Trauma-Informed Toolkit for Health Care Providers - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Trauma-Informed Toolkit for Health Care Providers

For more information about this program please contact:

Kate McCormack
LCSW, Director, IL ACES Responsive Collaborative

Mayra Diaz
Policy Analyst, Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

Hannah Shevrin
Training and Capacity Building Manager, Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

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Trauma-Informed Toolkit for Health Care Providers

  • Overview


The resources shared in this toolkit are informed by our work with the Hospital Collaborative and are designed to help providers both increase their understanding of what it means to be truly trauma-informed and begin the complex and multi-step process of implementing those practices. This work is ongoing. Visit again soon for updates and contact us to share ideas of your own.                           

Quick Links

  • Newsletter archive (click here to join our mailing list)
  • Webinar archive–Access webinars focused on trauma-informed systems change, burnout and wellness for healthcare providers, and more.
  • ACEs Policy Briefs–Our policy brief series explores the impact of ACEs in the health, justice, and education systems including promising practices and recommended actions for change.
  • Environmental Scans–Our 2016 scan captures learning from over 300 programs in Illinois and nationally working to address trauma, while our 2018 scan provides in-depth snapshots of 27 organizations that have begun the process of becoming trauma-informed.
  • Findings from the Illinois 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey–Data is a powerful tool for many in policy and leadership roles, one that can help them to more effectively make the case for addressing trauma and determine the potential return on investment of ACE-informed policies. Our report presents findings from the 2013 BRFSS and examines the prevalence of ACEs among adults in Illinois and Chicago, including assessing racial/ethnic and gender differences, and the association of ACEs with negative health outcomes.

Assessment Tools

  • Members of our Trauma-Informed Hospital Collaborative filled out this assessment for their individual hospital following the SAMSHA guidelines. View the assessment tool.
  • In 2018, the Hospital Collaborative decided to use the Chicago Department of Public Health’s “Trauma Informed Transformation Staff Assessment Survey” to collect baseline data from our members. The survey asks questions across five domains (knowledge, skills, practices, safety, delegate agencies, and clinical services) in order to assess an entire organization to a) understand how “traumatic stress” is currently experienced by staff and consumers/clients and b) identify short and long term opportunities for improvement. We are currently customizing the tool for the hospital setting and hope to make it available here soon.
  • Guide to Completing the Agency Self-Assessment:The Agency Self-Assessment for Trauma-Informed Care is intended to be a tool that will help you assess your organization’s readiness to implement a trauma-informed approach. Honest and candid staff responses can benefit
    your agency by helping to identify opportunities for program and environmental change, assist in professional
    development planning, and can be used to inform organizational policy change. (Adopted from the National Center on Family Homelessness Trauma-Informed Organizational Self-Assessment and “Creating Cultures of Trauma- Informed Care: A Self Assessment and Planning Protocol” article by Roger D. Fallot, Ph.D. & Maxine Harris, Ph.D.)

Sample Presentation to Hospital Leadership

A key learning from our work is that buy-in from organization leadership is a key ingredient for systems transformation. This sample presentation is modeled off of conversations our members have had with their leadership and is intended to show the “value add” of making trauma-awareness a system-wide goal.

Intended for hospital and health sector leaders, this report provides key background information about the science behind trauma-informed care; how provider and staff knowledge about trauma can improve patient health outcomes; the economics of trauma-informed care; and new understanding of the impact of secondary trauma on provider burnout.

Staff Wellness

Across the board, the hospitals and health care providers we work with have identified staff and caregiver wellness and retention as key area for change. Both staff and patients carry the burden and stress of their own individual ACEs and traumas. In addition, healthcare workers carry the added secondary traumatic stress of exposure to their patients’ ACEs and traumas and the stress of their workplace. Addressing staff wellness and avoiding burnout is a key step to becoming trauma-informed.

Videos on Trauma-Informed Care

ACEs 101 Resources