OHA Establishes Statewide Collaborative for Trauma Informed Care

April 1, 2015   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: OHA Addictions and Mental Health , Training
Diane K. Yatchmenoff, PhD, Trauma Informed Oregon

All over the country, across health care and many other service systems, there is increasing understanding about the long-term impact of adversity and trauma on health and wellbeing. Developments in neuroscience and developmental neurobiology, combined with findings from the seminal Adverse Childhood Experiences study, have heightened awareness of a reality that is no secret to individuals with lived experience and the providers who offer them support and care:

Painful, traumatic experiences in childhood and across the lifespan can have a powerful impact on physical and behavioral health. 

Trauma Informed Care is not a new concept, but it has gained considerable traction in recent years, with federal support and guidance from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration and new understanding of its importance to health care transformation. In Oregon, renewed advocacy for trauma informed care took root in the Children’s System Advisory Council and with other key partners at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Addictions and Mental Health Division, and in 2014 a comprehensive new trauma policy was passed and Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) was established.

TIO is a partnership between OHA, Portland State University (PSU), the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), and the Oregon Pediatric Society (OPS). TIO is charged with coordinating and disseminating resources and information, providing training across the state, increasing training capacity and sustainability, providing technical assistance and evaluation, and bringing the voice of providers, youth, families, persons with lived experience, and diverse communities into policy decisions.

More than 150 stakeholders and partners attended a TIO kickoff meeting in Salem in October, where they had the opportunity to learn about TIO, share information about how they are responding to the challenges of adversity and trauma in the children, adults and families they serve, and to provide input for the work of the Collaborative in the future.

In order to provide the same opportunity to partners all over the state, the following regional meetings, combined with training or informational events, have been scheduled this spring:

  • April 16-17, Bend: In conjunction with the TIO community-wide forum on April 17, OPS will offer a free START training, especially geared toward healthcare providers, on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Care in Primary Care Settings.
  • May 29, Grants Pass
  • June 12, Seaside
  • June 19, Pendleton

For more information on these events, visit the TIO website and/or sign on to the Collaborative listserve at www.traumainformedoregon.org to receive invitations and regular updates.


Diane K. Yatchmenoff, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the Regional Research Institute for Human Services (RRI), part of the School of Social Work at PSU, and is the director of TIO. She has a long history of providing consultation, evaluation and research services to community-based organization and public systems. Her interests include the role of complex prolonged trauma in the lives of vulnerable children, adults, and families; the development of trauma informed care across multiple service systems; the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect; and the intersection of addictions, criminal justice, and mental health services for adults. Dr. Yatchmenoff has worked extensively with Oregon’s Department of Human Services, Multnomah County, and in collaboration with numerous local, state, and federal partners.