Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, is one of six priority areas identified in the 2022 Snohomish County Community Health Assessment.
ACEs are potentially traumatic life events before a child turns 18. These can include:
- verbal or physical abuse,
- exposure to substance misuse,
- incarceration of a household member,
- and other traumatic events.
A higher number of ACEs experienced – often called an ACEs score – corresponds to a higher risk of poor health outcomes like depression, illicit drug use, smoking, attempted suicide, partner violence, obesity, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Nearly a quarter of Snohomish County students have an ACEs score of three or more.
- What is a CHA?
A Community Health Assessment is done every 3 to 5 years. It is one part of a data-driven process focused on improving community health. By first understanding what the top health-related issues are, public health and community partners can then take a deeper dive into learning about those top issues and creating a plan to help improve health outcomes. For the Health Department, the next step is known as a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Local public health has conducted a CHA every 3-5 years since 2009 in Snohomish County. The last one was done in 2018.
- How was the CHA done?
Epidemiologists with the Health Department analyzed data on a wide variety of health indicators, including rates of illness and disease, causes of death, health risks and promotive behaviors, and social and environmental determinants of health. From October to December 2022, the project team presented data to a 15-person committee consisting of community members representing cities, schools, healthcare, nonprofits, human services, libraries, community organizations, and the Tulalip Tribes.
Epidemiologists then systematically reviewed the data and re-presented to the data committee with 40 indicators that showed need for improvement. Over the course of three voting rounds and discussion, the committee narrowed down to the top six health priorities.
- What’s next?
The 2022 Snohomish County Community Health Assessment is part of a four-step CHA/CHIP process.
- Assess health of the community using indicators
- Analyze and prioritize health issues
- Develop and implement a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
- Evaluate the process and outcomes.
The cycle repeats every 3-5 years. The first two steps are accomplished in the CHA. In 2023, the Health Department will begin work on the CHIP.
- How can people provide feedback about the CHA?
An online form is available to submit feedback. Please click here to complete the form.