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ACEs Aware initiative trains nearly 14,000 health care providers in trauma-informed care

October 20, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health 


Nearly 14,000 health care providers have completed the ACEs Aware initiative’s core training program, “Becoming ACEs Aware in California.” The program trains health care providers to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and to recognize and respond to the symptoms of toxic stress. Of those trained, 8,300 are Medi-Cal providers who are now eligible to receive payment for providing ACE screenings.

The newly launched ACEs Aware Provider Directory offers patients a way to find and connect with trained ACEs Aware providers throughout California. Providers are encouraged to opt in to be listed in the directory to help patients find a trauma-informed provider.

“The COVID-19 public health emergency has brought unprecedented levels of stress to families and communities across California. Individuals with a history of childhood adversity are at greater risk of developing both physical and behavioral health conditions as a result,” said California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, M.D. “ACEs Aware trains health care providers on how to recognize a patient who may be at high risk for ACEs and to respond with trauma-informed care. As the data reflect, we are building a movement of trauma-informed clinical teams in communities across California and will continue to provide evidence-based practices through the ACEs Aware initiative.”

The ACEs Aware initiative has been an integral part of the Medi-Cal program’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, helping providers identify, treat and prevent the secondary health effects associated with stress caused by the pandemic.

Since its launch in December 2019, the ACEs Aware initiative has worked to equip providers with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to effectively incorporate ACE screening into patient care. Effective January 1, 2020, qualified Medi-Cal providers who complete the certified “Becoming ACEs Aware in California” training and attest to completion can receive Medi-Cal payment for screening children and adults for ACEs.

For more information, see the “Becoming ACEs Aware in California” Provider Training: September Data Update and the September Data Fact Sheet.

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