being in a traumatic environment or situation; however, if this can’t be prevented, the goal is to give the children in those environments the necessary coping skills to buffer the long-term negative effects on physical health and mental well-being.
According to Don Mordecai, M.D., mental health and wellness lead of Kaiser, the organization will likely release a request for proposals for ACEs-related studies with grants anticipated to be issued in 2021. The initial areas of research will focus on identifying factors to prevent ACEs, determining the most effective methods of community-based services, and mitigating the short- and long-term negative effects on a child’s health and well-being.
Kaiser Permanente was founded in 1945 and is now one of the nation’s largest non-profit health plans, serving 12.3 million members. Kaiser Permanente is headquartered in Oakland, California. The organization is comprised of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and its subsidiaries, and the Permanente Medical Groups.
This was reported by Kaiser Permanente on October 9, 2019.
Contact information: Kaiser Permanente Corporate Offices, 1 Kaiser Plaza, Oakland, California 94612; 510-271-5910; Website: https://about.kaiserpermanente.org