The Impact of Fully Assessing and Nurturing Young Children

Steve Adubato sits down with Michael Lamacchia MD, Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, and Ilise Zimmerman, President & CEO of Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ, to discuss how adverse childhood experiences (ACES) make an impact on health and why it is important for medical professionals to go further in assessing and nurturing children.

7/20/2019 #316






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. We are, in fact, coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in beautiful Newark, New Jersey. It is our honor to introduce two people very committed to public health, particularly for children. And this is first, Ilise Zimmerman, President and CEO of Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, and Doctor Michael Lamacchia is the chair of the Department of Pediatrics, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, and the new chair of your organization? That's correct. You know, we've done a whole range of programming, if you will, folks, on the question of ACEs. Adverse childhood experiences. Tied to a larger initiative we're involved in called Right From the Start NJ. You're gonna see that website up. Why? Because we want you to look at the previous interviews we've done on adverse childhood experiences, we'll explain it there, and we'll also talk about a whole range of other things we're doing in this. Ilise, let me ask you, define an adverse childhood experience and why it matters so much to people. Many children have had neglect. They've been abused sexually. They've had to live through a difficult divorce. And as a result, the brain, the neurological aspect of their development has been adversely affected. So that's an adverse childhood experience. And it results in one's physical health. Break this down for us Doctor. What are we talking about? What kind of long-term effects? So... Of ACEs. Adverse childhood experiences? So cardiovascular disease, twice... Tied to...? You're... as a...? You're a kid? Absolutely. And something...? You're abused? You're neglected? Whatever happens, right? Connected to... To having an adverse childhood experience. So if you have four adverse childhood experiences, you're twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease, twice as likely to have a stroke, twelve times more likely to attempt a suicide, to have liver disease. Why? Well, because it's a series of events that happen. Right. So it's toxic stress. So, you know, consider, you know, seeing a bear in the woods. So you have this response that's neurological. And that's endocrine. So cortisol, and the sympathetic nervous system... What's going on in your brain? Right. And so you get this, but if you have a stressor, like a dysfunctional family life or an abuse, and accumulation of this. You're not talking about my family? Are you? Not at all. I'm gonna... [laughter] Believe me. The more I read about ACEs, I'm like, "How many do you need?" In all seriousness? Hmm. Is it fair to say...? I'm sorry for cutting..."