Care provider with young patient, both smiling

ACEs Aware Initiative

Encouraging routine screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma-informed care in California.

Launched in 2020 by the California Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services, the ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the-nation effort to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to help improve and save lives.




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email list

The challenge

By the end of 2021, the ACEs Aware initiative had transitioned to a new organizational home within the University of California, the newly created University of California ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network (UCAAN). UCAAN was tasked with the academic anchoring for the initiative, and as a new initiative with a complex premise, the challenge here was picking up the torch and advancing the goals of a budding organization to get California providers trained to screen for ACEs, a crucial public health issue.

Our solution

Breaking down the science of ACEs was the initial step, using an informational, welcoming voice on social media, alongside infographics and brighter branding, to make it as approachable as possible.

As interest began to build, we were able to utilize promotional material demonstrating real examples of how ACE screening has changed lives across the state. This tiered approach helped build a foundation of understanding in our audience, and allowed for a more tailored approach via our email marketing, where the academic aspect of this work got to really flex.

With thousands of completed ACE trainings, an ever-expanding web presence, and a successful webinar program already underway, this partnership has been a stellar sample of what a trauma-informed future could look like.

iPad with UCAAN website on screen

Updating and expanding the initiative’s web presence has been core to promoting and housing the various resources available to healthcare teams who are helping build a trauma-informed California.

Trainee Testimonial

This training leads to a more empathetic understanding of the trauma caused by obstacles and difficulties experienced by clients.

We're an ACEs Aware award recipient!
We're honored to be a part of this work. This funding will strengthen partnerships to screen for ACEs in order to identify clinical risk for and respond to toxic stress.
ACEs Aware: Screen. Treat. Heal
ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, contribute to toxic stress and an increased risk of a wide range of health conditions.
Building a sustainable workforce to screen for ACEs and provide trauma-informed care is so important!
ACEs Aware: Screen. Treat. Heal
Toxic stress increases risk of a wide range of health conditions. Screening for ACEs is an important part of any diagnosis and treatment plan.
ACEs Aware: Screen. Treat. Heal
Stress Busters Wheel:
Quality Sleep, Balanced Nutrition, Physical Activity, Mindfulness Practices, Experiencing Nature, Mental Healthcare, Supportive Relationships. 
ACEs Aware: Screen. Treat. Heal.
More than 1 million Medi-Cal Members Screened for ACEs
ACEs Aware: Screen. Treat. Heal.
June is PTSD Awareness Month
ACEs Aware: Screen. Treat. Heal.

Let’s talk.