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Overcoming negative childhood experiences is community conversation


Julie Grimm, Public Health
Phone: (360) 397-8477

Vancouver, WA – Children who experience abuse, neglect, abandonment, exposure to alcoholism, a family member in jail, or other traumatic events may face multiple health and social problems over their lifetimes.

Preventing and mitigating these adverse childhood experiences (ACES) is the topic of a presentation and community conversation from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at the Vancouver Community Library, Columbia Room, 901 C St.

The public is invited to attend this free event, hosted by the Clark County Public Health Advisory Council and the Clark County Board of Health. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. Erinn Havig, an ACES expert with the Washington State Department of Early Learning, will discuss how understanding ACES helps build community, family, and child resiliency. She also will answer audience questions.

Sixty-two percent of Washington adults report one or more adverse childhood experiences. Research shows the more ACES experienced, the greater a person’s risk for alcoholism, teen pregnancy, poverty, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, divorce, HIV infection, mental illness and many other conditions.

“Because the health impacts of ACES ultimately affect the entire community, the Public Health Advisory Council has made ACES its top priority,” said Laurie Lebowsky, council chair. “This April 10 event is a first step toward raising awareness of the problem. Next, the council will assess what’s currently being done locally to improve the lives of children and families so we can more effectively work with community organizations to prevent ACES and promote resilience.”

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