• December 13, 2017 2:33 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Check out these learning modules to be more trauma-informed in school settings!

    The Department of Public Instruction Trauma-Sensitive Schools (TSS) initiative is modeled after the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school improvement process, focusing first on universal practices (Tier 1), followed by strategies for students who need additional support (Tier 2), and intensive interventions for students who require ongoing support (Tier 3). The change effort within each school is best facilitated by a school-based team with an internal TSS coach who commits to additional professional development provided through these modules. Implementation is enhanced when internal TSS coaches have access to technical assistance and on-going, problem-solving meetings facilitated by trained external TSS coaches.

  • November 16, 2017 2:36 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Are now available online. Just click here to access some of the Powerpoints and Handouts!

  • March 07, 2017 7:17 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Harvard Center on the Developing Child releases a new report, "From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts." Report is HERE

    "Experiences in the earliest years of life form the foundation of brain architecture, for better or for worse. Learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan are all built on that foundation. We know today’s best programs and practices can help support child development, but too many children are left behind. Dramatic improvements for all children are not only achievable but also necessary for a thriving and sustainable society. Like any healthy field, ours needs an investment in R&D to move beyond the best of what we know now—to apply cutting-edge science and an innovation mindset to the urgent task of creating the better best practices of tomorrow.

    This report is for anyone who shares our sense of constructive dissatisfaction with the status quo. Whether from the worlds of policy, practice, research, philanthropy, or civic leaders and parents who want to make their communities a better place for children, this is an invitation to join a journey of discovery. Leveraging what we are learning from science to generate and test new ideas is a critical, untapped key to unlocking these dramatic improvements."

    See the key findings from the report in the Professional Development section of the MRBN Resource Library!

  • March 07, 2017 3:49 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Building on a well-established knowledge base more than half a century in the making, recent advances in the science of early childhood development and its underlying biology provide a deeper understanding that can inform and improve existing policy and practice, as well as help generate new ways of thinking about solutions. In this important list, featured in the From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts report, the Center on the Developing Child sets the record straight about some aspects of early child development.

    1-Even infants and young children are affected adversely when significant stresses threaten their family and caregiving environments.

    2-Development is a highly interactive process, and life outcomes are not determined solely by genes.

    3-While attachments to their parents are primary, young children can also benefit significantly from relationships with other responsive caregivers both within and outside the family.

    4-A great deal of brain architecture is shaped during the first three years after birth, but the window of opportunity for its development does not close on a child’s third birthday.

    5-Severe neglect appears to be at least as great a threat to health and development as physical abuse—possibly even greater.

    6-Young children who have been exposed to adversity or violence do not invariably develop stress-related disorders or grow up to be violent adults.

    7-Simply removing a child from a dangerous environment will not automatically reverse the negative impacts of that experience.

    8-Resilience requires relationships, not rugged individualism.


    Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2016). 8 Things to Remember about Child Development. Retrieved from

  • February 10, 2017 8:36 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Dr. Robert Anda, co-PI of the ACEs Study, spoke in Maine in February 2017 at a grand rounds. The topic of his talk: "Implications for the Health Care System."

    Bio from Ace Interface -

    Dr. Robert (Rob) Anda graduated from Rush Medical College in 1979 and received his board certification in internal medicine in 1982. In 1984 he completed a fellowship in preventive medicine at the University of Wisconsin, received a Masters Degree in epidemiology, and was accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He conducted research in disease surveillance, behavioral health, mental health and disease, cardiovascular disease, psychosocial origins of health-risk behaviors, and childhood determinants of health.

    In the early 1990’s, Rob began a collaboration with Dr. Vincent Felitti at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego to investigate child abuse as an underlying cause of medical, social, and public health problems. This effort lead to a large-scale study funded by the CDC to track the effects of childhood trauma on health throughout the lifespan. They called it the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study). Rob played a principal role in the design of the study, and serves as its co-principal investigator and co-founder.

