Evening with the Experts, November 05, 2018

The Mental Health Working Group of the Child and Adolescent Chronic Illness Center is embracing an effort to ensure the lifelong emotional well-being of children growing up with chronic illness by promoting resilience.  On November 5, 2018, we hosted an event we called “Evening with the Experts,” to address the dual goals of 1) Gaining insights from experts about ways to quantify, intervene and assess outcomes for interventions that aim to improve resilience (e.g.: trauma-informed care).  2) Brainstorming approaches for developing services within the Chronic illness Center to improve resilience of patients cared for at UCSF.  This event was possible because we have local experts, very close by, who can help guide us in this effort.  After introductions to the Chronic Illness Center and the Mental Health Working Group, our main event was a panel discussion of a series of primer questions that we posed to six individuals who have established expertise in trauma and resilience; these experts were:

  • Cristina Benki, PhD – psychologist in Pediatric Pain Management clinic and IP3
  • Rachel Gilgoff, MD – pediatrician at CYW, working with Nadine Burke-Harris, MD, to investigate sequelae of toxic stress and intervention strategies
  • Aja Hill, PsyD – psychologist in the Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry program and Child Trauma Research Program at ZSFGH
  • Eddie Machtinger, MD – Director of Women's HIV Program and the Center to Advance Trauma-Informed Health Care
  • Christina Mangurian, MD – ZSFGH psychiatrist, researching interventions to address care-giver stress
  • Ben Meisel, MD – Medical Director of CCS (SF), former Medical Director of The Painted Turtle, and CIC Advisory Council member

The panel discussion was followed by a roundtable discussion, where each of our experts joined the tables where audience members were sitting and encouraged the participants to generate and develop ideas to address another series of questions.  These questions included:

  1. How do we measure resilience?
  2. What potential interventions can be implemented most readily?
  3. How can we measure the impact of any interventions implemented (with consideration of potential roadblocks)?

Ultimately, the event was successful in stimulating thoughtful discussions about resilience and generating momentum to support our efforts to promote the emotional well-being of our patients and their care-givers by stimulating positive psychological growth.