Explore UAB

By Salina Sowell, Communication Coordinator

Elizabeth Dawson, M.D., FAAP (founder of the Troy Resilience Project and Medical Director of the Charles Henderson Child Health Center in Troy) reflects upon introducing screening for ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) into a practice:

“In the previous issue of The Alabama Pediatrician (First Quarter 2019) I laid out how:
• Childhood adversity changes our brains, our bodies, and even our DNA;
• Toxic stress can lead to chronic disease and poor life outcomes due to impacts on the developing brain; and;
•Early intervention is key!

What could be more fundamental to the role of a pediatrician? Yet when I discuss ACEs screening with colleagues I hear, ‘How can I add one more screen to my already busy clinic visit?’ and ‘What do I do when I find something?’ And you know what? I get that. I know adding a screen takes more than the will and interest of one provider. It necessitates practice system change as well as making community connections beyond the clinic walls.

Some practices are in a place to take full advantage of the ACEs resources highlighted in the previous newsletter. But there is another path to bringing ACEs screening to your practice: participate in the ACHIA Early Screening 2020 Collaborative! Previous collaboratives helped us at Charles Henderson Child Health to systematically introduce an online screening process while learning from Alabama experts and other practices, earning CME and Part 4 MOC, and meeting our patient-centered medical home requirements.”

More on Early Screening 2020

The ACHIA Early Screening 2020 collaborative will support practices that want to introduce a new screen or refine a current process, such as moving from paper to electronic screening. Practices will focus on one or more screens for assessing:
• Development
• Autism
• Social-emotional needs
• Maternal depression.

Over the nine-month collaborative, practice teams will select a screen (or refine a screening process), integrate the screen into workflow, develop community supports and track referrals.

Learn from Alabama experts and other practices around the state while earning CME and MOC Part 4 credit! The Chapter’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Fall Pediatric Update, set for September 27-29, 2019 in Birmingham, also has opportunities to expand understanding of ACEs and how to address these in primary care.

This article first appeared in the Second Quarter 2019 Edition of the Alabama Pediatrician Newsletter. See full newsletter here.