by Traci Chapman, Staff Writer

As research continues to unfold linking childhood abuse and neglect to a host of physical and mental conditions potentially dangerous to the health and well-being of adults who lived through it, a group of Canadian County professionals is calling to nurses throughout the Oklahoma City metropolitan area to help turn the tide.
They’re doing that by hosting the award-winning documentary, “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope.” Hosted by Infant Mental Health, Trauma and Community Resource Team and Canadian County Coalition for Children and Families’ special events committee and set during April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month, “Resilience” details the science surrounding the effects of adverse childhood experiences and the hopefulness to be found by fighting the root issues.
What those adverse experiences – or ACES – meant to those who had gone through them came to light in the 1990s, thanks to a joint study between Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente. As outlined in “Resilience,” that work found child abuse and neglect generates a toxic stress, triggering hormones that down the line could impact children – sometimes not until they became adults – with physical disease, as well as emotional and social issues that could severely hinder their chance for later success.
The screenings came about thanks to a Potts Family Foundation Community Resource Development Foundation grant. The Oklahoma City-based foundation provides funding and other resources for nonprofits and organizations working to help area communities.
Canadian County organizers scheduled two events – April 5 and April 17 – to screen the documentary and provide additional information.
Nurses and other health professionals – as well as Department of Human Services caseworkers and other staff, law enforcement, nurses, teachers and school counselors and community service providers – are asked to attend a free April 5 professional lunch and learn. In addition to the film, a multidisciplinary panel will hold a discussion during the event.
Panel members anticipated to participate include: Red Rock Behavioral Services psychiatrist Dr. Vincel Cordry; Canadian County District Attorney Mike Fields; Melissa Griffin from Oklahoma State Department of Health, Child Guidance; pediatrician Dr. Alecia Hanes; and Red Rock Health’s home director and outpatient chief operating officer Kristen Bradley, RN and Dr. Wanda Ellison, respectively.
“Basically, we want to make sure anyone who can have an impact on children dealing with this situation have a chance to take part in the screening and panel discussion,” said
Lisa M. Schoelen, Red Rock Behavioral Health Services regional program director. “It’s essential to have the participation of nurses, doctors and any other health care professionals who can attend.”
CEU’s have been approved for LPC, LMFT, LCSW, LADC and case managers, Schoelen said. Advance registration for the April 5 event – set for 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. – is required and can be done by going online to
Nurses and other professionals are also invited to a community “Resilience” screening, set for 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. April 17. That event – open to foster parents, civic groups, parents and families or the community at large – will also feature a panel discussion after the film. Light refreshments will be available.
Both events will be held in Room MM125 of Redlands Community College, located at 300 S. Country Club Road in El Reno. For more information, contact Schoelen at

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