Adverse Childhood Experiences & Trauma

MaineHealth is committed to better understanding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)/trauma on the long-term health and well-being of our patients and families.

ACEs are a pervasive health issue with one in four Maine children experiencing two or more ACEs including:

  • Household dysfunction
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Neighborhood violence
  • Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • Separation from a primary caregiver

Our interdisciplinary team of leaders and content experts strives to build on current efforts to lead the MaineHealth system in the development of best practice models for education, prevention, screening and treatment of ACEs.

Public Use of Content

The educational materials contained below may be displayed, copied, distributed or downloaded for personal or noncommercial uses, provided that such material is not altered or modified and that a reference to MaineHealth is provided.

Disclaimer

The clinical guidelines and policies on this page assist clinicians in standardizing the evaluation, diagnosis, and care of patients, with the goal of achieving optimal outcomes. The guidelines translate national recommendations and the best available evidence into local context.

Adherence to these guidelines should limit unwanted or unintended variation in practice, but guidelines are not meant to be prescriptive. The clinician retains the responsibility to select the appropriate guideline for a particular patient and to use the guideline to the extent that it serves the individual patient.

Any given approach must be carefully considered with each individual patient to ensure that an effective Shared Decision Making process is in place, which reflects the patient's personal wishes, medical history, and family history.

ACEs Educational Module

View our learning module on the identification and management of childhood exposure to violence and trauma.
View module

Additional Education:

 

Resources:

Program Strategies

Find out more about our approach to support a trauma-informed system that recognizes and responds to the impact of all types of ACEs and trauma.

Screening

Positive health outcomes are dependent on healthy development. To understand the impact of ACEs on long-term health, you must understand the nature of stress experience and how they are impacting development. Maine Medical Partners has adopted the following developmental and ACEs/trauma screeners as their standards assessment tools:

SWYC 

Survey of Well-Being of Young Childhood (SWYC): A comprehensive screening tool assessing developmental milestones, behavioral/emotional development and family risk factors.

Maine Medical Partners currently screens at the 9, 15 or 18 and 30 month well-child visits. Forms are below. Forms for other ages can be found here.

 
Trauma Screener

Trauma screener: Two-questions screener designed to be used at well-child visits from birth to age 21 years.

  • Epic Updates: Epic workflow to assist with implementation, billing and tracking.

 

PTSDRI

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index Abbreviated (PTSDRI): Utilize PTSDRI to assess symptoms for patients who confirm exposure to violence or trauma.

Treatment

Helping Children Heal: Parent & Caregiver resource describing evidence-based trauma treatments for children and how to access integrated behavioral health clinicians in the MaineHealth system.

Maine Agencies Trained in Evidence-Based Trauma Treatments: Resource for providers listing trauma-trained clinicians in Maine.

When to Refer to a Behavioral Health Clinician: Resource for providers.

Maine Behavioral Healthcare has several trauma-related services for children (individually or with their parents or guardians) and adults, from on-the-scene volunteer crisis assistance to brief and long-term therapy programs.

Local Resources

National Resources

Educational Resources & Upcoming Events

ACEs Educational Series for the MaineHealth System

 

Three modules are offered as part of the current online educational series on ACEs. Each module builds on the one previous to it and is suggested that they are viewed in order to maximize understanding and impact. Listen Now or Sign up below!

 

Part 1:

Title: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Addressing ACEs and Trauma in Pediatric Settings

Presenters:

Steve DiGiovanni, MD, Medical Director, MMP Outpatient Clinics;

Rebecca Brown, LCSW, Clinical Manager, Maine Behavioral Healthcare

Dates:

Watch the Recorded Webinar from Wednesday, January 31st 2:00-3:30pm  

Live Webinar Wednesday, May 30th 2:00-3:30pm

Live Webinar Wednesday, August 29th 2:00-3:30pm

Objectives:

§  Gain awareness of ACEs and the role multiple exposures can play in the current and future health of children and families.

§  Learn the basic principles of trauma-informed care.

§  Receive an introduction to Maine Medical Partner’s (MMP) approach to identification, screening and treating of ACEs.

Part 2:

Title: ACEs Implementation and Support: Taking Action in a Pediatric Setting

Prerequisite- Part 1

Presenters:

Steve DiGiovanni, MD, Medical Director, MMP Outpatient Clinics;

Rebecca Brown, LCSW, Clinical Manager, Maine Behavioral Healthcare

Date: Live Webinar Wednesday, April 11th 2:00-3:30pm

To be recorded and available on our website

Objectives:

§  Learn the ins and outs of how Maine Medical Partners has approached the screening and treating of ACEs.

§  Understand workflows, data and lessons learned from MMP’s approach to trauma and developmental screening using the Survey of Wellbeing of Young children.

§  Learn how to coordinate with treatment workflows with integrated behavioral health clinicians for support and treatment.

Part 3:

Title: Practice Strategies for Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Prerequisites- Parts 1 and 2

Presenters:

Steve DiGiovanni, MD, Medical Director, MMP Outpatient Clinics;

Rebecca Brown, LCSW, Clinical Manager, Maine Behavioral Healthcare

Date: Live Webinar Wednesday, June 20th 2:00-3:30pm

To be recorded and available on our website

Objectives:

§  Understand communication tools and techniques to discuss ACEs with patients and families.

§  Learn about available resources in our system and community for addressing and treating ACEs.

§  Gain expert support through an open discussion forum.

 

Toolkit for Providers

Healthcare toolkit for practice teams designed to provide background on ACEs, screening and treatment resources, tools for implementing the SWYC developmental screening and supporting research. View Toolkit

In-Patient Settings

Listen to Dr. Steve DiGiovanni, Maine Medical Partners, and Rebecca Brown, LCSW, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, discuss ACEs and how exposures can play a role in the current and future health of children. Listen now