Britta Guerrero, Sacramento Native American Health Center’s Chief Executive Officer, recently participated in stakeholder discussions about the strengths and barriers of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Aware implementation in urban Indian communities.
ACES Aware is a program funded through the State of California Department of Health Care Services and led by the state’s Surgeon General. Through the program, providers receive reimbursements for conducting ACEs screenings with Medi-Cal patients to determine negative and toxic stress events experienced early in life. While reimbursements can help bring awareness to trauma-informed care, there are barriers for implementation, particularly among those serving the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) community.
“In many instances ACES screenings portray trauma as a deficit. When these assessments are completed in trauma-informed spaces, they can be shifted to an asset which recognizes trauma as part of one’s own identity or part of the collective community experience instead of something needing to be fixed,” said Britta Guerrero, SNAHC’s Chief Executive Officer. “How beautiful a process to simply acknowledge life’s difficulties in terms of strength and resilience instead of labeling individuals and their communities with the potential to be ‘at-risk.’ We know better, and we can do better for our patients and our communities.”
The full report produced by the Center for Healthy Children and Communities about strengths and barriers to ACEs screenings among urban Indian communities, as well as Tribal and rural populations, can be accessed by clicking here.