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Using ACEs to Shift Policy and Practice with Laura Porter

On April 27, 2016 the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative welcomed over 200 clinicians, researchers, teachers, service providers and other community members to for a conversation led by Laura Porter, one of the country’s leading experts on ACEs. Held at the Hughes Auditorium at Northwestern University, the event provided an opportunity to learn about recent national developments that have the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents and communities of Chicago and Illinois. Ms. Porter discussed her work and offered a national perspective on how to use the science and theory of ACES to change policy and influence practice to move toward healthier, more resilient communities free of violence with fewer preventable illnesses. Attendees learned about trauma-informed care and resilience and engaged with other community leaders in starting to develop approaches throughout Illinois to improve our systems, policies, and practices.

Slides for each of Ms. Porter's presentations in Chicago can be found below:

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?
In 1998, a landmark study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control first uncovered the powerful link between childhood trauma and harmful physical and emotional outcomes for children and adults. ACEs—experiences of abuse, neglect, and serious household dysfunction before the age of 18—appear to have a significant impact on developing brains and bodies, contributing to serious health issues that can span a lifetime. Research has shown that ACEs have clear links to obesity, cancer, substance abuse, and mental health issues that can shorten life expectancy by as much as 20 years.  This event will use the framework of ACEs and NEAR Science (a cluster of fields of study that include Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs and Resilience) to help participants more fully understand these issues and begin to develop a road map for how we can build capacity and shape policies.

Laura Porter, Co-Founder, ACE Interface, LLC. and Senior Director, ACEs Learning Institute, Foundation for Healthy Generations
Laura Porter develops and disseminates educational products and empowerment strategies that help a wide range of groups: from parents leading informal initiatives to officials leading state and federal agencies.  From 1998 to 2013, Ms. Porter directed the Washington State Family Policy Council and Office of ACE Partnerships and brings more than a decade of experience leading successful state-wide implementation of ACE Study concepts.  Laura is committed to developing market forces in the ACE social movement sufficient to sustain the courageous leaders who are using ACE and resilience science, as well as Building Self-Healing Communities. Ms. Porter concurrently serves as the Senior Director of The Learning Institute at the Foundation for Healthy Generations, a Seattle-based non-profit.  She oversees analysis of Washington State ACE data and works with local and state leaders to embed NEAR (NEAR: Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACE, and Resilience) science findings into policy, practice and community norms.