Every so often, you might have the chance to attend a training that gets you so excited that you’re swimming in ideas and can barely sleep that night as your brain ruminates about the potential! I just had this experience a few weeks ago, following a four-hour presentation at the International Conference on Violence Abuse and Trauma in San Diego, California. Drs. David Corwin and Vincent Felitti did an applied workshop on how to use the new ACE Study DVD to advance policies, increase professional awareness and change practices. The ACE Study DVD was developed by the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA).
I was already familiar with this resource—in fact, the Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project purchased 75 copies as part of a train-the-trainer program with our prison system. A combination of presentations and interviews on the DVD provides a comprehensive overview of the ACEs Study plus similar findings from other ACE-related research and data. The core content is three presentations by the following ACE experts:
- Dr. Felitti, whose pioneering work at Kaiser Permanente became the foundation for the ACE Study
- Dr. Robert Anda who became the co-principal investigator of the ACE Study while working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Dr. Frank Putnam, a psychiatrist and professor who specializes in the effects and treatment of childhood trauma
There are three interviews included: Dr. Felitti, Dr. Anda, and Dr. David Williamson who had an essential role in the partnership that formed between the CDC and Kaiser Permanente to conduct the ACE Study. No matter how many ACE presentations you’ve been to (I’ve lost count myself), you’ll find many new insights when you watch these interviews.
My big surprise came when I learned that the DVD includes many other additional resources that I had yet to discover. To start with, the ACEs Questionnaire that is used to collect data on adverse experiences among adults is provided in English, Spanish, and Icelandic—I’m sure there’s a great story about that! The Kaiser Permanente Health History forms (there are male and female versions) with the ACE questions embedded are provided. But a huge bonus in this training toolkit are the ACE Study Resources. It seems to be the exception these days for experts to share their PowerPoint presentation but there it was—Dr. Felitti’s PowerPoint file complete with notes that you can access when you select “notes page” under the “view” tab in PowerPoint. Powerful learning tools that are usually part of Dr. Felitti’s presentations are the video clips of patients whose life stories led to the clinical discovery of ACEs. Several video clips are also included on this DVD.
I believe we are reaching a tipping point with ACEs. From the New York Times to the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), there are featured articles and commentaries. From prisons to schools to tribal organizations and communities, the growing awareness and commitment to address ACEs is escalating. The ACE Study DVD, developed and distributed by AVA (www.avahealth.org) is a strategic tool to facilitate the paradigm shift in programs, practices and policies that have enormous potential for advancing public health. The depth of this DVD is astounding and I strongly encourage everyone interested in ACEs to explore it.
Accessing Additional Resources
You’ll find instructions to access the ACE Study Resources on the DVD if you open the files when you start the DVD. If you’re using a PC, open the DVD using Windows Explorer and then click on the ACE Study Resources. This will take you to a list of options that includes the ACE Questionnaires, bio sketches, PPT (this is where you find Dr. Felitti’s PowerPoint and video clips), and other resources. Instructions are also provided for MAC users when you open the DVD.
NOTE: Dr. Chamberlain receives no financial benefit from the sale of this DVD. Just as AVA and the authors are sharing this information generously, she is committed to delivering this message and promoting any tools that help facilitate ACE awareness.
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