Using the ACE Study in Pediatric Settings

The Challenge

According to the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, adult survivors of childhood trauma remain at a significantly higher risk of suffering from a broad range of poor health outcomes than their counterparts who have not been exposed to adverse childhood experiences, such as psychological, sexual, and physical abuse. Researchers have also discovered a relationship between the number of ACE categories to which an individual has been exposed and their risk of negative health outcomes, including abuse of alcohol and other drugs, depression, sexually transmitted infections, and obesity.

The Project

Through her Emerging Leader Fellowship, Emily Wilson worked with the Institute for Safe Families (ISF) to create a conceptual framework to inform public health policy and practice about prevention and intervention strategies related to adverse childhood experiences among children and families. Emily developed a white paper on the status of current ACE-related practices in pediatric settings. Through Emily’s leadership and assistance, ISF was able to develop and expand the Philadelphia ACE Task Force, create and distribute the Urban ACE Survey, and secure two grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to investigate the extent of ACEs and develop an ACE‐informed care infrastructure in Philadelphia. Lastly, Emily and ISF organized a two-day National Summit on ACEs in Philadelphia, drawing further national attention to this issue.

Emily Wilson's Headshot

Emily Wilson, MS, MPH, CHES

Emerging Leader Fellow

2012 - 2013

Institute for Safe Families

Current Position

Hazel Dick Leonard Research Fellow and Graduate Research & Teaching Assistant; Research Assistant and Consultant; Instructor
Simmons College; Harvard Law School’s Food is Medicine Program; Brookline Adult & Community Education