Adult holding small child's hand

Institute for Health Policy Forum

Building Resilience:
Addressing Childhood Trauma from Birth to Graduation

November 6, 2019

On November 6, 2019, the Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy brought together school and early childhood professionals to discuss how to mitigate and address trauma across children’s lifespans.

During this meeting, participants and speakers convened to:

  • Provide an overview of the current state of adverse childhood experiences research, evidence-based programs, and supportive strategies for children of all ages
  • Identify and explore state and federal funding opportunities that schools and communities can leverage to address childhood trauma in a long-term, sustainable manner

Learn about Kaiser Permanente’s 20+ Years of Addressing Childhood Trauma in Communities.

Welcome & Opening Remarks

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Cecilia Oregón Echeverría, MPP, MPH 
Executive Director, Institute for Health Policy
Kaiser Permanente

Sharon Hoover, PhD
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Associate Professor
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Co-Director
National Center for School Mental Health

Don Mordecai, MD
National Leader for Mental Health and Wellness
Kaiser Permanente

Morning Keynote Address

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Gary M. Blau, PhD
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Executive Director
The Hackett Center for Mental Health
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Bridging Connections: Early Childhood and School-Aged Children

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Moderator

Annie Reed, DrPH, MPP
National Director, Thriving Schools
Kaiser Permanente

Panelists

Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD
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Assistant Professor
National Center for School Mental Health
University of Maryland, School of Medicine

Heather Little, MEd
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Systems Director
First 5 Association

Rob Corso, PhD
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Executive Director
Pyramid Model Consortium

Elizabeth Cook, EdS
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Senior National Advisor, Social Emotional Health
Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Networking Lunch

Exploring Sustainability: Funding for Trauma Care and Systems

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Moderator

Alex Mays, MHS
Senior National Program Director
Healthy Schools Campaign

Panelists

Shadi Houshyar, PhD
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Senior Associate
Center for the Study of Social Policy

Alice Lam, MPA
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Director
Manatt Health Strategies

Sarah Mathew
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Director of the Office of Health and Wellness
Colorado Department of Education

Themes Emerging from Today’s Forum

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Cecilia Oregón Echeverría, MPP, MPH
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Executive Director, Institute for Health Policy
Kaiser Permanente

End of Day

Gary M. Blau, PhD
Dr. Gary M. Blau, is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of The Hackett Center for Mental Health, the first regional center of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI). Prior to this, Dr. Blau served for 15 years as chief of the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) where he provided national leadership for children’s mental health and created “systems of care” across the United States. He also served for 10 years in senior management positions with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), and before that, as director of clinical services for the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern, Connecticut.

For his national work, Dr. Blau was the recipient of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Meritorious Service for his national leadership in children’s mental health. Most recently, he was the recipient of the SAMHSA Administrator’s Award for “unparalleled and innovative leadership in children’s mental health” and the HHS Spirit Award for being “an outstanding HHS employee who is making a real difference in the Department.”

Dr. Blau has over 70 publications and is the editor of eight books. He received his doctorate from Auburn University.

Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD
Dr. Jill Bohnenkamp is an assistant professor and core faculty at the National Center for School for School Mental Health within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Bohnenkamp has extensive experience in school mental health research, policy, and clinical practice at the local, state, and national levels. She works with individual school personnel, district, state, and national leaders to advance high quality school mental health.

Dr. Bohnenkamp builds on multiple years of direct clinical experience as a school mental health clinician in urban, suburban, and rural school districts to inform her research and policy work. Her research focuses on behavioral, academic and school safety outcomes of school mental health service provision, mental health training for educators and pediatric primary care providers, and ways to increase access to evidence-based mental health services for youth and families.

Elizabeth Cook, EdS
Elizabeth Cook is the Senior National Adviser of Social Emotional Health at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. A school psychologist by training, Cook has over a decade of experience as an educator and understands first hand the unique opportunities and challenges facing schools today.

Prior to joining the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Cook worked at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as the School Psychology consultant. While at DPI, she developed and managed much of Wisconsin’s Trauma Sensitive Schools initiative, wrote guidance on mental health screening, and supported schools and districts in the implementation and integration of school mental health initiatives into their MTSS structures.