    Data collected from more than 17,000 patients clearly showed that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), were common; that they had a profound negative effect on health and well-being; and were a prime determinant of the past, current and future health behaviors, social problems, disease incidence, and early death in the study population. These findings have resulted in more than 70 publications in major medical and public health journals. The ideas from this work are now influencing the design of similar research around the world.

    Findings from the ACE Study have been presented at Congressional Briefings and numerous conferences around the world.  The ACE Study is being replicated in numerous countries by the World Health Organization (WHO), and is in use to assess the childhood origins of health and social problems in more than 18 U.S. states.

    Rob continues to work as a CDC senior scientific consultant in Atlanta, but his time is increasingly devoted to traveling the nation to consult and speak with leaders in public health, medicine, corrections, judicial and social service systems and with local, state, national, and international organizations about the ACE Study. He is showing how its findings are useful to inform programs, policy, and legislation to prevent disease and disability.

    Rob is the author of more than 200 publications, including numerous government publications, and book chapters, and has received numerous awards and recognition for scientific achievements. He has appeared in national newspapers and television networks and is frequently invited to speak about the ACE Study and his experiences around the country working on applications of ACE Study concepts.

    Just as in his work, Rob is passionate about gardening and scuba diving, when his schedule permits.  He also enjoys fishing and golf.  He makes his home in Fayetteville, GA.

  • November 11, 2016 3:53 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Please Join Us for Third Webinar in the Jumpstarting the Conversation

    on Children's Health Series

    How Can We Engage More Effectively with Adolescents in Primary Care? Implementing "Reaching Teens" in the Primary Care Setting 

    with Dr. Ken Ginsburg

    Thursday, December 8, 2016

    Noon to 1:00 PM

    Kenneth R Ginsburg, MD, MSEd

    Kenneth R. Ginsburg MD, MSEd is a Professor of Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His adolescent medicine practice often addresses adolescent behavioral issues. He practices social adolescent medicine – medicine with special attention to prevention and the recognition that social context and stressors impact upon both physical and emotional health. The theme that ties together his clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy efforts is that of building on the strength of teenagers by fostering their internal resilience.  He is one of the authors of the AAP’s Reaching Teens™ curriculum.

    • Category 1 CME Credit Available
  • October 30, 2016 12:05 AM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Time Magazine Cover Story on Depression and Anxiety Features Project AWARE Youth

    A dozen teens involved with Project AWARE shared their stories about anxiety and depression with Time Magazine. The article, appearing as the November 7th cover story, features 3 of the youth including Faith-Ann Bishop, writer / co-writer of 4 Project AWARE films. Her movies, based in part on personal experiences with depression, anxiety, and self harm, include The Road Back and a better place.

    In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health.

    The Time article states “One of the most powerful things Faith-Ann did to escape the cycle of anxiety, depression and self-harm was to channel her feelings into something creative. As part of the Project AWARE teen program in Maine, she wrote and directed a short film about anxiety and depression in teens called The Road Back. More than 30 kids worked on the project, and they became a support system for one another as she continued to heal.” Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine co-produced the 32-minute movie.

    For her part, Faith-Ann (pictured on Time’s cover) wanted to make a difference not only for her peers, but also for parents. She offers “Please talk to your kids and family members about depression, anxiety and self harm. Raise awareness. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and help others feel less alone.”

    Susanna Schrobsdorff, author of the story and an editor at Time, contacted Project AWARE after seeing, a better place. online. She was hoping to talk with teens willing to share their story. Project AWARE teens met with Susanna at Engine in Biddeford Maine and shared their wisdom and truth about how these issues impacted them. All of these young people wanted to make a difference and provided important background for the story.

    Programs like Project AWARE can change lives by offering teenagers a supportive, non-judgmental community that fosters creativity and collaboration. Projects have involved hundreds of teenagers who have created over 20 PSAs and 12 short movies about issues they have faced including bullying, self-harm, suicide, anxiety, depression, opiates, underage drinking and more.

