The (ACE) Center Task Force of Shelby County is Now Part of
(ACE) Awareness Foundation website
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Center Task Force of Shelby County was created in 2014. This was their official website for several years until it was combined into the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Awareness Foundation website.
Content is from the site's 2014 -2015 archived pages.
The current website for the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Awareness Foundation is found at http://aceawareness.org/
Who We Are
Created in 2014, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Center Task Force of Shelby County is a team of 40 local leaders dedicated to transforming the way our medical systems and policies address health and behavioral outcomes for all citizens. Our Universal Parenting Places (UPP) are open to all parents at no cost, and offer professional counseling, information and emotional support for family-related issues or concerns.
Every community has a high level of toxic stress. What we’re hoping to answer is ‘what do we need to do about it?’
The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. It is critical to understand how some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.
The original Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Studyh3 shows that “toxic stress” caused by chronic exposure to traumatic events throughout childhood is at the root of many of our society’s most costly and harmful social issues.
These traumatic events literally change the composition of the brain, often resulting in violence, aggression, addiction, depression and chronic diseases. Furthermore, decades of research indicate that anyone may be affected by trauma, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, educational attainment and other factors.
To use ACE Survey data to REFRAME the community conversation around the universal and harmful nature of chronic childhood traumatic experiences. The data show every family is susceptible and that chronic exposure throughout childhood alters the composition of brain, activating the genetics of mental and physical disease.
To REDEFINE the way our medical system and related health policies address parenting support, health, and life outcomes. One tactic to prevent childrearing challenges from becoming traumatic experiences is through our Universal Parenting Places (UPP)h3 pilot program. Each UPP will provide parents with access to professional resources to address behavioral challenges at the earliest possible point in their children’s development.
We believe our effort will serve as a national model, with Universal Parenting Places dotted across the county, state and beyond.
The Universal Parenting Place is a collaborative effort led by Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, Knowledge Quest and Porter-Leath. It is a relationship-based model that will work in tandem with existing community resources. Learn more about our partnershereh3.
The Universal Parenting Place vision is based on the work of international speaker Robin Karr-Morse, author of “Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease” and “Ghosts from the Nursery,” and founder of the Parenting Institute based in Portland, Oregon. Karr-Morse serves as a consultant for the Memphis pilot program, along with Vincent J. Felitti, MD, international speaker and co-investigator of the original Adverse Childhood Experiences Studyh3.
To learn more, contact Gwendolyn Price via our contact form h3. The inbox is checked daily and we will respond as soon as possible.
All of us who are parents have challenges; it comes with the territory. What makes the difference is the availability of support – how soon we get it, the quality of the answers we get, and how quickly we can put that information to work to build health and interrupt destructive patterns. When it comes to raising children, we’re all vulnerable, so it helps to have a trusted confidant—a trusted relationship that one can access easily and consistently. — Robin Karr-Morse
We would like to acknowledge a few individuals who have contributed to our success by providing funding, or promoting our programs to a wider audience, or contributing their valuable time to help achieve our goals. We are especially grateful to those who are outside our local community yet still see the value in our work. Many thanks to:
Meech Spratford, reporter, Public Press Corp.
Jeremiah Long, volunteer
Benjamin Pred, NYC attorney
Rev Sale, TNG/Earthling, NYC developer & SEO
Thomas Kane, Georgia Forward
Trisha Williams, NOW!, Alabama Herald
Report: 55% of Shelby County Adults Experienced a Traumatic Event During Childhood
On January 22, 2015, the ACE Center Task Force of Shelby County released data showing a direct link between chronic exposure to traumatic events throughout childhood, known as “adverse childhood experiences” or “ACEs,” and negative behaviors and health conditions as adults. The group also unveiled a first-of-its-kind parenting resource intended to prevent those traumatic childhood experiences called “Universal Parenting Places.”
According to the Task Force report, “Adverse Childhood Experiences in Shelby County Tennessee,” adults of all races and ethnicities report having experienced ACEs. For the purpose of the survey, ACEs include abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction.
- 52 percent of adults in Shelby County report having experienced at least one ACE
- Individuals reporting four or more ACEs have heightened risk for negative adult social and health outcomes
- The most prevalent ACEs in Shelby County are substance abuse, emotional abuse, and violence between adults in the home
- Shelby County has higher prevalence of childhood sexual abuse and violence between adults in the home than the state and the nation
“Adverse Childhood Experiences in Shelby County Tennessee” data were collected through a confidential, random telephone survey of more than 1,500 adults throughout Shelby County. The Philadelphia-based Public Health Management Corporation conducted the survey in the summer of 2014.
