Trauma-Informed Health Departments: Cross-Sector Collaboration – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Trauma-Informed Health Departments: Cross-Sector Collaboration

Jun 27, 2019

The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative hosted an interactive webinar on June 27th about cross-sector collaboration as part of its virtual learning series for trauma-informed health departments. Attendees heard from leaders in two communities—Cicero, IL and Tarpon Springs, FL—on the unique ways they have integrated trauma-informed practices into their organizations and created relationships across sectors.

From Cicero, Jackie Wallen of Youth Crossroads and Vince Acevez, Commander of the Gang Crimes Tactical Unit at the Cicero Police Department, discussed the Cicero Community Collaborative (CCC). The CCC connects sectors from across the city, including the police department, and worked to implement trauma-informed training on multiple levels. The pair discussed how law enforcement came to be involved in the trauma-informed process, and what results were seen within the department and community.

From Tarpon Springs, Robin Saeneger of the Peace4Tarpon Trauma Informed Community Initiative discussed how Tarpon Springs utilized a multi-sector approach to become the first trauma-informed community in the United States. Ms. Saeneger discussed how the initiative has evolved over the last decade, and how Tarpon Springs has incorporated and promoted resiliency throughout the community with partners such as the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority, Police Department, and Fire Rescue.

Supporting Illinois Health Departments
One of the Collaborative’s roles is providing technical support and education to health departments across the state of Illinois who are working towards becoming trauma-informed departments. With support from the Illinois Children’s Health Foundation, we have developed a variety of tools and resources including an environmental scan of health departments, a trauma-informed toolkit, and a webinar series covering a variety of trauma related topics.

This learning series is a forum for members to not only hear from experts in the field, but also provide insight and support for each other as they pursue trauma-informed transformation. At the first virtual meeting, we heard from several departments across the state who have all begun this transformation on the unique ways they have integrated trauma-informed strategies into their department and work. Future meetings will cover topics such as community engagement, training, and funding and development for health departments.