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NJ Political, Business, Community and Philanthropic Leaders Commit to Break the Cycle of Childhood Trauma

Foundations Pledge $2 Million for Programs // New Report Reveals Nearly Half of all Children in New Jersey Experience at Least One Adverse Childhood Event

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, U.S.A., November 14, 2018 / -- A group of political, business, community and philanthropic leaders committed to address the problem of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in New Jersey. The group announced it will establish a non-profit fund that will support programs addressing ACEs in New Jersey. The Burke Foundation and The Nicholson Foundation will donate the first two million dollars.

ACEs are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. Exposure to ACEs without the presence of a positive buffer, such as a nurturing parent or caregiver, can lead to a toxic stress response in children. Toxic stress can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being in childhood and later in life. Children who experience toxic stress are at an increased risk of developing depression, obesity, substance use problems and chronic illnesses like heart and lung disease and cancer.

The announcement of the non-profit fund was made in conjunction with an event, “Overcoming Childhood Adversity and Trauma: A Healthier Future for NJ Kids,” held at Morven Museum and Garden in Princeton. The event featured remarks by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and Center for Youth Wellness founder and CEO Nadine Burke Harris, who is a pediatrician, a pioneer in the treatment of toxic stress and the author of “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity.” James Burke, president of The Burke Foundation, moderated the event.

“Partnerships like this play an important role in our efforts to break the cycle of childhood adversity and build a stronger New Jersey,” said New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy. “By addressing the childhood traumas that individuals face early in life and the consequential long-term effects on health and well-being, we are setting children on the path to brighter and healthier futures.”

The event organizers -- The Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund -- previewed a new report to be published in December that reveals nearly half of all children in New Jersey have experienced at least one ACE in their lifetime, while children of color and those from low-income backgrounds are even more susceptible.

During the event, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield announced their commitment to addressing ACEs. “At Horizon, we see the impact of childhood adversity on the health of our members,” said David Huber, CFO, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield NJ. “Through this partnership, we will address toxic stress, ultimately improving the health of our members and New Jersey.”

Leaders attending the event also included Linda Bowden, regional president, PNC Bank; Dr. Lauren Smith, co-CEO, FSG; Christine Norbut Beyer, commissioner, NJ Department of Children & Families; James Burke, president and chairman, The Burke Foundation; Atiya Weiss, , executive director, The Burke Foundation; Dr. Arturo Brito, executive director, The Nicholson Foundation; and Curt Fields, president/CEO, the Turrell Fund.

The upcoming report from FSG reveals:

• Four in 10 children in New Jersey have experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience.

• Relative to other states, NJ has fewer comprehensive data collection efforts to assess the burden of ACEs.

• Children from communities with high rates of violence, from low-income families or involved in our child welfare and juvenile justice systems can face greater adversity and are risk of multiple ACEs.

• The most common ACEs experienced by children in NJ are economic hardship, living with divorced or separated parents, living with someone with substance use disorder and experiencing child maltreatment.

• Several cities in NJ -- including Newark, Camden and Trenton -- have taken significant steps to catalyze cross-sector action and innovation in clinics, schools and communities.

• There is growing momentum to address ACEs at the national and state levels. Wisconsin, Tennessee, Washington and California may be particularly helpful examples from which to learn.

• Opportunities to address ACEs may include those focused on resilience, prevention and healing at the program, policy and system levels.

The Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation, and the Turrell Fund share deep roots in New Jersey and a commitment to building a brighter future for our state by empowering brighter futures for our children. Together, the three foundations provide grants of $10-12 million a year to support vulnerable children and families.

Jennifer Baskerville
+1 703-967-2590
email us here

Distribution channels: Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Industry

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