Educating the Public on Adverse Childhood Experiences
Steve Adubato goes on-location to the "Overcoming Childhood Adversity and Trauma: A Healthier Future for NJ Kids" event to speak with Dave Huber, CFO of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, and Mary Ann Christopher, Vice President of Community Health at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, about Horizon’s role in increasing education and awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
"We are thrilled, once again, to be joined by Christine Norbut Beyer, who is Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Good to see you Commissioner. Yeah. Thank you. Nice to be here. This subject, right? There's research about this, there's a report coming out... Yeah. ...there's some private funding from a couple of foundations, the Burke Foundation, the Nicholson Foundation, $2,000,000 of seed money to be involved in this. Yeah. Why are these horrific experiences for children so important? To all of us? Well, I was gonna say it's important because it's not specific to any one group. You know, when we think about child abuse and adversity you know, that happens in childhood, you know lots of times it's easier to think it's happening to someone else or it happens to, you know those people over there, when in reality, what the study showed, the ACEs study is that, you know, adversity in childhood really, is very prevalent, and it touches everybody. I think the original study said 67%... That's right. ...of individuals have at least one adversity in their childhood. By the way, when the Commissioner refers to ACEs, that is, in fact, adverse childhood experiences? Yeah. Sorry. There's a study about this. Yeah. And by the way, for those... it's interesting, when you were with us the first time on State of Affairs, you talked about your department. Mm hmm. And part of what is going on is trying to educate the public as to who you are? Yeah. What you do, and why it matters. How has that evolved over the last, say, six months? Yeah, well I think, you know it continues to evolve, and there's a lot of work that we've been doing, that I've been doing, out meeting with families, meeting with constituents. I've started a listening tour. And so really having the opportunity to listen directly to the families that we serve everyday, the youth that we serve, whose... you know, receive our services, or you know, live in some of the programs that we fund throughout the state. You know, we've... I've been... in getting to hear from them, it really has been eye-opening. And while the services, I think, are really helpful for those families, you know what I'm finding is, it's not enough. There's not enough. It's... What are they looking for? From the department? You know, I think... Or from government overall? I think most times when people think about the work that we do in our department, they do think..."