Sunday, 09 May 2021

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris launches statewide listening tour

SACRAMENTO – California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris on Tuesday launched a statewide listening tour at Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative, or FRCC, in Sacramento to raise awareness about the link between adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress and serious health conditions.

"As California's first Surgeon General, one of my top priorities is to raise awareness that Adverse Childhood Experiences, like emotional abuse or witnessing domestic violence, can increase the risk of major health problems like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. But adversity is not destiny," said Surgeon General Dr. Burke Harris. "The science is clear: early intervention improves outcomes."

Dr. Burke Harris will travel the state to listen to the unique challenges that communities in each region face when addressing the root causes of serious health conditions and health disparities. Bringing together community members, healthcare providers, and leaders to roundtables across the state, Dr. Burke Harris will hear how the Office of the Surgeon General can support communities with prevention and treatment.

The Surgeon General’s listening tour will include stops in Alameda County, Butte County, Fresno County, Kern County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County.

In Sacramento, joined by First 5 Sacramento leadership, Dr. Burke Harris visited FRCC’s campus and brought together educators, service providers, and community members to discuss the community’s healthcare priorities and challenges.

Dr. Burke Harris visited organizations in the FRCC including Pivot, PRO Youth and Families, Black Mothers United and the River Oaks Family Resource Center to learn about their work to provide access to healthcare services and resources for their communities.

“One of First 5 Sacramento’s priority areas is focused on an alarming statistic: African American children in Sacramento are dying at two to three times the rate of all others,” said First 5 Sacramento Executive Director Julie Gallelo. “These causes of death are linked to multi-generational trauma and systems that haven’t supported our black community. We are changing that in Sacramento through meaningful collaborations, significant financial investments and aligned efforts with a single goal and we welcome the Surgeon General’s partnership.”

“Sacramento Building Healthy Communities is focused on equity and committed to working in collaboration with other community partners dedicated to improving health outcomes for everyone, especially those in most in need,” said Kim Williams, hub director of Sacramento Building Healthy Communities. "We are excited for the Surgeon General's leadership and her work to address toxic stress in our communities."

“PRO Youth and Families is pleased to be part of the collective trauma informed work being provided at the Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative,” said Staci Anderson, president and CEO of PRO Youth and Families. “We welcome collaboration with the new Surgeon General and appreciate her coming to learn about the work we’re doing in the community.”

Dr. Burke Harris also discussed the work that the State is doing to ensure better health outcomes with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s early childhood budget proposals that are focused on developmental screenings, support for home-visiting initiatives and improving infant and maternal health. These programs total more than $200 million in the governor’s 2019-2020 budget proposal.

Gov. Newsom appointed Dr. Burke Harris as California’s first surgeon general on Jan. 21.

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