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2018 ACEs Symposium phenomenal advancement, prompts more questions

Nadine Burke Harris, MD addresses 1,500 at 2018 ACEs Symposium
James Redford introduces his documentary film ‘Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope’ at the 2018 ACEs Symposium.

Albany – May 7th was a milestone day for the discussion of ACEs in Albany and the Capital Region!! LaSalle School hosted the fifth annual ACEs Symposium in the Empire State Plaza’s Convention Center welcoming 1,500 anxious to hear from keynoters – noted ACE advocate, author and pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, MD and documentary film maker James Redford.

Dr. John Bennett, chief executive officer of the event’s major sponsor, CDPHP, welcomed the crowd. Members from CDPHP and fellow event sponsors – The Alliance for Better Health, Better Health for Northeast New York, Key Bank and Prevent Child Abuse New York joined professionals from across NYS to fill seats with a capacity crowd of medical personnel, pediatricians, social workers, licensed mental health practitioners, educators and school district administrators.

In the morning, Dr. Burke Harris mesmerized listeners with personal stories as well as examples of misdiagnosed illnesses in her own pediatric patients that when researched through the ACE lens, straightened treatment paths and prescriptions.

After lunch, Mr. Redford described his passion for the cause of troubled youth and why he was compelled to make the documentary film: ‘Resilience: The biology of stress and the science of hope.’ He and Burke Harris (who stars in the film) wanted to reach the hearts and minds of millions of caregivers, policy makers and clinicians charged with the decision-making impacting public policy and those working one-on-one to treat traumatized youth and families.

Every single person in the room had been touched by ACEs, personally and professionally – even those on stage. In remarks preceding her introduction of Mr. Redford, author and attorney Regina Calcaterra recounted her own lived experience impressing on listeners the severity untreated trauma can have on the physical and emotional structures of the human body.

Attendees leaned in to soak in the hows, whys and whats of youth trauma; rapidly filling notebook after notebook with strategies and thought-provoking ideas they could implement with their own clients and patients.

Panelists, from l to r, Brian Sheridan, MD, pediatrician and CDPHP medical director, Schenectady City Schools Supt. Laurence Spring, Burke Harris, LaSalle Executive Director David Wallace, Albany Acting Police Chief Robert Sears, Redford, Pediatrician Anthony Malone, MD.

Later, Burke Harris and Redford were joined by Albany Police Department Acting Chief Robert Sears, local Pediatrician Anthony Malone MD, CDPHP Medical Director Brian Sheridan MD and Schenectady City Schools Superintendent Laurence Spring to answer questions and address issues impacting those who have suffered unbearable trauma. Over 335 evaluations of the day received at LaSalle give this event very high marks!

LaSalle School is a leader in programs and services for youth and families in crisis offering a variety of programs designed to meet their needs including specialized residential placement, day service education, and alternative to detention services. The Counseling Center at LaSalle is an OMH and OASAS licensed outpatient behavioral health clinic located at LaSalle School, and currently implementing ACE treatment practices with youth and families. LaSalle is accredited by the national Council on Accreditation (COA), and affiliated with the Council on Families and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), and the national Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. LaSalle is a member of The New York State Coalition of 853 Schools.

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