Building Trauma-Informed Health Departments – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Building Trauma-Informed Health Departments

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For more information about this program please contact:

Madison Hammett
MPH, MSW, Senior Policy Analyst, Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative

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Building Trauma-Informed Health Departments

  • Overview


The Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative is helping health departments across Illinois become more trauma-informed—in other words, become more grounded in an understanding of the physical, psychological, and social effects of trauma and how that impacts both clients and staff.

Since 2016, we have worked with the Healthy Chicago 2.0 Trauma-Informed Hospital Collaborative to help 16+ hospitals begin (and advance) the process of becoming trauma-informed systems, providing training and technical assistance on ACEs, trauma, and resilience to offer guidance on becoming trauma-informed anchor institutions for addressing adversity in their communities. We have also provided guidance to hospitals like Swedish Hospital, which included helping convene a Trauma-Informed Care Working Group, implementing a baseline assessment of staff attitudes and knowledge, and providing training to managers from every department.

There is an arc to becoming trauma-informed: it is a multi-year process that begins with awareness and grows to the point where the theory of trauma becomes embedded and operationalized throughout an organization. To support health departments in this journey, we are offering a webinar series, tools and resources, as well as tailored support to a small number of health departments. To learn more, please contact us at

Policy Briefs

Implementing Trauma-Informed Care: Resources and Case Studies for Health Departments
Responsive to health departments expressed need to better understand the process of becoming trauma-informed, this brief offers an overview of trauma-informed care and case studies from two Illinois leaders in this work, the Chicago Department of Public Health and Winnebago County Health Department.

Trauma-Informed Approaches for Supporting Families with Opioid Misuse

This paper provides an overview of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), as well as how opioid misuse is both associated with past trauma in the home and community and correlated with increased risk of future poor health and social outcomes. It also provides practical strategies to implement a trauma-informed response that fosters resilience and supports families impacted by opioid misuse.

See more publications in our resource library.

Health Department Webinars

Trauma-Informed Transformation for Health Departments: Cross-Sector Collaboration – June 27, 2019

Trauma-Informed Transformation for Health Departments: Lessons from the Field – June 11, 2018