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Now housed within the University of California ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network (UCAAN), ACEs Aware is an initiative originally led by the Office of the California Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services to give Medi-Cal providers training, clinical protocols, and payment for screening children and adults for ACEs. California’s first Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, set a bold goal: to cut Adverse Childhood Experiences in half in one generation. Read below to learn more about our current and past work with ACEs Aware.

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ACEs Aware

Why ACEs

Trauma-informed care recognizes and responds to the signs, symptoms, and potential consequences of trauma to better support the health needs of patients who have experienced ACEs and toxic stress. Addressing stressors and increasing the total dose of buffering and protective factors such as safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments, are associated with decreased metabolic, immunologic, neuroendocrine, and inflammatory dysregulation. This can also lead to improved physical and psychological health.

twenty-five teams awarded during the third round of ACEs Aware grant funding, called Preventing and Responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)-Associated Health Conditions and Toxic Stress in Clinics through Community Engagement (PRACTICE). The goal of this grant is to increase the workforce and services needed for primary care clinics to expand and sustain screening and response to ACEs and toxic stress in local communities. 

In September 2022, the Safety Net Clinic Coalition (SNCC), a coalition of the Health Improvement Partnership (HIP), became one of 

HIP is pleased to partner with the following clinics and community based organizations as part of our PRACTICE team:

For more information, read our press release and visit the Population Health Innovation Lab’s PRACTICE webpage.


In June 2020, Santa Cruz County became one of one-hundred grantees for the California ACEs Aware Initiative. The Health Improvement Partnership recruited the following three clinics to be a part of our ACEs Integration Cohort:

  • Santa Cruz Community Health (SCCH)

  • Salud Para La Gente (Salud)

  • Doctors on Duty

Each clinic had the opportunity to work with Trudy Bearden, Quality Improvement Coach, and Vicki Amon-Higa, change leadership coach through peer-to-peer learning sessions and assessments. For more information, read our press release.

ACEs Integration Cohort

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Santa Cruz Community Health (SCCH) is a Federally Qualified Health Center serves that over 9,302 patients per year. SCCH is committed to providing accessible quality care to Santa Cruz residents regardless of their ability to pay. SCCH's mission is: "to provide quality health services and advocate the feminist goals of social, political, and economic equality."

For more information visit:

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Salud Para La Gente (Salud) is a nonprofit healthcare organization with clinics serving over 27,000 patients from both Santa Cruz and North Monterey Counties.  Salud's mission is "to provide high quality, comprehensive, and cost effective healthcare that is responsive to the needs of the communities we serve." Salud uses a whole-person approach to care to help meet all of their patients needs to improve their health and quality of life.


For more information visit: 

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Doctors on Duty is a health care champion providing care services in Santa Cruz and Monterey County to over 12,000 Medi-Cal managed patients. Doctors on Duty offers accessible and affordable care while building patient trust by offering a skilled, bilingual staff of physicians and other experienced health care professionals. 

For more information visit:

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HIP ACEs Resource Page
ACEs Aware Provider Training
ACES Aware Resource Page
ACEs Aware Provider Toolkit
ACES Aware Educational Events
ACEs Aware Screening Tools
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