Join the #ChildrenCanThrive Campaign so all children grow up happy and healthy.

The #ChildrenCanThrive  campaign seeks to transform our response to the public health crisis of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their long term effects.

Join the #ChildrenCanThrive Campaign so all children grow up happy and healthy.

In the News

Feb 8, 2017 - "Understanding the science of ACEs and toxic stress gives us a powerful tool for not only addressing health disparities, but for improving the lives of all Americans. When we wake up to the fact my patient in Bayview shares a common biology with every child in America who is experiencing adversity, then perhaps we can find the will and the resources to help all children thrive."
Jan 30, 2017 - “There’s an abundance of research showing us that as humans, we actually have the ability to buffer each other’s stress responses,” says Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder of the San Francisco-based Center for Youth Wellness.
Dec 16, 2016 - After three years of dedication to Center for Youth Wellness (CYW), Mark Cloutier is moving on from his role as Executive Director. Vice President of Development and Communications Chris Padula has been named Interim Executive Director.
Oct 6, 2016 - Soon after Nadine Burke Harris opened a pediatrics clinic in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, she began grappling with the high rates of asthma and other illnesses that she was diagnosing in her patients. She wanted to understand why so many of the kids she saw were so sick.
Sep 14, 2016 - A pediatrician and the founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, Nadine Burke Harris, M.D., receives the Heinz Award for the Human Condition for addressing toxic stress in children, a significant, yet often unrecognized risk factor for chronic disease later in life.
Aug 29, 2016 - Center for Youth Wellness published an article titled "Toxic Stress in Children and Adolescence" in the August 2016 issue of Advances in Pediatrics.
May 18, 2016 - “Kids who have been exposed to high doses of adversity have damaged their prefrontal cortex,” said Mark Cloutier, executive director of San Francisco-based Center for Youth Wellness. “That part of the brain is involved in executive function — the part of our behavior that is about organizing ourselves, like getting up in the morning and eating breakfast and getting prepared for the day,” he said.
May 18, 2016 - The Center for Youth Wellness, located in San Francisco's low-income Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood, is working with the pediatricians' organization on a national campaign, Children Can Thrive, to raise awareness about the impact of a range of childhood stressors, known as adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.
Apr 13, 2016 - California’s economy is the seventh-largest in the world, and home to global industries that have revolutionized our way of life. Yet when it comes to caring for our children, we are failing to provide the essential services they need to thrive and succeed.
Apr 12, 2016 - It's known that wealthier people live longer than poor people, but in the Bay Area the poor, especially poor men, have a notably higher life expectancy those those of the same economic status in other large cities. So what are we doing here that other places aren't?
Apr 11, 2016 - "An emerging body of science is showing that adversity itself will shorten your life span," says Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician in San Francisco and a founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, which tries to treat the role of toxic stress in undermining health in the city's poorest neighborhoods.
Mar 9, 2016 - San Francisco, CA – The Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) commends the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) for calling on pediatricians to screen all children for poverty, drawing attention to early adversity’s impact on children’s health now and throughout their lives.
Feb 17, 2016 - As Dr. Nadine Burke Harris treated child after child, something told her she wasn’t getting the full picture. Most of her young patients at the Bayview Child Health Center were from the surrounding, predominantly African American neighborhood in southeastern San Francisco. Their home lives were largely plagued by poverty, domestic abuse and chaos, and later in life, many of them developed chronic illnesses. But were the two related?
Jan 6, 2016 - Since her nomination for the Visionary of the Year award in 2015, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris has remained steadfast in her goal to broaden the conversation about the link between childhood trauma and health. In a world where many still believe mental and behavioral health is disconnected from physical health, Burke-Harris’ continues to make a compelling case for how the two are synchronous.
