Latest News Recognizing the Impact of ACEs: Governor Newsom’s Declaration and One Degree’s Efforts in LA
A photo of a diverse group of smiling, elementary school-aged kids in a science classroom.
June 28, 2024
Recognizing the Impact of ACEs: Governor Newsom’s Declaration and One Degree’s Efforts in LA

Last month, Governor Newsom took a significant step towards addressing community health by declaring May 11 as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Day. This proclamation officially acknowledges the impact of ACEs on public health and marks the launch of the California Surgeon General’s ACEs and Toxic Stress Healing-Centered Awareness Campaign

In tandem with this announcement was the release of the ACEs-LA Network of Care Case Study, shedding light on the efforts and progress the ACEs-LA network has made to address ACEs in Los Angeles. As the network’s technology partner for community-based resources and referrals, One Degree is deeply invested in this project. With the launch of the campaign and the release of the case study, we are excited to share some of the latest data, as well as a few reflections on what we’ve learned so far. 

First, ACEs are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood” between birth and age 17. ACEs include “aspects of the child’s environment that can undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding,” such as witnessing or experiencing violence, exposure to substance abuse or mental health issues within the family, parental separation, housing instability, and discrimination. 

For the last two years, One Degree has been partnering with ACEs-LA and the LA County Department of Health Services to link families with community-based resources aimed at mitigating the effects of ACEs. The impact of this collaboration has been significant, as highlighted in the case study:

  • 10,000 referrals made, with 8,400 facilitated by One Degree
  • 1 in 4 screened individuals received a social care referral
  • ACEs screening doubled the number of children identified as eligible for Enhanced Care Management (ECM)
  • Screenings have maintained efficiency without resulting in prolonged clinic visits

We are very proud of this collaboration, which continues to grow, learn, and help communities across Los Angeles County. We are also aware that mitigating the impacts of ACEs requires a long-term vision and investment from multiple communities and sectors. To keep improving how we approach this type of multi-sector collaboration, we reflected on the case study’s findings and distilled three core priorities that inform our contributions to the ACEs-LA initiative:

  • Community-focused design and feedback: One Degree is deeply committed to developing technology through conversations with diverse communities and providers. By actively engaging with a wide range of stakeholders from design through implementation and incorporating ongoing feedback, we ensure our tools are user-friendly, inclusive, and effectively meet the needs of the communities served.

  • Cross-sector efficiency: By consolidating portals, access points, and platforms across sectors, we can reduce redundancies and streamline processes for community members and providers. Therefore, each time we partner to develop digital infrastructure, we consider how this new technology or network can contribute to a long-term vision for a unified, digitally connected safety net, one that not only improves access to supportive resources but also reduces administrative burdens in providing care.

  • Advocacy for equitable technology procurement: Achieving systemic change in the social care sector requires a grassroots movement to shift how technology vendors and funders view community health challenges. Are these challenges viewed as opportunities for collaboration and community empowerment, or are they seen as avenues for financial gain? We envision a future where social care technology is sustainable, efficient, and decidedly nonprofit—where community needs determine how technology is designed. To realize this vision, new policy and funding approaches are needed, supported by advocacy from organizations committed to nonprofit success.

By integrating these principles, we aim to build exceptional technology and foster a paradigm shift in how social care tech is developed. Inspired by the Governor’s initiatives and our collaboration with the ACEs-LA Network of Care, our commitment extends beyond alignment with community needs. We are laying the foundation for a healthier infrastructure and healthier future for our communities.