ACEs Aware Initiative


ACEs and toxic stress represent a public health crisis that has been, until recently, largely unrecognized by our health care system and society. The good news is that research has shown that there are many ways to prevent ACEs, reduce and heal from toxic stress, and build healthy, resilient communities. Screening for ACEs, assessing for toxic stress, and responding with evidence-based interventions, can significantly improve the health and well-being of individuals and families. 


California’s Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, has set a bold goal to cut Adverse Childhood Experiences in half in one generation. To achieve this, Dr. Burke Harris and Dr. Karen Mark, Medical Director of the Department of Health Care Services, are leading the ACEs Aware initiative as part of Governor Newsom’s California for All initiative. The ACEs Aware initiative aims to change and save lives by providing training and payment to Medi-Cal providers for ACEs screening, and training providers and networks of care to respond with evidence-based interventions and trauma-informed care to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families. To learn more about ACEs Aware, visit