Virginia’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Initiative

The First Cohort of ACE Interface Master Trainers in Virginia

What Are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. This adversity can harm a child’s brain and its development, which can result in long-term negative health and social outcomes.

Preventing ACEs is a great opportunity for improving the well-being of human populations. 

This image shows the percentage of various health and social problems that epidemiologists estimate are caused by ACEs.  The calculation that is commonly used to do this in public health studies is called Population Attributable Risk; this is displayed as a percentage as an “oil spill” on this slide. The percentage of a problem coated by the oil spill represents the percentage of each problem that is potentially preventable by preventing ACEs.  

ACEs Are Preventable

ACEs may be common, but they are preventable. The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services’ Office of Behavioral Health Wellness is working to raise awareness in local communities and at the state level of the significant behavioral, emotional and physical outcomes of childhood trauma.


If you are interested in having one of our ACEs presenters present to your organization, our presenters are listed below. 


Odette Iferika Blue Ridge Behavioral Health
Cathy Brown Blue Ridge Behavioral Health
Dominique Adams Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services
Kimberly Kidd Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services
Keith Cartwright Virginia DBHDS
Colleen Hughes Virginia DBHDS
Nicole Gore Virginia DBHDS
Michael Olsen Virginia DBHDS
Katharine Hunter Virginia DBHDS
Kelly Bulin Eastern Shore Community Services
Barbara Mulligan Eastern Shore Community Services
Nikki Bacilio-High Hampton-Newport News CSB
Cheryl Nixon Hampton-Newport News CSB
Dana Gaskin Hanover County CSB
Nicole Yarber Highlands Community Services
Darrell Harmon Highlands Community Services
Leslie Beasley New River Valley Community Services
Kathy Kenley New River Valley Community Services
Linda Taylor New River Valley Community Services
Bonnie Favero Piedmont Community Services
Michelle Wagaman Rappahannock Area CSB
Amy Jindra Rappahannock Area CSB
Emily Warren Region Ten CSB
Sarah Robinson Region Ten CSB