Universal Parenting Places
Universal Parenting Places are judgment-free zones where parents can receive professional counseling, information and emotional support for family-related issues or concerns, no matter how small.
The UPP vision is based on the work of international speaker Robin Karr-Morse, founder of “The Parenting Institute” based in Portland, Oregon.
Connect with UPP!
Our community is experiencing high levels of ill health, obesity and violence. Emerging research in brain science, genetics and the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Studyh3indicates that the most effective time to intervene in these problems is at the earliest point of detection of challenges by the family. This proactive process prevents or reduces the effects of toxic stress (a response that can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity) in children’s developing brains.
How it Works
In the same way that visits to the pediatrician provide answers to common medical questions that help parents prevent physical disease, each UPP will utilize the latest findings from neurobiology and family therapy to provide state-of-the-art solutions to common concerns affecting children’s emotional and behavioral health. Our program is a preventive, relationship-based opportunity for all parents to get individual answers to questions about common challenges and sources of stress that effect children.
How it’s Different
Most parenting programs–in Memphis and throughout our nation–target only high-risk or low-income parents, often after problems have developed and carry some stigma. But because research shows toxic stress in families crosses all socio-economic, racial and ethnic barriers, our parenting places will be offered to all parents, regardless of income.
Pilot UPP Locations
Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women
6225 Humphreys Blvd | Memphis, TN
990 College Park Drive | Memphis, TN
Just imagine how all of our lives might be different – in terms of crime, safety, the quality of our schools – if we applied a preventive pediatric model to children’s emotional health. Imagine that everyone knows that the Universal Parenting Place is where the parents come to invest in their childrens emotional health. Services are affordable and your health plan may cover them. The message is: ALL parents face challenges as children develop. It goes with the territory. What makes a difference is applying the best of what we know at the earliest possible time.
— Robin Karr-Morse, international speaker and UPP consultant
The Latest Blog Posts
Lifting Families UPP!
April 20, 2015
The nation’s first Universal Parenting Places (UPP) offer a sustainable, proactive resource to Shelby County residents that is responsive to parent needs, welcoming to all families, and rooted in evidence-based practice. Learn more about these unique parent support resources, which are located at Knowledge Quest and Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, and are open to all Shelby County parents at no cost. View
Nation’s First ‘Universal Parenting Places’ Open in Memphis
April 16, 2015
(April 16, 2015} Two Universal Parenting Places (UPPs), judgment-free zones where parents can receive professional counseling, information, and emotional support for family-related issues, were dedicated today at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Knowledge Quest. Attendees included Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr., Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, international speaker and author Robin Karr-Morse and …..
Mayors Wharton, Luttrell dedicate Universal Parenting Places
April 16, 2015
On April 16, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr., Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, international speaker and author Robin Karr-Morse and a host of community leaders, advocates, and families dedicated two Universal Parenting Places (UPPs), judgment-free zones where parents can receive professional counseling, information, and emotional support for family-related issues. The sites, at Baptist Memorial Hospital …..
Task Force Founder Honored by TN Commission on Children and Youth
March 13, 2015
The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth today honored ACE Center Task Force founder Barbara H. Nixon with the Jim Pryor Child Advocacy Award. The annual award honors a Tennessean who has made a difference in the lives of children. Continuing an extensive history in social work and social service, Nixon is co-chair of the newly formed Adverse …..
Standing-room-only crowd attends “Getting to our Roots”
January 24, 2015
On January 22, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of more than 330 Memphis leaders, advocates and elected officials–including Dept. of Children’s Services Commissioner Jim Henry and Mayors Luttrell and Wharton–the ACE Center Task Force released new data linking chronic exposure to adverse events during childhood to negative adult outcomes in our community. Additionally, we unveiled …..
ACE Center Task Force To Release New Data, Unveil Pilot Parenting Centers
January 14, 2015
On Thursday, January 22, two internationally renowned speakers and a task force representing dozens of the Shelby County’s most respected leaders will release notable new data linking chronic exposure to adverse events during childhood to negative adult outcomes. The event will also feature the unveiling a first-of-its-kind parenting resource intended to prevent those traumatic childhood experiences for …..