Rob Corso, PhD 
Rob Corso is the executive director of the Pyramid Model Consortium and a senior research associate at Vanderbilt University. Previously, he served as the project coordinator of the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). Additionally, he was on the leadership team for the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) and served as the principal investigator for the Head Start Disability Services Quality Improvement Center (DSQIC) in Region V. Dr. Corso’s interests include the evaluation of professional development projects for programs serving young children and their families.

Cecilia Echeverría

Cecilia Echeverría, MPH, MPP
Cecilia Echeverría is the executive director for Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy where she identifies emerging health policy topics, leads strategy and operations, and guides the Institute’s portfolio of work. Her areas of expertise include access to health care for underserved populations as well as behavioral health, school-based health, and early childhood issues. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 2013 as the director of safety net partnerships for the National Community Benefit program.

Echeverría holds master’s degrees in public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley and is an alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellows program.

Sharon Hoover, PhD
Sharon Hoover is a licensed clinical psychologist and an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and co-director of the National Center for School Mental Health. She currently leads NCSMH efforts to support states, districts and schools in the adoption of national performance standards for quality and sustainability of comprehensive school mental health system.

She has led and collaborated on multiple federal and state grants, with a commitment to the study and implementation of quality children’s mental health services.

Dr. Hoover received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Shadi Houshyar, PhD
Shadi Houshyar is a senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), where she is focused on equity-driven policies to support young children and families and with a primary focus on child health, childhood trauma, toxic stress, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Prior to joining CSSP, she served as the director of early childhood and child welfare initiatives at Families USA. She was also vice president for child welfare policy at First Focus, a national bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. Dr. Houshyar served as a fellow of the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale and as an AAAS/SRCD Congressional Fellow for Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), working on health, education, and disability policy and other issues within the jurisdiction of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Dr. Houshyar received her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Yale University.

Alice Lam, MPA
Alice Lam is a director at Manatt Health where she provides policy analysis, strategic advice, program implementation support and project management to federal and state agencies, foundations, providers, health plans, and health technology companies.

Prior to Manatt, Alice served as a legislative analyst and Presidential Management Fellow — a select public service leadership program — with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ CMS. She conducted legislative, economic, and policy analyses on Medicaid, CHIP, and low-income Medicare programs to deliver policy options and recommendations to agency leadership.

Lam received her bachelor of arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in cognitive science and her masters in public administration in health policy and management from New York University.

Heather Little, MA
Heather Little, systems director for First 5 Association, is a thought leader on early childhood development and strategies to improve the well-being of California’s children and their families. She participates in key advisory groups such as the Interagency Coordinating Council and the California Statewide Screening Collaborative, championing First 5’s role in building out an effective early childhood system of care. Heather also leads the expansion efforts of First 5’s Help Me Grow network.

Prior to joining First 5 Association, Little spent 16 years with Seneca Family of Agencies, a statewide nonprofit. She has a master’s degree in special education.

Sarah Mathew
Sarah Mathew is the director of the Office of Health and Wellness at the Colorado Department of Education.  In the Health and Wellness unit she oversees many statewide grant funded initiatives addressing mental/behavioral health, suicide education, trauma-informed schools, school health professionals, Project AWARE, physical education and active living, healthy eating and  school nutrition programs, school Medicaid programs, traumatic brain injury program, comprehensive human sexuality, and the comprehensive health and PE standards implementation program.  Sarah also works in collaboration with other state agencies to implement the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey and SMART Source data collection efforts.

In the past, Matthew served as a public health advisor with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and as a coordinated school health specialist with the School District of Philadelphia.

Alex Mays, MHS
Alex Mays is the senior national program director at Healthy Schools Campaign, a Chicago based nonprofit with a mission to advocate for policies and programs that allow all students and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment. Currently, Mays leads Healthy Schools Campaign’s work to increase access to school health services through Medicaid reimbursement and works with states and school districts across the country working to expand their school Medicaid programs. She also oversees Healthy Schools Campaign’s efforts to support student health and school wellness through implementation of the nation’s K-12 education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Mays received her bachelor of arts in neuroscience from Pomona College and her master of health science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Don Mordecai

Don Mordecai, MD
Dr. Don Mordecai is the national leader for mental health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, and director of mental health and chemical dependency services for the Permanente Medical Group in Northern California. He is also an adjunct clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School.

Dr. Mordecai holds a doctoral degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and is board certified in psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

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