N.E.A.R. Sciences

Our Learning Institute focuses on the bundle of key research and emerging science that teaches about the impact of adversity on health across the lifespan including Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and Resilience (NEAR)

N.E.A.R. Sciences Speakers Bureau

Foundation for Healthy Generations is committed to building awareness of N.E.A.R. sciences. We have expanded this work to include hosting a Speakers Bureau of passionate individuals to increase capacity to disseminate N.E.A.R. education and invite and support powerful partnerships to create enduring health equity.

The Speakers Bureau features ACE Interface education for a cohort of 25 highly motivated individuals, providing an opportunity to further the development of capacity in our state. In the Speakers Bureau we have invested in a group of people who care deeply about health equity and who are working together as educators and coaches to activate, elevate and inform community voice, accelerate its strength through shared learning and N.E.A.R. informed action, and thereby transform community conditions for health.

Members of the N.E.A.R. Speaker Bureau have been trained to present N.E.A.R. science with fidelity and facilitate dialogue informed by and using the N.E.A.R. sciences. These N.E.A.R. Expert Presenters & Coaches use high quality materials that have been approved by content experts, improved through field experience, and proven to be effective with diverse audiences.

We appreciate your interest in the N.E.A.R.Speaker Bureau and helping support awareness, knowledge and application of the N.E.A.R. sciences in Washington. Contact us for more information!

Webinar: Adversity, Resilience and the Role of Health Systems in Prevention

The Learning Institute's Laura Porter participated in a recent webinar for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the role of health systems in building resilience:

Adversity, Resilience and the Role of Health Systems in Prevention

Adversity in childhood, particularly in the absence of protective factors, can have profound developmental consequences. If not addressed, childhood adversity can initiate a “cascade” of risk factors, often leading to behavior problems, school failure, substance abuse and other negative outcomes. Health care personnel are in a unique position to identify and intervene early in this process. By educating families, strengthening protective factors, and working with children to build resilience, health care workers can help to prevent the onset of problems later in childhood or adolescence. 

This webinar provides a brief overview of adversity, resilience, and implications for prevention of substance abuse and other negative outcomes. It also describes effective prevention approaches in a variety of healthcare settings, including pediatric hospitals, emergency departments, school health clinics, and home visiting programs. Particular attention is paid to a dual-generation approach and to building partnerships for prevention. 

Click here to view the recorded webinar. 


Dr. Chris Blodgett presents "No School Alone: How community risks and assets contribute to school and youth success"

"No School Alone: How community risks and assets contribute to school and youth success" by Christopher Blodgett, Ph.D., Washington State University (March, 2015).

The full report may be found here: "No School Alone"

Key findings in this report include:

1. Adult ACEs are common in every Washington community, but they are not equally distributed. One of every four adults reports experiencing three or more ACEs. These adults with high ACEs are shown in the research to have increased risk of health and social problems.

2. ACEs are not distributed equally across Washington communities. Across school districts, adults reporting high ACEs range from an estimated 11–51 percent of community residents.

3. Poverty and ACEs are only modestly related. In high ACEs communities, high-poverty schools are more common but this co-occurrence is modest. Poverty is a powerful independent influence on academic, youth and community success distinct from the impact of ACEs which occur across all income levels.

4. More than 300,000 students in Washington live in communities where more than 35 percent of adults report high ACEs. As the average number of high ACEs in the community increases, the academic success and well-being of the children are put at risk.

5. As the percentage of high ACEs in a community increases, fewer students pass Washington’s standardized academic assessments. Schools in higher ACEs communities report mean percentage of students passing the assessments 2–6 percentage points lower than in communities with lower ACEs. This translates to thousands of students living in a high ACEs community failing on these critical assessments each year.

6. The effect of ACEs is demonstrated beginning in elementary school-aged children and continues across grade levels and content areas.

7. Rates of suspensions increase in high ACEs communities.

8. Poverty, but not ACEs, is highly predictive of rates of unexcused absences, graduation from high school and progression to postsecondary education.

9. Using youth self-report from the Healthy Youth Survey, community ACEs are highly associated with greater reported risks for attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, reflecting greater risk for immediate problem behaviors and continuation of these risks as youth transition into adulthood. Higher community ACEs are associated with low neighborhood attachment, more positive attitudes toward drug use and lower levels of the social skills needed to succeed in schools and adulthood.

10. The Healthy Youth Survey includes questions that allow youth to report on their own experience of adversity. As these ‘youth ACE’ scores increase in schools, we find that standardized test results in 10th grade are significantly lower, reported risk behaviors are significantly higher and access to social supports and positive peer and community influences are reduced. While poverty continues to be an influence on youth well-being, community and youth ACEs are more consistent predictors of youth well-being.

Addressing community and youth ACEs offers significant opportunities for investing in current strategies and exploring new opportunities. 

Host a NEAR Sciences Event

Interested in hosting a NEAR educational event? Please contact Karenb@healthygen.org to be connected with a NEAR Speaker.

Please consider the following questions & submit your responses with your inquiry, if you are unsure of an answer please answer to the best of your ability: 

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. How many participants do you expect?
  3. Where will your event be located?
  4. Is the event solely NEAR focused or will the NEAR education be part of a larger event?  If part of a larger event, what are the other topics being discussed/introducted?
  5. How much time do you have to commit to NEAR education?
  6. What would you like to see happen as a result of hosting this event?
  7. What is your audiences previous NEAR exposure?
  8. Are there specific topics that you are aware of, associated with NEAR, that is important to you to be highlighted or to take a deeper dive into?

HOPE Happens Newsletter, July 14, 2016

Here at Healthy Gen we continue to find inspiration and hope in the incredible work being done every day, by many of you, to create enduring health equity. As you know, it's not easy work but it's important and critical work if we are to create the just, equitable and healthy world we all want to leave for our children...  

(Read The Full Newsletter)

Mapping Room

Mapping Trauma Informed Projects 

Projects Around Washington State 

With your help, we are continuing to build a map of projects and programs around the state that are transforming health norms by reducing and addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) or furthering the work of other resilience and trauma-informed practices.  Our special thanks go out to Tory Clarke Henderson at the Washington State Department of Health for contributing some additional data to the original round of data we collected at our Science  of Hope conference in April. We also appreciate all of you who contributed data via our online survey. 

All of this information is currently in draft form as we collect and curate it for broader sharing. We are intending to formalize the mapping project with its own website later this year to better advocate for this work and facilitate connections and information sharing.  Please keep in mind that this a collaborative work-in-progress.

You can view the work-in-progress and add your contributions via these links: 

Connect To These Resources:

Mapping Room updated_8-9.xls

HOPE Happens Newsletter April 7

In this edition of HOPE Happens we explore 'grit,' building healthier communities by learning from Community Health Workers (CHWs), and request your support for mapping Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Resilience initiatives throughout Washington state.

(Read The Full Newsletter)


NEAR@Home Toolkit

How are social services professionals using NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience) science and knowledge? Home visiting and mental health professionals, along with other experts have come together to create, review and test a new toolkit designed as a training manual with guided processes to safely and effectively talk about the trauma of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

The NEAR@Home toolkit, designed over a three plus year period by federal Health Resources and Services Administration Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington), Quen Zorrah (Thrive WA), Laura Porter, and others, is a "guided process to talk about trauma and resilience in Home Visiting".  

Download the NEAR@Home toolkit from the Thrive WA website here

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