Robin Karr-Morse Stresses Prevention, Challenges Perceptions
September 4, 2014
On August 26, Robin Karr-Morse addressed the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Center Task Force with a call to challenge the perception that only those from the poorest families experience childhood trauma. Karr-Morse, a renowned author, therapist and speaker, currently serves as a consultant to the Task Force Executive Committee. “The (traumatic) histories that we don’t …..
MEDIA: Cynthia Allen encourages WATN-TV viewers to “Answer the Call”
July 17, 2014
Community involvement manager at Baptist Memorial Health Care and ACE Center Shelby County Task Force co-chair Cynthia Allen appeared on WATN-TV this week to encourage viewers to participate in this summer’s “Answer The Call” campaign. View and listen to Cynthia’s important message:
Shelby County Residents Urged to “Answer the Call”
July 10, 2014
This summer, the ACE Center Task Force of Shelby County is asking randomly selected Shelby County residents to “Answer the Call” by participating in a confidential phone survey, which will gather information to help develop tools to assist parents in protecting their children’s emotional and behavioral health. The ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Center Task Force …../images
VIDEO: Shelby County Mayor Luttrell Endorses ACE Center Effort
June 4, 2014
Shelby County Mayor and ex-officio Task Force member Mark Luttrell, Jr. recently expressed his appreciation for the ACE Center Task Force’s effort to provide parents and caregivers with preemptive access to professional support to prevent or reduce challenges to their young children’s emotional and behavioral health.
Fundraising Effort Rejected by Governing Board
September 16, 2015
The Forward For Children Foundation has rejected a fundraising proposal by an online retailer due to the nature of the proposed product offerings. The proposal, offered by an anonymous benefactor to fund a playground and summer educational programs involved vaporizer products. The high tech 510 cartridge vaporizer products and accessories are hugely popular nationwide, but the Foundation leadership decided that these products carried a risk to children or could be abused. These portable vaporizers, e-cigarettes and accessories have been linked to lung injury and possible cannabis abuse. The foundation will have to return over $50,000 in order to comply with the leadership's wishes to cease all marketing efforts involved in the program. This is a very unusual decision, but the board stood by it and the membership also approved that position.
Nation’s First ‘Universal Parenting Places’ Open in Memphis
April 16, 2015
Two Universal Parenting Places (UPPs), judgment-free zones where parents can receive professional counseling, information, and emotional support for family-related issues, were dedicated today at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Knowledge Quest. Attendees included Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr., Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, international speaker and author Robin Karr-Morse and a host of community leaders, advocates and families.
The dedication ceremony of both UPP locations included site tours and performances from Memphis’ creative community, illustrating a few of the nontraditional and diverse support programs the centers offer.
“Everyone is susceptible to the challenges and related consequences of parenting, which is why everyone is welcome at UPP,” Mayor Wharton said. “Today, Memphis proudly becomes a national leader in the growing movement to use adverse childhood experiences data to proactively address parenting support and health outcomes.”
In January, the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Center Task Force of Shelby County released data showing a direct link between chronic exposure to traumatic events throughout childhood and negative behaviors and health conditions as adults. At that time, the group also announced its intention to prevent those traumatic childhood experiences by opening two pilot UPP centers.
Image courtesy of Baptist Women’s Hospital.
“Each UPP reflects the understanding that trauma affects all families, and crosses all backgrounds and incomes,” said Karr-Morse, whose Oregon-based “Parenting Institute” provides the founding vision and staff training components for the Shelby County UPP project.
“The hope is to move Memphis and ultimately the nation from a remedial and stigmatized approach focused on treatment, to a proactive and welcoming method that builds healthy relationships from the beginning of life,” she said.
“Universal Parenting Places will help all parents get to the root of common child-rearing challenges, which will build stronger, empowered families,” said Baptist Women’s Hospital CEO Anita Vaughn. “We often say that our facility is designed to meet the needs of women at every stage of their lives, which makes us a natural and effective UPP champion and host.”
Each UPP is designed to be inviting, upbeat, therapeutic and supportive. Offerings include educational groups, parent coaches, arts therapy and one-on-one, private support sessions.
“Our mission has long been to serve as a tie that binds our diverse community,” said Knowledge Quest founder and executive director Marlon Foster. “This UPP collaborative has the potential to completely transform the way families, and community and business leaders, address medical systems and health policy—and we are just getting started.”
