Improving the Well-Being of At-Risk Children

As part of our Right From the Start NJ programming, Steve Adubato goes on-location to the "Overcoming Childhood Adversity and Trauma: A Healthier Future for NJ Kids" event to speak with James Burke, President & Chairman, Burke Foundation, about his organization’s mission to improve the health and well-being of at-risk children and the importance of the partnership with the Nicholson Foundation and the Turrell Fund.

12/12/18 #2184






"We're honored to be joined by one of the key people who have helped put this together, and one of the leaders here. James Burke, President and Chairman of the Burke Foundation. Good to see you James. Great to see you Steve. For those who do not know what the Burke Foundation is, please share. So my father, who was Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson from 1976 to 1989, right when he retired, he started the Burke Foundation which was children and health, really, was the main focus. And it is only recently that we have sort of honed in on this childhood adversity issue as something that we think is a health crisis frankly. So tonight... it's interesting. There are a couple of things happening that make this night significant. First of all, there's a $2,000,000 fund that's being established. The first $2,000,000 comes from your foundation and from the Nicholson Foundation. $2,000,000 to do what? Well it's seed money. So we are going to try to... To attract more money? To attract more money... Right. ...from tonight at this event that we're having. There's going to be business leaders, there's going to be philanthropists, foundations, and trying to create a coalition around healing and stopping the adverse childhood experiences and the trauma and the toxic stress that comes with that. Because there's proof that later down the road, there's negative outcomes from that, that we could solve for. Excuse me for interrupting. Sure. Sure. The term ACEs - adverse childhood experiences, there's a report that's coming out... we are taping, in fact November the report will come out very soon, formally. and there'll be some highlights of the report tonight. What are we talking about when we talk about adverse childhood experiences? So I became aware of this through Doctor Nadine Burke Harris. Yes. Who is gonna be our keynote speaker. We'll be talking to her as well. Yeah. She's... Wrote a compelling book on the subject? She... The Deepest Well. It's... she's just incredible. And basically she's put together a test that is ten questions that teases out, did you have adverse childhood experiences or traumatic events in your childhood? Hmm. And if you have a... you know say four or more, that can lead to very negative health outcomes, including higher rates of cancer and heart disease and high blood pressure and all sorts of things. So again, for us, we're early childhood funders, and we think that if we can catch 'em early, we can solve for those things later in life..."