What are we doing about it?

We’re started by presenting two ACE Study Summits. One in September of 2013 in Helena; and another one in May of 2014 in Billings, Montana. More than 500 people came from all across the state — and even from South Dakota. On October 1st and 2nd – 2015 we presented our annual Elevate Montana Summit in Helena titled “Adversity Is Not Destiny“, which provided strategies and solutions to mitigate toxic stress in children and build resilience. It was attended by 400 people, including parents, teachers, mental health providers, healthcare professionals, community leaders, and caregivers, among many others!

The ACE Study (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study) is a scientific study directly linking adverse childhood experiences to negative health and social outcomes in adulthood. It was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Kaiser Permanente. The implications are staggering, but the motivation for change is inspiring! Elevate Montana’s ACE Study Summit is intended to inform, inspire, and motivate community and state leaders toward actions that will reduce adverse childhood experiences in today’s children so they may become healthier adults, which will result in a healthier Montana. Perhaps we may one day truly be a state in which living the American Dream is possible … even for its children.

Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities

In July of 2015, ChildWise Institute was contacted by the Health Federation of Philadelphia inviting us to compete for a significant grant to advance work in Montana to elevate the well-being of children and families. 70 organizations were originally considered, the list was narrowed down to 24 that were invited, and only 11 grants would be awarded! Well, guess what? ChildWise Institute was selected as 1 of those 11 organizations in the entire nation! Because of additional funding coming from the California Endowment, 3 other organizations were added, making it a total of only 14 org’s in the nation to be part of this cohort! The actual funding for this grant comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the nation’s largest foundations creating positive social change. Our plan is to drill down deep in regards to ACEs, trauma-informed approaches and resilience-building strategies in 4 communities across Montana. These communities are “pilot” projects if you will, with an eye toward using the success we generate and lessons learned in these communities to advance work across all communities in Montana. The communities we’ve selected are Wolf Point, Kalispell, Missoula, and Helena. We have also contracted with the University of Montana School of Social Work to be our formal outside evaluators. Ours is a  bold, ambitious, important, exciting and specific plan  with measurable outcomes.

ACE Master Trainer Program

We’ve done many introductory presentations about the ACE Study across Montana, and have taken our next significant step! ChildWise, working collaboratively with ACE Interface, has established an ACE Master Trainer Program!

More than twenty Master Trainers will be sent out across the entire state to advance awareness and knowledge of the ACE Study and its implications, and will facilitate conversations in creating actions to mitigate toxic stress in children. In doing so, we will avoid and reduce ACEs in our children today so that they will be healthier adults tomorrow. The ultimate result of this work will be a healthier Montana physically, as well as fiscally. We will elevate the well-being and futures of our children. Join the movement by clicking here!


Request ACE Presentation graphic




Resources and Articles

Meet our ACE Study Master Trainers

Feedback and Ideas

  • Have a question, comment or an idea on how to improve child well-being in Montana? We'd love to hear from you!