Tammy Murphy on the State's Role in Helping Young Children

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the "Overcoming Childhood Adversity and Trauma: A Healthier Future for NJ Kids" event to speak with Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey, about the role of the state government in supporting the healthy development of infants and toddlers.

2/9/19 #236






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. We're in Morven, in the Morven Museum & Gardens. We are honored to be joined by the First Lady of the great state of New Jersey, Tammy Snyder Murphy. Good to see you. Thank you for having me. This is an important night. We're not just hanging around at Morven, this is a night to talk about adverse childhood experiences. A group of folks are getting together, there's a major grant, a $2,000,000 seed grant from the Burke Foundation, the Nicholson Foundation, to deal with these issues around adverse childhood experiences. You care deeply about these children don't you? Mm hmm. I do. I do. Talk about these... what... your interpretation of these adverse experiences. We got the clinicians to talk about it but sure. You care deeply? Well I would say, you know these are experiences that happen to probably all of us. From what I understand, every two out of three people who you meet, have experienced at least one of these horrible situations, and you... if you think about what they are, what is it? It's physical abuse, physical neglect. It's mental abuse and neglect. It's domestic violence. It's, you know, incarceration. It's sexual abuse? Right? It's sexual abuse. I mean they... there's ten of these adverse childhood experiences, and it's pretty scary to think that two out of three of us have endured at least one of these. I was talking with the first lady before we got on the air about our initiative, and you'll see the website on the air, our Right From the Start initiative, funded by Turrell and Nicholson and some others. The state government, the Murphy Administration, cares deeply about children birth to three? Yes. And their caregivers? Sure. Talk about it. Well I'd say that, you know, we heard very early on, back in January or February, that New Jersey was ranked 45th out of 50th in terms of maternal deaths in the first year of a child's life. And when you dig down, you realize that if you are a... you know, it breaks down very very much along racial lines, and if you are a... if you're a black child born in the state of New Jersey, your chances of dying in the first year of life are three times greater than that of a white child. If you're a black mother giving birth in New Jersey, your chances of dying in that child's first year of life are five times greater than that of a white woman's. So given that I'm a mother of four, and Phil is the father of four, clearly there's a problem. And..."