Jan 10, 2017

"Seeing the World Through the Lens of Trauma: The Societal Impact of Childhood Poverty and Toxic Stress" Panel Discussion

The research has become very clear: childhood poverty is a significant determinant of emotional, psychosocial, and health outcomes. In the city of St. Louis, which is plagued by increasing rates of childhood poverty in largely underserved minority communities, this is having devastating long term effects on urban youth.

Medical literature has shown that the experience of trauma and toxic stress is strongly related to harmful behavior and health problems when the effects of trauma are not acknowledged or treated. Developmental trauma may even begin in the womb before birth and continue across the lifespan. Additionally, because of its chronic impact, the cumulative experience of trauma or toxic stress may include injury, feelings of helplessness, inability to cope, stress, relationship difficulties, chronic health problems, or long term mental health issues.

In order to develop better awareness of the issue at hand, SLU graduate students in medicine, business, law, and education are sponsoring a panel discussion centered on the issue of childhood poverty and toxic stress in St. Louis. Scott Hoener, first year medical student and one of the leaders of the initiative shared that, “as members of a Jesuit University, we find that it is critical to facilitate such discussions among disciplines in order to better inform students and faculty about a systemic crisis in our city that will only continue to grow unless we actively work to address it. The first steps can be accomplished by increasing student and faculty awareness, improving our understanding of those most affected by trauma, and encouraging a response in every discipline”.

Please join us on Thursday, April 6th for the following program.

Part 1 (Panel): The Social, Emotional, and Health Impacts of Childhood Trauma and Toxic Stress

David Pole, PhD, MPH, Director, Center for Interprofessional Education and Research

Ken Haller, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Cardinal Glennon — President, MO Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics

Josh Arthur, M.D., MTS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Chair of Ethics Committee at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

Matt Broom, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Cardinal Glennon

Part 2 (Panel): Childhood Trauma in a Larger Societal Context

Heather Bednarek, PhD, Associate Professor, Economics, Associate Dean, John Cook School of Business

Beth Embry, MPH, MBA, Director of Global Health, College of Public Health and Social Justice

Karla Scott, PhD, Director, African American Studies Program, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, College of Arts and Sciences

Sharonica L. Hardin-Bartley, PhD, Superintendent, University City Schools, Member of the Regional Health Commission’s Trauma Informed Teaching Collaborative

Group discussions are also included in the plan for the session. For additional information go to

-Scott Hoener, SLU Medical Student [Class of 2020]

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