Helping children now can improve their health as adults
May 18, 2018
Imelda Dacones, MD, Northwest Permanente’s CEO and president, urges us all to give more attention to children’s health. In a recently published piece on the Permanente Federation’s website, Dr. Dacones outlines the role Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) — from abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction — play out over a lifetime, resulting in greater incidence of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, substance use disorder, mental health problems, and so forth.
“In my home state of Oregon, 18 percent of children live with and face four or more Adverse Childhood Experiences … domestic violence, mental health illness in the family, loss of a parent, etc.,” writes Dr. Dacones.
“Our mindset, as a society, must shift. We all need more mainstream education and awareness of ACEs. Our approach, if we’re to address ACEs on a population basis, on a grander impactful scale, requires systems approach, collaboration, and coordination — across organizations, policies, and lawmakers, beyond local communities to statewide and nationwide.”