Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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For more information about this program please contact:

Lara Altman
MPH, MSW, Director, Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

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Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

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The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative represents a broad range of organizations, thought and practice leaders, and agencies—from academic institutions and community foundations to private and public partners—committed to expanding the understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on the health and well-being of Illinois children and their communities. Health & Medicine is proud to be a founding member of the Collaborative and to work with our diverse partners to reduce ACEs and promote healing and wellness in the community.

A landmark study conducted in 1995 by Drs. Robert Anda and Vincent Felitti in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente first uncovered the connection between ACEs—experiences of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction before the age of 18—on adults’ health outcomes, finding that high ACE exposure can reduce a person’s life span by almost 20 years. ACEs appear to be a root cause of many of our most challenging health and social problems from smoking, to substance abuse, obesity, heart disease, low birth weight, unemployment, depression, and suicide. Further exacerbating this problem, without adequate family intervention and support, ACEs appear to be transmitted from one generation to the next.

Through our work, the Collaborative strives to develop education, policies, and responses to assist those who have experienced a high level of adversity, while simultaneously developing strategies to reduce the frequency and impact of ACEs as well as preventing their transmission to the next generation. To achieve this goal, the Collaborative fosters partnerships with leading ACE researchers, participates in regional and national policy discussions, and advocates to expand ACE-related policies in Illinois.

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