Nov 19, 2015 - Foundation announced today a grant of $4.8 million dollars to fund a research collaboration that will investigate how childhood adversity affects children’s health. The Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health, composed of the Center for Youth Wellness, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), aims to bolster research and scientific tools to comprehensively address the negative health outcomes associated with exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Nov 18, 2015 - Leaders from healthcare, education, child welfare and juvenile justice sectors today announced a statewide action plan to address childhood adversity, such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, and create lasting change for the state’s children and families.
May 20, 2015 - San Francisco, CA (May 20, 2015) – The Center for Youth Wellness (CYW), a nationally recognized organization with a mission to improve the health of children and youth exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences, announced today the hire of Mark Cloutier as the organization’s first Executive Director.
Nov 10, 2014 - Childhood traumas like divorce, abuse and neglect can significantly increase the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's, chronic pulmonary disease, stroke and asthma, according to a study of California adults released on Wednesday. We'll talk to one of the authors of the report, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco. The center, located in the Bayview District, recently received a $3 million grant from Google for its work.
Nov 6, 2014 - (San Francisco – Nov. 6, 2014) A first-­‐of-­‐its-­‐kind report released today by the Center for Youth Wellness details the long-term and far-reaching consequences of childhood exposure to trauma and chronic adversity. The report, released in partnership with the Public Health Institute, highlights serious implications for the state’s public health and healthcare systems, and calls for solutions.
Nov 5, 2014 - SF Gate - Google’s philanthropic arm will give $3 million to pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris’ Bayview clinic, which has earned international acclaim for its work linking the physical ailments of low-income children to their traumatic experiences.
Sep 26, 2014 - CNN blog - Chances are, you know someone whose child has been diagnosed with attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder. Perhaps you've received that news about yourself or your own child. In many cases, it's a legitimate issue and can require medication, therapy or both. But in my experience, ADHD is sometimes a diagnosis that can be mistakenly given based on a pattern of behavior, without appropriate understanding of the underlying biology.
Aug 19, 2014 - Nadine Burke Harris on helping to reduce the detrimental effects on children in abusive situations, a video by Makers.
Jun 4, 2014 - CYW ACEs and Toxic Stress White Paper - Official Press Release
Apr 16, 2014 - As an Advisory Council member for Hilary Clinton's Too Small to Fail Initiative, CEO Dr Nadine Burke Harris gives professional insight into ACEs and toxic stress... See what she has to say on the TMTF blog about Toxic Stress, pain in childhood leading to illness as an adult, and how caregivers and therapy can help a child handle adversity http://m.toosmall.org/news/commentaries/toxic-stress#top"
Apr 15, 2014 - Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco, is a powerful spokesperson on the effects of adverse childhood experiences. Her work illustrates how childhood trauma (e.g. violence at home or in the community; having a parent with mental illness or substance dependence) affects the structure of the developing brain.
Jan 12, 2014 - The first time I met Anthony, it felt like a kick in the stomach—literally. He was sitting on an exam table in my clinic, and as I leaned in close to examine him, he got scared, lost control and wham! He got me. Anthony’s mother brought him in not just for his rash, but also because she had heard that we had a different way of doing things at the California Pacific Medical Center’s Bayview Child Health Center...
Dec 29, 2013 - “I think what we hear a lot about in the media is that Bayview has one of the highest rates of violence, of homicide, and certainly that’s true,” said Dr. Burke Harris. “But Bayview is a community of families...”
Dec 8, 2013 - Police in the Bayview district are getting crime-fighting help from an unlikely source: A pediatrician...
Nov 13, 2013 - The Born This Way Foundation is opening doors for many youths to have the full life they are born to live. Many youths experience events in their early life, through no choice of their own, which can be deeply stressful to a developing mind and brain - both highly sensitive to beneficial and detrimental influences...
Nov 12, 2013 - Stress never should make you sick ... literately. It really should not. By definition, stress is a simple reaction to a stimulus – a stressor - that throws us off either physically or mentally. Stress is something that should be well managed and kept under control. A little bit of stress keeps our life interesting, but overdoing it is never a good idea...
