UofM Receives Grant From Urban Childhood Institute to Serve Vulnerable Children

May 25, 2016 - The Urban Child Institute has awarded the University of Memphis a $2 million grant to support the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Prevention Project.

Through the project, the UofM will build on relationships with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital to create a culture of health for vulnerable children in Memphis. The University and its partners will tackle such issues as child neglect and abuse, housing, asthma and breastfeeding.

ACE awareness training will be integrated into nursing, public health, law, social work, child development, nonprofit administration and public administration curricula. Resources will be developed for training parents, teachers and others to foster a culture of health for at-risk children, with a particular focus on those from birth to 3 years old.

The interdisciplinary initiative will involve four major program areas: The Medical/Legal ACE Initiatives, which includes the Memphis CHiLD Clinic (Children's Health Law Directive), a collaboration between the UofM School of Law, Memphis Legal Services and Le Bonheur providing legal services and advocacy for families in need, and iHeLP ACE Policy Lab, a year-long practicum where law students investigate how existing laws can be used to advance health and reveal gaps where new laws may be needed; the Strengthening Families/Serving Children Initiative, which will provide services to families impacted by violence in targeted areas; Early Childhood ACE Awareness, which will promote comprehensive training to certify teachers and child care providers in ACE awareness; and the Nursing ACE Initiative, which includes the Nursing ACE Awareness Program, an effort to improve health for at-risk children, and the Nursing Asthma Awareness Management Program, which will focus on identifying asthma cases, recognizing high-risk cases, supervising asthma drug administration, and care management and coordination.

"Receiving this grant from the Urban Child Institute is a testament to the high quality of researchers and practitioners at the University of Memphis who are engaged in scholarly activities that impact the lives of children and the families within the urban community," said Provost Karen Weddle-West. "The University's contributions to the Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Project will help to ensure the implementation of holistic, integrated approaches to enhancing the health and educational environments of the most needy infants and toddlers in the area."

Gabrielle Maxey