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Conference focuses on coping with childhood adversity

October 17, 2019

NYSDOH Conference

An adverse incident in childhood can turn into lifelong issues for the victim, as well as for their loved ones. 

And being sensitive to childhood traumas in patients can pose a major challenge for healthcare providers and caregivers who seek to help victims throughout their lives.

That was the message of a medical grand rounds on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) presented by the state health commissioner and held at UHS Oct. 17.

The conference, titled “Strengthening Community and Health Care Provider Resiliency to Adverse Childhood Experiences,” was held in the Russell Community Room at UHS Binghamton General Hospital.

Directed toward physicians and others who provide healthcare services in the Greater Binghamton area, it drew a crowd of about 75 participants.

The grand rounds featured remarks by Michael Lavin, MD, of Lourdes Hospital; Nicole Brown, MD, of Strong Children Wellness; and Chris Kjolhede, MD, of Bassett Medical Center.

Howard Zucker, MD, JD, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, provided a video message to those in attendance.

In co-hosting the event, John M. Carrigg, president and chief executive officer of UHS, noted:  “As we gain more knowledge about adverse childhood experiences, we ask, ‘How can what we learn help us make life better for the adults we serve today and the children they are raising?’”

Mr. Carrigg said that Dr. Zucker supports the vital work performed by New York’s hospitals.

“He hears from us and understands the complexity of the work we do,” Mr. Carrigg said.  “As the state’s chief physician, he leads public health initiatives, like preventing and addressing adverse childhood experiences, that propel New York State forward.”

A main objective of the grand rounds was to give providers tools for incorporating ACE and resilience screening into medical practices and community and school settings.

Ideas were presented emphasizing evidence-based intervention approaches and ways of connecting families to helpful resources.

A recent study has shown that six in 10 adults in New York reported having had at least one ACE during their childhood years.