Our Director of Clinical Innovation, Rebecca Hoffmann-Frances, is very passionate about improving the lives of Maine kids who have experienced trauma. One of several researchers at the Center for Psychiatric Research (CPR), Rebecca is integrally involved in two programs that will soon become connected in a way that has not been attempted by any other healthcare system of our size in the entire country. It is truly groundbreaking.
The Maine Children’s Trauma Response Initiative (MCTRI) is an MBH project that has trained over 250 clinicians in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), meaning there are clinicians trained in every county in Maine. TF-CBT has been proven to help children who have experienced a traumatic event through individual and family therapy and teaching coping skills. “What we need to do now,” Rebecca says, “is understand the effectiveness of the model in a variety of settings and focus on implementation science – learning about the factors that support a clinician’s continued use of the model with fidelity.”
Coinciding with MCTRI is the Portland Defending Childhood project, a Department of Justice program that focuses on prevention and intervention. “Through research we’ve learned that levels of trauma in rural areas in Maine are almost double the rates in urban areas in part due to isolation and lack of services.” This knowledge highlights the importance of providing trauma screening on a routine basis for all children.
In November, Rebecca and colleagues at Maine Medical Center will be leading the implementation of a trauma screening tool that will be incorporated into the EPIC electronic health record. The tool will be used to screen all children from birth to 21 years of age during well child visits at every MaineHealth practice that uses EPIC. In addition to providing early intervention and an opportunity to collect data, kids can be easily connected to clinicians trained in TF-CBT. This type of quality improvement initiative is what will bring positive change for kids in Maine.
Schwind, J., S., Norman, S. Brown, R. Hoffmann Frances, R., Koss, E., Karmacharya, D. and Santangelo, S. (2019). Association between earthquake exposures and mental health outcomes in Phulpingdanda village after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Community Mental Health Journal 1-11.
Schwind, J., Formby, C., Santangelo, S., Norman, S. Brown, R. Hoffmann Frances, R., Koss, E., Karmacharya, D. (2018). Earthquake Exposures and Mental Health Outcomes in Children and Adolescents from Phulpingdanda Village, Nepal: A Cross-Sectional Study. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 12:54.
Brown, R. & Hoffmann Frances, R. (2018). Principles of Trauma‐Informed Therapy with Children and Adolescents. In Osofsky, J. and Groves, B (Eds). Violence and Trauma in the Lives of Children, Praeger Publishers.
Hoffmann Frances, R. (2016). What if a Whole Community Came Together? Collaborating to Ensure No Wrong Door to Services. In M. Baker M., Ford J., Canfield B., Grabb, T. (Eds). Identifying, Treating, and Preventing Childhood Trauma in Rural Communities (pp. 136‐149). IGI Global, Hershey, PA.
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National Child Traumatic Stress Network. (2010). Domestic Violence and Children: Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates. Los Angeles, CA, & Durham, NC: National Center for Child Traumatic Stress.