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Local News

June 21, 2013

Panel discusses family wellness

Resource network looks at trauma study.

Childhood trauma — and the toll it can take later in life — became the main focus of a Cass County Resource Network family wellness forum Thursday afternoon.

Six community leaders answered questions following a presentation on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study presented by C.J. Davis, CEO of Four County Counseling Center.

The panel members included Leo Burns, judge at Cass County Circuit Court; Scott Ellison, chaplain at Guardian Angel Hospice; Timothy Gearhart, therapist at Four County Counseling Center; Amy Miller, health coach at Logansport Memorial Hospital; Dr. Kathleen Miller, psychiatrist at Four County Counseling Center; and Michele Starkey, superintendent at Logansport Community School Corporation.

The ACE study honed in on the association between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being.

Data from the study shows health, social and economic risks result from childhood trauma. 18,000 participated in the collaborative research between the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente. More information on the research can be found at acestudy.org/ace_score.

Davis discussed the role of trauma in childhood and how it can affect adulthood.

The family wellness forum was arranged after Davis, Gearhart and Lita Rouser, director of impact strategies and community investment at United Way of Cass County, discussed the importance of getting the research out in the community, Davis said.

Rouser said she was pleased with the interaction and ideas presented.

“What’s exciting is it puts us all on the same page,” Rouser said. “We have often worked in isolation from each other. ACE gives us all the possibility to share a road map.”

Panel members were asked in what role they have seen trauma in the community from their profession.

Burns recalls dealing with children in the past who would come in front of him for running away. Burns said he would mistakenly tell them to not be too quick to grow up.

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