Friday, November 09, 2018

[181] MTSU to host Nov. 9 summit for pros who help those traumatized as youths

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —Children whoselives are affected by trauma will be the focus of an upcoming conference for the professionals who try to help those children.

MTSU’s Center for Health and Human Services will host an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Community Stakeholder Summit from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital, 1700 Medical Center Parkway in Murfreesboro. 

The gathering stems from a grant to the center from the Building Strong Brains Tennessee Initiative of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. The grant funds an evidence-based project that affects the way practitioners in the workplace identify and interact with children and families who present evidence of suffering from adverse childhood experiences.

“We know that ACEs can contribute significantly to the onset and prevalence of multiple health problems and conditions over the course of a lifespan, as well as to social issues,” said David Butler, vice provost for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

“Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and others, as well as substance use disorders and related behavioral health problems have all been linked to ACEs,” Butler said.

The College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, the College of Education and the departments of Social Work, Human Sciences and Health and Human Performance are working with the center to develop and integrate a cross-disciplinary curriculum on adverse childhood experiences as part of the grant-funded project.

“By introducing information on how ACEs impact childhood development before MTSU students graduate and enter the workforce, we are able to influence how these professions address ACEs and promote a practice of trauma-informed care and resiliency for years to come,” said Cynthia Chafin, the center’s associate director for community programs.

Invited guests who will provide training and technical assistance include professionals from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and Frameworks Institute, an interdisciplinary team of social scientists and communications practitioners who work with advocates, policymakers, educators and funders from around the country and abroad. 

“We welcome feedback from community stakeholders on the content of this curriculum as we want to ensure we are providing our students with knowledge and training that is pertinent to a real-world environment,” said Sarah Gwinn, the center’s grants coordinator and ACEs program coordinator.

The Center for Health and Human Services facilitates projects, programs and research activities in public health issues of importance to Tennessee and the nation through collaborative affiliations and partnerships.

Reservations are required to attend the ACEs Community Stakeholder Summit. Those wishing to attend should contact Gwinn at 615-494-8986 or

To learn more about ACEs or the Building Strong Brains Tennessee Initiative, visit

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