Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

May 2018 | ,


Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to trauma-informed care, empathy and responsiveness to patients and care team members are among the core tenets of effective strategies. In downtown Philadelphia, patients at 11th Street Family Health Services are using creative art therapies to process past experiences. At the Women’s HIV Program in San Francisco, all staff undergo training to spot signs of stress in patients, create a clinical environment that feels welcoming and safe, and feel more satisfied in their day-to-day jobs.

This series of profiles explores practical approaches for addressing trauma across diverse patient settings. The profiled sites are participants in Advancing Trauma-Informed Care, a national initiative led by CHCS through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Lessons from these innovators can help others adopt trauma-informed practices to their organizations.

Shepherding a Movement to Address Toxic Stress for Youth in San Francisco and Beyond: Center for Youth Wellness – Devoted to serving children and families in San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point neighborhood, the Center for Youth Wellness is a national pioneer in the field of trauma-informed pediatrics through its innovative work in screening for and addressing the impact of toxic stress in children.


Expanding Awareness and Screening for ACEs in the Bronx: Montefiore Medical Group – Montefiore is adopting principles of trauma-informed care and implementing universal screening for adverse childhood experiences throughout its 21-practice outpatient care network.


Implementing Trauma-Informed Practices throughout the San Francisco Department of Public Health – The San Francisco Department of Public Health is training all 9,000+ public health employees on the impact of trauma, and facilitating a department-wide trauma champions learning community.


Building a Culture of Mindfulness: 11th Street Family Health Services – As part of its overall goal to cultivate a trauma-informed organizational culture, 11th Street Family Health Services in Philadelphia is adopting an organization-wide mindfulness approach to improve care for patients and support staff wellness.


Incorporating Patients’ Voices at the Women’s HIV Program: University of California, San Francisco – The Women’s HIV Program is employing a holistic model of trauma-informed primary care to improve the physical and behavioral health outcomes of patients as well as the experience of providers.


Addressing Trauma in Health Care, Schools, and the Community: Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition – This coalition of providers, nonprofits, schools and other stakeholders is creating mechanisms to address trauma in the classroom and establishing a trauma-informed curriculum for pediatric residents with the goal of making Newark, New Jersey a trauma-informed city by 2020.