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Hearing: Federal Approach to Child Trauma

Photo courtesy of Oversight and Reform Committee YouTube Channel.

“Childhood trauma is a nationwide public health issue associated with an epidemic of negative health consequences, […] and we need a comprehensive, Federal approach which recognizes the severe impact of Childhood Trauma and prioritizes prevention and treatment,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, during his emotional opening statement at the committee’s first-ever hearing on the need for a federal approach to childhood trauma.

Held on July 11, the federal legislators sought to hear directly from trauma survivors, public health experts, and government officials about the long-term consequences of childhood trauma and the insufficiency of the federal response to this urgent public health issue.

Expert testimony at a House Oversight & Reform Committee hearing held this month included data from new state-level fact sheets on ACEs prevalence.

Nine witnesses presented testimony in two panels: trauma survivors shared personal stories on the first panel, followed by a second panel of expert witnesses from academia and local, state, and federal government. Witnesses included Baltimore activist William Kellibrew, Dr. Debra Houry of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Former Tennessee Deputy Governor James Henry, and Clark County, Ohio, Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.

According to ACEsConnection.org, testimony by one of the nation’s leading researchers on ACEs science, Johns Hopkins University professor Dr. Christina Bethell, drew from new state-level fact sheets on ACEs prevalence using data from the 2016-2017 National Survey of Children’s Health and recent data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.

Video of the full hearing is available below or at https://youtu.be/DlF2ADWHZLU.

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