Nadine Burke-Harris, MD, MPH, FAAP
Surgeon General of California. Founder and CEO, The Center for Youth Wellness, and founding physician, Bayview Child Health Center, San Francisco.
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity
A pioneer in the field of medicine, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, FAAP is a leader in the movement to transform how we respond to early childhood adversity and the resulting toxic stress that dramatically impacts our health and longevity. In her first book, The Deepest Well, Dr. Burke Harris documents how the results of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study impacted how she approached her medical practice.
A passionate advocate for children’s health, Dr. Burke Harris is the founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness in San Francisco. Early in her medical career, she noticed that many of her young patients were being treated for health issues such as obesity, asthma, and ADHD, and she dug deeper into the underlying causes of these medical problems. The original ACE study, which gathered data from 17,000 adult patients on childhood experiences of divorce, substance use in the home, and neglect, for example, revealed that childhood stress changes our biological systems in ways that last a lifetime, and that two-thirds of us have experienced at least one ACE – no matter your circumstances. Research now shows that experiencing four or more ACEs is associated with significantly higher risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and suicide.
Dr. Burke Harris’ TED Talk, “How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime,” has been viewed nearly 6 million times, and her work has been profiled in the New Yorker and in Paul Tough’s (FAN ’12) book How Children Succeed.