Guest Editorial by Chad Rodgers, MD, FAAP, Chief Medical Officer, AFMC

AFMC, along with partners from the ACEs and Resilience Workgroup, will present the Third Annual ACEs and Resilience Summit September 26-28. This year’s summit will focus primarily on building resilience not only in ourselves and our families but also in our community. A pre-conference will be held Thursday with the full summit on Friday at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center.

Ace Summit FlierWe are excited to have the former lieutenant governor from Tennessee opening the conference to highlight the experience of addressing ACEs in his state. Liz Huntley from Alabama will share her lived experiences and her path of resilience detailed in her book  “More than a Bird.”  We will honor Judge Joyce Williams Warren with the Phoenix Award and will present the inaugural Rise Award to Lorenzo Lewis for his role in addressing mental health issues.

We are most excited to add a Health Care Provider Symposium with CME on Saturday at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. One of the highlights of the symposium is Steve Gross, founder of Life is Good clothing company, who will inspire attendees about the power of positive thinking.  Saturday will also feature free workshops for families of children with special health care needs, foster families and educators.

AFMC began hosting the ACEs and Resilience Workgroup three years ago to begin to work with invested partners in addressing adverse childhood experiences using the Collective Impact Model. We have convened representatives from more than 200 organizations and developed a strategic plan to increase awareness about ACEs, identify legislative champions and prevent ACEs. Three subgroups were created to meet those goals: education and training, data and research, and legislative advocacy.

The annual ACEs Summit has been one of the greatest achievements of the workgroup, enjoying success and growth every year. Workgroup members now present at conferences and to organizations around the state.  AFMC is working with ARBEST (AR Building Effective Systems for Trauma), which developed “Outsmarting ACEs in Arkansas” to create a train-the-trainer program for this high-level ACEs and resilience 101 presentation.

For more information on the ACEs and Resilience Workgroup or to register for the summit, please visit afmc.org/aces. The registration fee for the Thursday/Friday summit is $75 and includes meals. The Saturday provider symposium with CME is $125. We hope to see you there!