New York Trauma-Informed Care Initiative

The New York Trauma-Informed Care InitiativeĀ helps ensure that agencies have the capacity to integrate trauma-informed care into the culture, environment, and services at 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers, health homes, and syringe access programs in New York State.

There is growing understanding of the relationship between traumatic exposure and increased likelihood of HIV transmission, low adherence to medication, treatment failure, substance abuse, and poor mental health among people with HIV.

Recognizing that 95 percent of people with HIV have experienced potentially traumatic events, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute has made a commitment to support the integration of trauma-informed care into service agencies in order to support the healing of unaddressed trauma, improve client retention, and positively impact health outcomes.

The initiative

This trauma-informed care project emphasizes education and awareness for staff and clients to establish a trauma-informed culture that facilitates the delivery of services with a trauma-informed lens. Grounded in an implementation science framework, the project emphasizes skills-based approaches to addressing trauma symptoms. This approach begins with leadership as a foundation, followed by examining and strengthening systems and policies to support implementation. CAI then provides training in trauma-informed service delivery, using evidence-based treatment models for supervisory, clinical, mental health, and other staff. The next step is to implement trauma-informed patient services, including systematic screening, client education, and psychoeducation.

CAI provides individualized technical assistance to organizations to help staff develop skills to create a trauma-responsive healing environment and help staff deliver evidence-based care that is compassionate, comprehensive, and skills based. Our technical assistance also helps agencies integrate trauma-informed services into current practices. Throughout the process, CAI works with providers to help them use real-time data to monitor progress and conduct continuous quality improvement.

The impact

The project continues to support agencies as they integrate trauma-informed care in order to increase healing, retention in care, and sustained viral suppression. During 2020-2021, agency staff attended 218 technical assistance hours and participated in a total of 32 physical and cultural assessments to determine priorities, strategies, and action plans to further incorporate trauma-informed care principles. CAI conducted 58 trainings that reached 1,266 participants; training participants reported a 15-21percent increase in their confidence in their understanding of trauma and ability to integrate trauma-informed care into their daily work.

Project funder and key partners

  • Funder: New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute
  • Partners: Organizations including Amidacare and Engagewell IPA

Leadership and contact

Emily Rebella, NY Trauma-Informed Care Initiative Project Director:

Take 5 Webinar Series

The Take 5 series was created by the New York Trauma-Informed Care project during the height of the COVID pandemic to help healthcare professionals stay connected to trauma-informed care work and to each other. In eight short webinars, CAI staff and guest experts address topics including: dealing with universal grief, talking with patients about substance abuse, and leading grounding exercises.

While the initial COVID crisis has passed, the information presented in this series of videos remains relevant to anyone working with people who have or are experiencing trauma.

Browse a playlist of Take 5 webinars