Sturla, Policy Committee host Lancaster roundtable discussion on adverse childhood experiences

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion to learn more about adverse childhood experiences, referred to as ACEs, and the lifelong impact they have on the brain.

The hearing, held at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, was the second in a series held across the state to further explore how these experiences impact children’s cognitive development, and the impact adverse childhood experiences have on education, health care and correctional costs.

“I want to make clear that while ACEs stands for adverse childhood experiences, the studies and experts have shown that ACEs have lifelong impacts that ultimately cost the state. Kids who can’t focus in school because of the burden of trauma could need more remedial and special education. Some of these kids may end up in the pipeline to prison, instead of realizing their full potential. Many will need mental health services as adults and it could cost some their lives,” Sturla said. “Taking a trauma-informed approach to educating our children will save society as a whole and also bring hope to those who experience ACEs.”

Roundtable participants included: Jeffrey Martin, managing physician, Care Connections, and associate director, Family and Community Medicine; Lark Eshleman, executive director, About Child Trauma Foundation; Alice Yoder, executive director of community health, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health; Melanie Snyder, executive director, Lancaster County Reentry Management Organization; and Erin Elliott , chief development officer, Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster.

Adverse childhood experiences are part of House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, health care access, quality schools and job training, and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.

Video and testimony from today’s hearing will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.