Start: December 2015

End: June 2019

Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Health policymakers and practitioners across the country increasingly recognize the destructive effects of trauma on the health status of children and adults. Trauma — including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; neglect; discrimination; and violence — increases an individual’s long-term risk of serious physical and behavioral health problems, often leading to costly health care utilization. Adopting trauma-informed approaches to care can potentially improve patient engagement, enhance outcomes, and reduce avoidable care and excess costs for both the health care sector and social service systems.

Advancing Trauma-Informed Care, led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was a national initiative aimed at understanding how trauma-informed approaches can be practically implemented across the health care sector. CHCS oversaw this multi-site pilot demonstration that included six competitively selected health care organizations committed to improving care for individuals with a history of trauma. The pilot efforts, representing a range of delivery systems and populations, were designed to expand and enhance trauma-informed approaches with a focus on improving patient outcomes, decreasing costs, and increasing staff resiliency. The pilot sites included:

Participants in the demonstration received extensive technical assistance and participated in a learning collaborative designed to foster ongoing exchange between pilot sites, leading national experts, and other relevant stakeholders.