ACEs Aware initiative trains thousands of health care providers in trauma-informed care

It’s not just our local schools that are recognizing the importance of screening for adverse childhood experience, or ACEs, and the importance of trauma-informed practices.

A new report released earlier this month by the Office of the California Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services found that nearly 14,000 health care providers in California have completed the ACEs Aware initiative’s core training program.

The training program, “Becoming ACEs Aware in California,” is a free, two-hour online training that walks through patient cases for pediatric, internal medicine, family medicine and women’s health providers.ACEs Aware

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris created the ACEs Aware initiative in December 2019, with the help of the state Department of Health Care Services. The idea is to improve health outcomes and break the cycle of intergenerational trauma.

“ACEs Aware trains health care providers on how to recognize a patient who may be at high risk for ACEs and to respond with trauma-informed care,” Burke Harris said in a recent ACEs Aware newsletter. “As the data reflect, we are building a movement of trauma-informed clinical teams in communities across California and will continue to provide evidence-based practices through the ACEs Aware initiative.”

The ACEs Aware initiative will continue to support health care providers and their teams with educational events, clinical ACE resources and a provider toolkit that includes information on how to screen for ACEs and respond with trauma-informed care, the newsletter stated.

Funding for the ACEs Aware initiative comes from Proposition 56 and is part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s “California for All” initiative, which aims to improve health and bolster early interventions for the state’s youngest Californians.

Additional details about the initiative can be found on the ACEs Aware website.

This is the latest in a series of ACEs-related stories from the OCDE Newsroom. If you have a story or resources you’d like to share, please email us at