Published Date: June 25, 2024

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are adversities experienced prior to age 18 that are recognized as a root cause of some of the most harmful, persistent, and expensive health challenges facing our state and nation, from heart disease to homelessness. They include 10 categories of adversities in three domains: child abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual), neglect (physical or emotional), and/or household challenges (growing up in a household with incarceration, mental illness, substance misuse or dependence, parental separation or divorce, or intimate partner violence).

Addressing ACEs and toxic stress through the ACEs Aware initiative is a key health equity activity in California Department of Health Care Services's (DHCS) Comprehensive Quality Strategy (CQS), part of a 10-year vision for Medi-Cal transformation to ensure high-quality and equitable care for all Medi-Cal members.

In this inaugural ACEs Aware progress report, authors provide background on this initiative, share the progress and impact made in the four years since the initiative was launched, and preview the work that is to come.

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