The Women's HIV Program at UCSF Selected for National Multi-Site Pilot Demonstration to Advance Trauma-Informed Care

Hamilton, NJ, December 10, 2015 –The Women's HIV Program at the University of California, San Francisco is one of six innovative health care organizations chosen to participate in Advancing Trauma-Informed Care, a national initiative aimed at understanding how health care settings can implement trauma-informed approaches to improve patient outcomes and decrease costs. The multi-site pilot demonstration is led by the Center for Health Care Strategies and made possible through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Exposure to trauma — including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; neglect; discrimination; and violence — increases an individual's long-term risk of serious physical and behavioral health problems, often leading to costly health care utilization. Adopting trauma-informed approaches to care can potentially improve patient engagement, enhance health outcomes, and reduce avoidable care utilization and excess costs in both the health care and social service systems.

"Health care providers and policymakers are increasingly aware of the harmful consequences of trauma, yet strategies for best serving patients with a trauma history are not clear," said Allison Hamblin, vice president of strategic planning at the Center for Health Care Strategies. "Advancing Trauma-Informed Care will work with innovators across the nation to help foster and spread promising practices for addressing trauma with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing unnecessary health care costs."

Women's HIV Program at the University of California, San Francisco was competitively selected to participate in the initiative, along with five additional sites, each representing a range of delivery systems and populations. The pilot sites will each receive funding support and participate in a two-year learning collaborative where they will vet new approaches, exchange best practices, and advance practical strategies for implementing trauma-informed care. In addition to the Women's HIV Program at the University of California, San Francisco, the pilot sites include: Center for Youth Wellness (San Francisco, CA); Montefiore Health System (Bronx, NY); Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition (Newark, NJ); Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services (Philadelphia, PA); and San Francisco Department of Public Health, (San Francisco, CA).

"Exposure to violence and trauma is a serious and costly public health and health care concern that extends over the lifespan," said Tara Oakman, PhD, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "These innovative pilots will support a Culture of Health by shifting the conversation in the health care setting from "What is wrong with you?" to "What has happened to you?"

Over two years, the pilot sites will test and enhance key clinical and organizational ingredients for a trauma-informed approach to care, guided by input from the learning collaborative and a national advisory committee as well as technical assistance from CHCS. A publicly available online toolbox will share emerging best practices and case studies from the pilot sites. Look for upcoming resources and technical assistance tools at Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.