As a founding member of the Community Trauma Team serving Clarke and Decatur counties, Clarke County Hospital (CCH) has created a free resource center for the public and other communities in South-Central Iowa to support children living with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma.
School districts, law enforcement, and the court system are increasingly called upon to assist community members affected by ACEs without easily-accessible resources. Utilizing a grant secured through the RUS-DLT (Rural Utilities Service-Distance Learning and Telemedicine) division of the USDA, a 15% matching donation from CCH, and a grant from the Dekko Foundation, the hospital partnered with Clarke Community Schools to create a comprehensive, one-stop-shop of resources centering on childhood trauma.
A compilation of educational videos, website links, and articles is now available to the public for free through Clarke County Hospital’s Childhood Trauma Resource website. Covering the cities of Osceola, Lamoni, Murray, and Leon as well as Central Decatur Schools, Murray Schools and Clarke County Schools, CCH hopes this website will assist anyone working with trauma-affected youth.
“Adverse Childhood Experiences, or traumas, not only affect the child’s education and health, it also carries issues into adulthood,” said Tom Bahls, Communication and Foundation Manager for Clarke County Hospital. “If ACEs are not managed in childhood, there is twice the likelihood of heart attack and three times the likelihood of substance dependence as the child grows.”
Launched in August, the website currently carries more than forty video presentations as well as other articles, resources and website links. A team of educators and medical professionals continue to dedicate at least one full day each month to search for and compile relevant and useful content.
“Before now, there hasn’t really been a good trauma resources site that’s all-encompassing and free to the public,” said Jean Bahls, Curriculum Director for Clarke Community Schools. ”Our goal is for this site to be used by other communities, other counties, and other states across the country to support children living with trauma.”
While the focus will be on educating schools in Clarke and surrounding counties, CCH plans to share these resources with DHS offices, law enforcement, health care providers and court systems across south-central Iowa.