Universal Parenting Places officially open to the public on Monday, April 20 at 9 A.M.
Task Force Members
Created in 2014, the 40-person ACE Center Task Force of Shelby County is a team of local leaders representing all facets of the community. We’re proud to welcome Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr. as ex officio Task Force members.
Mrs. Barbara H. Nixon, LCSW* – Consultant
Cynthia Allen – System Community Involvement Manager, Baptist Memorial Health Care
Cardell Orrin – Memphis City Director, Stand for Children
Ellen Eubank – Special Projects, ACE Center Task Force
Ex Officio Members
Mrs. Crissy Haslam – First Lady, State of Tennessee
James M. Henry – Commissioner, Tennessee Dept. of Children’s Services
The Honorable Mark Luttrell, Jr. – Mayor, Shelby County
The Honorable AC Wharton, Jr. – Mayor, City of Memphis
Sandra Allen – Director, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Center for Children & Parents
Belinda Anderson –Community Leader
Toney Armstrong –Director, Memphis Police Department
Nancy Bogatin – Retired Advertising Executive, Mayor’s Advisory Council on Education
Sonji Branch – Memphis Liaison, Communities In Schools of Tennessee
Ruby Bright – Executive Director, Women’s Foundation for Greater Memphis
Shunji Q. Brown-Woods – Director, Coordinated School Health, Shelby County Schools
Rev. Margaret Burnett – Associate Pastor Outreach Ministry, Idlewild Presbyterian Church
Stephen Bush – Chief Public Defender, Law Offices of Shelby County, Public Defender
Bill Cash – Chief, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
Kelli H. Davis, LPC – Director of Grief & Trauma Resolution Therapy, Lakeside Behavioral Health Hospital
Rev. Marlon Foster* – Executive Director, Knowledge Quest
Michelle Fowlkes – Executive Director, Memphis and Shelby County Crime Commission
Lucia Gilliland – Community Leader
Willeen Hasting – CEO, Memphis Health Center
Prof. Doug Imig* – Professor, University of Memphis
Sean Lee – President, Porter-Leath
Rachel Lundeen – Chief of Staff, Office of the First Lady, Representing First Lady Crissy Haslam
Yvonnne Madlock – Director, Shelby County Health Department
Dr. Karen Matthews – President and CEO, Delta Health Alliance
Keenan McCloy – Director of Libraries, Memphis Public Library & Information Center
Michelle Miller – Family Stability Program Coordinator, Knowledge Quest
Amy Moritz, MBA, MAR – Director, Center for Transforming Communities
Jenny Nevels* – Executive Director, Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation
Rhonda G. Okoth – Research Director, Memphis Data Partners
Maureen O’Connor – Director of Public Policy, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital
Chris Peck* – Associate Director, Pyramid Peak Foundation
Dr. Owen P. Phillips – Professor OB-GYN/Dean of Students Affairs, UT College of Medicine
Barbara Prescott – Executive Director, PeopleFirst Partnership
Courtney Robertson, MPA*– Special Assistant to Executive Director, Knowledge Quest
Marilyn Robinson – Senior Vice President, Marketing & Government Relations, Saint Francis Hospital
Ellen Rolfes* – Consultant
Dr. Douglas Scarboro – Executive Director, Memphis City Mayor’s Office of Talent and Human Capital, Representing City Mayor AC Wharton, Jr.
Prof. Antony Sheehan – President, Church Health Center
Mark Sturgis – Executive Director, Seeding Success
Tish Towns, FACHE – Sr. Vice President, Advocacy and External Relations, Regional One Health
Anita Vaughn* – CEO and Administrator, Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women
Keisha M. Walker – Administrator, Office of Early Childhood & Youth, Shelby County Government, Representing Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr.
Robin Waters – Teacher, Achievement School District
D.A. Amy Weirich – District Attorney General Shelby County
Ellen Westbrook – Director of Community Relations & Development, Salvation Army
Paula Wilkinson – Director/CONCERN, Baptist Memorial Health Care
Linda Williams – President & CEO, RISE Foundation
Gwendolyn Wright – Regional Coordinator, Tennessee Commission on Children & Yout
Robin Karr-Morse – Founder, Parenting Institute, Author & International Speaker
Dr. Vincent J. Felitti –Co-Investigator, ACE Study, Kaiser Permanente
Margie Newman –Owner, Managing Director, Intesa Communications Group
*Executive Committee Member