    Subscribe online to Time and read the article here or pick a copy up soon at your nearest newsstand. You can also see some PA youth-created movies here, and contact Project AWARE by visiting

  • September 29, 2016 2:56 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    This year, Maine Quality Counts are delighted to offer a new QC for Kids Webinar Series:

    Jumpstarting the Conversation on Children’s Health: What we have learned over the past five years, where do we go next for children’s health care quality, and how do we move it forward.

    WHEN: Webinars will be the 2nd Thursday of the Month, 12 noon-1 PM. Check the MRBN calendar for the topics each month!

    WHERE: hosted on ZOOM

    The zoom link is: or 14086380968,,,5211733487#

    CME is available.

    The first webinar will be Thurs. October 13, 2016: 12N-1 PM with Steve DiGiovanni, MD, Maine Medical Center Pediatric Clinic, and Amy Belisle, MD, Maine Quality Counts, discussing “New Resources for Primary Care Providers on Developmental Screening and What Have We Learned about Screening over the Last Five Years? Understanding the New Survey of Well-Being of Young Children (SWYC) tool, Billing Codes, and Community Resources.”

    Many practices in Maine are using the ASQ and PEDS for screening.  The SWYC is a new tool out of Tufts that is recognized as a screening tool and we want partners in the Developmental Systems Initiative (DSI) to be aware of the tool and how it is scored in case you get referrals from primary care providers who are using it.  Dr. DiGiovanni will talk about the work happening to implement the SWYC in Maine Medical Partner Practices. We hope that you will join as we continue to work on raising developmental screening rates and understand the challenges. Maine's developmental screening rates at ages 1, 2, and 3, based on MaineCare data from 2011-2015, have increased  from 1-3% to over 21-28%.  As we see big improvements, we also need to continue to work to get all kids screened and started in early intervention services is and as needed.

    Please join us for the conversation. Register here

  • August 17, 2016 12:06 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    For years, Teri Barila had tried to coax newspaper reporters in Walla Walla, Washington, to write about brain science, ACEs, and resilience. They didn't bite.

    Then, on a crisp December evening, 1600 people--many of them inspired by years of community organizing--crammed the town's largest venue for a screening of Paper Tigers, James Redford's documentary about the dramatic reboot of a local alternative school after its principal became an advocate of trauma-informed care. Suddenly, reporters and editors "were not only interested, but almost ecstatic over the story of the film," Barila says. "There was such a perse audience--not just education or law enforcement, but the entire community. That was a strong message."

    Read more on the MARC (Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities) website

  • July 28, 2016 4:51 PM | Lauren Mier (Administrator)

    Only Human-A Journey From Convict to Mentor

    by Alton Lane with Meghan Vigeant

    Alton Lane met Peggy Smith when he was an inmate at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center (MCRRC) in Belfast. He became so engrossed in the study and practice of Courageous Communication that he transformed his life, and is now her assistant teacher at the Reentry Center. This book tells his story.

    Buy the book HERE

    "I was a criminal for a long time, and it just doesn’t suit me anymore. I spun in and out of jail and prison since the age of 12. I was angry with the world, with the man who abused me as a child, with myself. I was violent. I had drug and alcohol problems. I rejected my two kids and thought, ‘good riddance.’ I just didn’t care about others. I welcomed the idea of overdosing; it seemed like a good way to end it all.

    "I am so different now. I almost want to change my name. Today I identify myself as a loving person. I have joy and happiness with myself. I’m proud of myself for succeeding. I have hopes that others succeed. I mean, I’m still Alton. I still have the capacity to go the other way, but my hope is that I don’t. Today I would call myself a compassionate loving person, kind of a wimpy human being, like a sissified tweety bird. Okay, I don’t really mean that. The work I’ve done, opening up my wounds, learning to communicate in a healthy positive way, reconnecting with my family, finding forgiveness – all this took courage. So, I guess I’m a courageous tweety bird now."  – Alton Lane

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