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Public Health Awareness for Adverse Childhood Experiences

September 20, 2017

At a recent meeting of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County’s (DOH-Orange) Community Health Improvement Board (CHIB), Dr. Kevin Sherin, Director and Health Officer for DOH-Orange announced the need for immediate attention to "adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) within Orange County.   

“ACEs can create poor health and unfortunate outcomes later in life and are a factor in Orange County’s rates of childhood poverty, homelessness, behavioral health issues, drug abuse, and domestic violence,” said Dr. Sherin. “We must work to together as health professionals and community partners to inform and educate our neighbors about the adverse health effects caused by ACEs.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. As such, early experiences are an important public health issue. Dr. Sherin’s presentation to the CHIB encouraged all health professionals, local officials, business leaders, and community partners to become educated about ACEs and to work collaboratively. Convened in June, the board was formed to advance prevention and the health status of Orange County.  

The CHIB was in full support of the awareness proposal, and approved moving forward with forming a task force with the primary mission of educating the community about ACEs and uniting for collective action. The task force hopes to disrupt the cycles of poverty, addiction, and violence through greater awareness, therefore creating an environment where individuals can live a healthier, fulfilling life.   

The Community Health Improvement Board is currently in the planning stages for an upcoming symposium on ACEs. More information will be available soon.  

For more information about the subject of ACEs, please read this study provided by the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/index.html

For more information on the CHIB or its efforts, contact DOH-Orange at 407-858-1418.