What happens to you before the age of 18 has been shown to possibly set you up for a lifetime of chronic lifestyle disease. Early death, autoimmune disease, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide and heart disease have been linked to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). As health care providers, we have the responsibility to use a whole systems approach to healthcare. Many providers were never taught about Adverse Childhood Experiences and therefore are missing a significant piece of the puzzle to their patient’s care. Dr. Robert Block, former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, stated that ACEs are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today. When we know better, we have the responsibility to do better. This presentation will enlighten those attending on the importance of asking the hard questions and really digging deep into the patient’s childhood and the toxic stress associated with their upbringing. With autoimmunity, depression, anxiety and suicides on the rise, this topic is more important than ever to address in our clinics with our patients. As Dr. van der Kolk MD so aptly pointed out in his landmark book on ACES, The Body Keeps the Score, we are at a precipice in our nations healthcare. Addressing ACEs is one way to start teasing out the root cause of chronic lifestyle disease with our patients. The science doesn’t lie, early adversity affects health across the lifespan. This is treatable and beatable. As healthcare providers we must step up and have the courage to ask the hard questions and transition our practices to include the ACE questionnaire with every patient.
- Summarize the profound impact of ACE’s on patient’s lives
- Illustrate the ways toxic stress in the home sets up our patient population for a lifetime of chronic illness if not addressed early on
- Demonstrate the ACE questionnaire with confidence to their patient/client population upon returning to work Monday morning