Information about last weeks speaker from the Seacoast Sunday /
Biddeford-Saco Rotarians, thank you again for letting Larry present his organization’s ACE Master-trainer initiative to your Club this past week.  Here’s an article about it in this morning’s Seacoast Sunday /
As I said Wednesday, we are still about five thousand dollars short of the full funding that Rotary has committed.  Nobody knows more than I the many competing pressures of Covid-19 on Club resources.  I continue to believe this is relevant and vital to our longer-term community stability, and I hope your board might consider contributing to this in whatever modest way is fair and appropriate.
Thank you for all you’re doing to keep Rotary focused through these challenges,
Dave Underhill
By Hadley Barndollar

Posted May 2, 2020 at 5:34 PM

ELIOT, Maine – Across York, Strafford and eastern Rockingham
counties, approximately 13,800 school-aged children are currently
at greater risk for future health challenges, based on their ACE
Some call an ACE, or adverse childhood experience, score a
“cholesterol score” for childhood trauma. For example, people with
an ACE score of four are twice as likely to be smokers, and seven times more likely to be alcoholic. Scores of four
or more are 12 times more likely to have attempted suicide, and 10 times more likely to have injected street drugs.
For scores of six or higher, there is an almost 20-year shortening of one’s lifespan.

Though delayed because of the ongoing coronavirus emergency, the Eliot-based Pinetree Institute is set to launch
a three-year community engagement initiative on adverse childhood experiences in the fall, focusing on the three
counties covering Seacoast New Hampshire and southern Maine.

The two-state geographic area in question, says Dr. Larry McCullough, founder and executive director of the
Pinetree Institute, has approximately half a million people, with 142 schools and 63,000 students.
This means in classrooms across the region, each one will see students affected by ACEs, and some with very high
ACE scores.

“If I had a goal, it would be that every adult engaged in community work of any kind would hear about this over
the next three years, which I think is pretty realistic,” said McCullough.

The higher a child’s ACE score, the more likely they are to experience serious health issues when they become an
adult – as a result of household dysfunction, neglect or abuse during their childhood.

McCullough said the recognition of ACEs, and their life-altering impacts, changes the community conversation
from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”

“There are reasons to why people do what they do,” he said.
Pinetree’s new “master trainer” initiative will include a kickoff in
September with Dr. Robert Anda and Laura Porter, co-founders of
ACE Interface, a company working to improve overall well-being
and prevent ACEs from occurring. Anda was a lead investigator in
the original ACE research study conducted by Kaiser Permanente
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention starting in
1995, while Porter is a leader of the national ACE movement and
known for her successful implementation of ACE study concepts in
Washington state.

The Pinetree Institute has a mission to “promote a sustainable sense of health, prosperity, happiness and lifesatisfaction
in individuals, families and communities.” It works to do so through educational workshops, retreats,
and strategic facilitation of community-based collaboration throughout the Seacoast New Hampshire and
southern Maine regions.

A worsening opioid and substance use epidemic in the area has become a particular area of focus for Pinetree, the
organization states, and its ACEs initiative builds on its trauma-informed care community efforts already in

McCullough said the three-year community engagement initiative will seek to “train trainers,” by identifying key
people in a community, “local community champions,” and educate them on ACEs, with the expectation that their
newfound knowledge will be the starting point of a chain reaction in their community.

“The goal is to train roughly 10 people in each county area,
and then they have the mission to go out and disseminate it
as widely as possible,” McCullough said.

He noted education, social services, law enforcement, health care, community leadership, and concerned
individuals as some of the populations they’ll be looking to reach.

The effort is funded by 12 area rotary clubs and a $25,000
Kennebunk Savings Bank Spotlight Fund grant.

McCullough said it took the United States 20 years for knowledge
of the dangers of smoking to begin to have an impact on human
behavior. It generally takes 50 years for the discovery of a medical
finding to see implementation in the whole society, he said.
“We’re at the 20-year point in ACEs,” McCullough noted. “And
opiate death rates have soared, and the suicide rate has continued to

Approximately 22% of the student population in eastern
Rockingham, Strafford and York counties has an ACE score of two or higher. These same areas have a total of 40
police departments, 142 schools and more than 820 primary care physicians who can play a part in community
education of childhood traumas, among other sectors.

“There is a temptation to think that this is another new program. And what all of the people working in the field
have emphasized is it’s really a change in mindset, a different way of thinking about things,” McCullough said.
Recognition of ACEs helps communities more deeply understand issues like the opioid crisis, incarceration,
mental health and education achievement, for example.

Many schools have begun to realize trauma can act as an obstacle for students when it comes to academic success,
so they’ve implemented robust social and emotional learning curricula
social and emotional learning curricula
curricula. Others have taken trauma-centered
trauma-centered approaches.

Currently, Pinetree Institute is looking for nominations
nominations of community members who could become “master trainers.” People
are invited to nominate themselves, coworkers, friends and others
individuals they believe to be in unique and important positions to
disseminate the information.

“The first step in addressing any of this is awareness,” McCullough
said. “The whole idea is tell everybody.”
For more information, visit