Inclusive Excellence: Adverse childhood experiences

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | April 01, 2021

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The UNMC Office of Inclusion invites the campus community to learn about the lifetime impact of adverse childhood experiences during its next "Conversations for Inclusive Excellence" on April 8

Sheritta Strong, MD, director of inclusion, will moderate the virtual session, which runs from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants can join the meeting via Zoom.

This month, pediatrician and California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, MD, will explain how childhood trauma isn't something you just get over as you grow up. Dr. Burke Harris will outline how the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues have real, tangible effects on the development of the brain -- to the point where those who've experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer.

Attendees will learn more about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, which found that people who had experienced difficult or adverse experiences in childhood had a greater risk of both physical and mental health problems during adulthood. They also will hear an impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma head-on and reflect on how it intersects with other identities, including our own.

View the ACE questionnaire.

Sponsored by the Office of Inclusion, "Conversations for Inclusive Excellence" allow participants to engage in meaningful and, at times, uncomfortable conversations to co-create understanding. Participants also gain tools to continue the dialogue within their departments and offices. The sessions, which take place the second Thursday of every month, challenge participants and the assumptions we all make consciously and unconsciously.

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