National Council for Mental Wellbeing

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October 18, 2017

Joy Burwell, (202) 748-8789

The three-year project includes creating and piloting a process for integrating trauma-informed approaches into primary care.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is leading the three-year initiative, Trauma-Informed Primary Care: Fostering Resilience and Recovery, to educate health care providers on the importance of trauma-informed approaches in the primary care setting.

In July 2017, the National Council convened a multidisciplinary group of 11 health care stakeholders, who serve as the Practice Transformation Team for this initiative. Over the next five months, the team will develop a model for primary care providers and their behavioral health partners to effectively support patients impacted by trauma. In early 2018, selected primary care providers will begin piloting the model in their settings.

“An estimated 60 percent of adults in the United States have experienced adverse life events that can contribute to persisting physical health, mental health and addiction disorders,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. “With this initiative, we are giving primary care providers trauma-informed resources, approaches and tools that will help them better understand the impact of trauma and tailor treatments to improve health outcomes.”

The process for implementing trauma-informed approaches in primary care, developed by the Practice Transformation Team, will focus on recommendations for standardized screening and assessment tools, evidence-based clinical interventions, relevant and replicable outcome measures and potential critical policy changes. Primary care organizations that implement these processes will contribute to the advancement of primary care and behavioral health integration and achievement of the Triple Aim: improving care, health and costs.

“Effectively integrating trauma-informed approaches into primary care is a very promising strategy to address health disparities, strengthen resilience in vulnerable populations and support a healthy primary care workforce. Our Practice Transformation Team comes from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences and aims to provide our health care system with an optimal path forward,” said Glenda Wrenn, chair of the Practice Transformation Team and director of the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity.

To learn more, visit:

The Trauma-Informed Primary Care initiative is supported by Kaiser Permanente.

Practice Transformation Team participants:

  • Chair: Glenda Wrenn, M.D., M.S.H.P., F.A.P.A., Director, Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity, Satcher Health Leadership Institute; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Susan Briner, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Center for Youth Wellness
  • Roger Fallot, Ph.D., M-TREM; Former Director of Research and Evaluation, Community Connections
  • Pamela Jacobs, Ph.D., Adult Mental Health Director, Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc.
  • Tracy Knight L.I.C.S.W., Social Services Director, Bread for the City
  • Virna Little, Psy.D., L.C.S.W-R., M.B.A., C.C.M., S.A.P., Associate Director for
    Strategic Initiatives, Center for Mental Health Innovations, School of Public Health, City University of New York
  • Edward Machtinger, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director, Women’s HIV Program, University of California, San Francisco
  • Brigid McCaw, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., F.A.C.P., Medical Director, Northern California Family Violence Prevention, Kaiser Permanente
  • Arabella Pérez, L.C.S.W., Assistant Clinical Professor, University of New England
  • Suganya Sockalingam, Ph.D., Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Change, Matrix, LLC; Co-Founder and Executive Director, TeamWorks International Inc.
  • Sharon Wise, M.H.S., Founder, The House of Sharon

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The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 2,900 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council helped introduce Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1 million Americans have been trained. For more information, please visit