Nov 8, 2013 - New York City’s stop-and-frisk crime-fighting strategy involving street searches of mostly minority residents unleashed a tsunami of controversy. San Francisco is about to try a radically different tactic: Stop and offer therapy...
Nov 4, 2013 - Maltreatment during childhood can lead to long-term changes in brain circuits that process fear, researchers say. This could help explain why children who suffer abuse are much more likely than others to develop problems like anxiety and depression later on...
Oct 30, 2013 - Imagine if scientists discovered a toxic substance that increased the risks of cancer, diabetes and heart, lung and liver disease for millions of people. Something that also increased one’s risks for smoking, drug abuse, suicide, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, domestic violence and depression...
Sep 30, 2013 - The Bayview is one of the city’s poorest and most violent neighborhoods, with the third-highest poverty rate and the second-highest homicide rate in San Francisco. The neighborhood’s dysfunction, Burke Harris discovers, has marked the teenager in numerous ways...
Sep 14, 2013 - We went to the women who upgraded our world this year and asked them their secrets to building and enjoying their power. Get inspired...
Jun 22, 2013 - Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris is a key figure in Hillary Rodham Clinton's first philanthropic effort, an initiative to promote scientific studies of early childhood development and research-based policies to help kids...
Jun 14, 2013 - Too Small to Fail aims to help parents and businesses take meaningful actions to improve the health and well-being of children ages zero to five, so that more of America’s children are prepared to succeed in the 21st century...
Sep 14, 2012 - As kids and teachers head back to school, we wanted to turn away from questions about politics and unions and money and all the regular school stuff people argue about, and turn to something more optimistic — an emerging theory about what to teach kids, from Paul Tough's new book How Children Succeed...
Jul 1, 2012 - Children who are physically or sexually abused, or who go through other trauma-inducing experiences, can develop mental health disorders and related problems. Indeed, trauma can fundamentally affect how a young person grows and develops. Trauma-informed care is a treatment approach that explicitly acknowledges the role trauma plays in people’s lives...
Jul 8, 2011 - Dr. Nadine Burke, M.D., director of the Bayview Child Health Center, argues that these health disparities are biological. Burke says the body physically responds to stress and trauma - and that is directly responsible for adult health problems...
Jul 5, 2011 - “We’re bringing together all of the best resources under one roof so that families have access to all of these services, at no charge,” she says. “I’m trying to bring Pac Heights service to the Bayview because every family deserves that.”
Jun 11, 2011 - Burke read a study that linked “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs)—including physical or emotional abuse, neglect, and having an alcoholic or an imprisoned parent—with an increased risk of heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions. The social problems she was seeing in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point were central to her patients’ health, and Burke began focusing on childhood trauma in her practice....
May 17, 2011 - From what she sees at her clinic in San Francisco's Bayview district, Dr. Nadine Burke has come to believe that childhood stress, trauma and poverty can lead to physical changes and illness in adulthood. Burke joins us to talk about her practice -- and her groundbreaking theories -- as part of our "First Person" series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique...
May 17, 2011 - From what she sees at her clinic in San Francisco's Bayview district, Dr. Nadine Burke has come to believe that childhood stress, trauma and poverty can lead to physical changes and illness in adulthood. Burke joins us to talk about her practice -- and her groundbreaking theories -- as part of our "First Person" series on the leaders, innovators and others who make the Bay Area unique...
Mar 21, 2011 - Burke was just beginning to think deeply about the physical effects of anxiety. She was immersing herself in the rapidly evolving sciences of stress physiology and neuroendocrinology. What if anxiety wasn’t merely an emotional side effect of a difficult life but the central issue affecting health?
Feb 21, 2010 - It's all in a day's work for Dr. Nadine Burke, medical director of the Bayview Child Health Center on Evans Avenue in Bayview Hunters Point...
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