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MARC to have statewide implications for trauma

With the emergence of a new national learning collaborative called Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC), there will be statewide implications at community and local levels for brain science research. The University at Albany’s collaborative network – Healthy Environments And Relationships That Support, commonly known as HEARTS received a $300,000 grant award to participate in MARC. HEARTS (Healthy Environments And Relationships That Support) is one of 14 networks of nonprofits and health caring organizations chosen to be a MARC community.

“MARC funds will allow us to move from a service-sector focus to a five-county community development, HeadShot_Heathermobilization and action plan, along with a statewide scale-up benefits through state agencies” commented Heather Larkin, associate professor at UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare. Larkin also heads the National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services, and will serve as the MARC project leader for HEARTS.

In October 2015, the Capital Region HEARTS network was selected to participate in Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC), and will receive a $300,000 grant award to prevent traumatic childhood experiences including neglect, abuse, and abandonment in families throughout the nation and create a just, healthy, and resilient world for youth and families. HEARTS is one of 14 communities forming the MARC coalition which was announced in an October 29th press release from the Health Federation of Philadelphia.

When the launch of the $4.8 million MARC project was first announced by the Health Federation of Philadelphia and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in a December 2014 media release, it was noted that a “growing body of research in epidemiology, neurobiology and epigenetics has clearly demonstrated that exposure to early childhood adversity – such as child abuse, neglect, or community violence – can derail the normal development of young bodies and brains and directly lead to poor health later in life.” How common, and widespread, child adversity is was further supported by references to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs Study). The ACEs study has been responsible for ACE surveys in 28 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. Cities and shown that one-half to two-thirds of the population experiences at least one major type of childhood trauma that is directly linked to adult chronic diseases.

“MARC funds and the national learning community which [HEARTS] will join allow our region to accelerate interventions to promote ACE resilience and to help mitigate the negative effects of ACEs,” said UAlbany School of Social Welfare Emerita Katharine Briar-Lawson, a collaborator on the new grant.

Initially launched by the Health Federation of Philadelphia, MARC is supported by the RWJF and The California Endowment.

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 Council on Accreditation (COA), and affiliated with the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), and the national Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

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