Creating a Trauma-Informed Environment in Pediatric Primary Care

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Care Compass Network (CCN) and the CCN Regional Trauma-Informed Care (RTIC) team is proud to further expand trauma-informed care implementation within the Southern Tier by selecting Northeast Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine to participate in the CCN RTIC Primary Care pilot program. The Core Implementation Team (CIT) at Northeast Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine will be supported by Bouakham Rosetti, CCN Senior Project Manager as they implement trauma-informed care approaches, adopt an effective and sensitive trauma screening with follow up care processes, and strengthen their referral pathways to community resources and treatments. Pilot lessons learned and successes will be shared across the CCN 9-county service area to further support the expansion effort of TIC.

Why Now?

With so many uncertainties, creating and adopting a trauma-sensitive environment that promotes optimal child development is a community priority for CCN and the RTIC team. Challenges or stressful experiences facing our students and families may greatly impact the physical, social, and emotional well-being of our developing youth, as well as the adults caring for them. The time is now to move the Trauma Informed movement forward.

ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)/ traumas have been on the rise. The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this issue – not only regionally, but also nationally. The needs of our community have intensified during the pandemic as people experience stress and grief due to loss of employment, family stability, relationships, and other social support.

The Science Behind ACEs:

Pre-COVID research showed that 67% reported at least one ACE while 13% reported having four or more ACEs. Multiple studies have shown that those with a higher number of ACEs reported tend to have a higher risk for chronic disease as an adult, are three times more at risk for heart disease or lung cancer, and there is a 20-year difference in life expectancy for those with high ACE scores that are left untreated.

As part of CCN’s commitment to promote a culturally sensitive workforce and improve the health and wellbeing for our community, the Regional Trauma-Informed Care Network Team strongly feels a duty to advance the adoption and operationalization of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) practices and principles across settings. At its core, we believe TIC should be the minimal standard of care to afford the children, families, communities, educators, clinicians, professionals, caregivers, and the most vulnerable in our community to achieve and maintain a higher quality of care, as well as the opportunity to thrive.

CCN and the RTIC team will be working closely with Northeast Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine – focusing on four key priorities: 1.) Training of all staff on Trauma-Informed Care, ACEs, Trauma, and their impact; 2.) Developing an effective and sensitive trauma screening and follow-up care process within the primary care setting; 3.) Building a strong referral system; and 4.) Implementing a TIC approach across the continuum that advances the importance of health and wellness programs for staff, patients, and families.

“We are excited for the opportunity this pilot program provides for us to improve our patient care and promote staff resiliency,” shares Jessica Conner, PsyD, Northeast Adolescent and Pediatric Medicine. The principles of trauma-informed care align with the key values of Northeast Pediatrics, providing quality care and services to the community in an environment where all feel welcomed and safe. These principles also serve as a guide to improving the health of our Northeast Pediatrics family as we continually strive to ensure an office culture where all employees feel respected and empowered.”

About the CCN Regional Trauma-Informed Care Network (RTIC)

The CCN Regional Trauma-Informed Care Network, a part of Care Compass Network, consists of 23 dedicated and passionate individuals from colleges, county government, education, health care, social care, human services, and schools spanning across Care Compass Network’s 9-county region in the Southern Tier and beyond. As a regional network, we value and support the implementation and adoption of Trauma-Informed Care principles and that practicing trauma-informed care takes into account a holistic person-centered approach that can help break the cycle of negative impact caused by trauma. We envision a resilient community built upon strong partnerships, trust, and compassion.