CA hits new milestone with over 500K people screened for Adverse Childhood Experiences


Soraya Marashi


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress are a root cause of some of the most harmful, persistent and expensive societal and health challenges facing the world today.

With 62 percent of California adults having experienced at least one ACE and 16 percent having experienced four or more, California is taking aggressive steps to address ACEs and toxic stress through ACEs Aware, the first-in-the-nation initiative to establish routine screening in primary care and develop a network of care.

ACEs Aware recently announced that, to date, more than 20,500 California clinicians have been trained and screened over 500,000 children and adults across the state.

“ACEs Aware continues to serve as an integral part of California’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and social and political stressors,” said California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.. “ACEs Aware is giving providers the tools and resources they need to help Medi-Cal beneficiaries identify and address stress-related physical and mental health concerns that can occur due to prolonged activation of the biological stress response.”

Governor Gavin Newsom also recently signed into law Senate Bill 428, the ACEs Equity Act, which will significantly expand coverage for ACE screenings by requiring all health insurance plan contracts that provide coverage for pediatric services and preventive care to include coverage for ACE screenings. This includes Knox-Keene-licensed managed care plan contracts and health insurance policies issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2022.

Building upon these successes, ACEs Aware is moving into a new organizational home within the University of California. The newly created UCLA/UCSF ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network (UCAAN) will leverage the substantial interdisciplinary resources of two public health science campuses – the University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, San Francisco – to develop, promote, and sustain evidence-based methods to screen patients for ACEs and advance evidence-based treatments for toxic stress.

This press release was provided by the California Medical Association.