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UNM HSC hosts new initiative on child well-being in New Mexico (Tuesday, Feb. 7)

Experts address child abuse, social and medical interventions

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is hosting a conference to address childhood adversity on Tuesday, February 7, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education auditorium, 1001 Stanford Drive NE.

The new initiative, which is free and open to the public, will focus on collaborations in research, service, healing and prevention of child maltreatment.

Experts will address child abuse, social and medical interventions via presentations at the event titled, “Childhood Adversity: The Impact of Maltreatment – Definitions, Prevention and Intervention Strategies.”

“We want to raise the consciousness and understanding about the issues of childhood adversity and how we can collectively address it in New Mexico,” says Elaine Bearer, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Pathology at UNM School of Medicine, who is organizing the event.

New Mexico ranks 49th in the country for child well-being, according to 2016 data from Kids Count, a program of New Mexico Voices for Children that annually tracks indicators of child well-being.

Adverse childhood experiences affect at least 60 percent of New Mexico’s children, according to Andrew Hsi, MD, a professor in the UNM Department of Pediatrics. “These experiences cause toxic stress to young children and many occur before age five,” says Hsi, who is among the experts on the panel.

Hsi, who is also the director of UNM's Institute for Resilience, Health and Justice, says the key to boosting a child’s well-being is the development of a two-generation intervention solution that provides comprehensive care for parents and family members.

Representatives of Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham are expected to attend and 70 community organizations have been invited to the conference.


Introduction  - Paul Roth, MD, MS, Chancellor for Health Sciences Center, CEO of the UNM Health System and Dean of the UNM School of Medicine.

50-Year Legacy in the Field of Child Abuse and Neglect – Richard Krugman, MD, professor, University of Colorado Medical School.

Social Work Interventions for Children, Youth and Families – Ferol Mennen, PhD, LCSWassociate professor, Department of Children, Youth and Families, University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

Childhood Adversity in New Mexico – Andrew Hsi, MD, Professor, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Director of Institute for Resilience, Health and Justice.

The Voices of Children in New Mexico – James C. Jimenez, CEO of New Mexico Voices for Children.

The event also includes a poster session from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. by UNM faculty, students and community partners, and appetizers from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A live broadcast of the conference is available at:

Several departments at UNM Health Sciences Center and community funds donated through the UNM Foundation supported the conference.

The UNM Foundation is accepting tax-deductible donations to organize future symposia for child well-being at:

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