our approach


We are leading a science-based movement to reduce ACE-associated health inequities and promote human resilience and opportunity. Because ACEs are a public health issue that requires community-based solutions and broad partnerships, we seek to partner with stakeholders to understand opportunities and challenges; address privacy, ethical, and acceptability issues; and guide the network’s ongoing work and impact. Together, we believe we can lift the burden of ACEs from our communities. 

Here's how we do it

Advance Science

Mitigating and preventing toxic stress requires a comprehensive understanding of the processes that link ACEs and health, as well as robust longitudinal studies examining how clinical interventions impact key pathways that are dysregulated by stress. We conduct research and facilitate collaboration with leading scientists in stress and health innovation to better understand the science of stress and resilience. By advancing the science of ACEs and toxic stress, the CAL STAR Network supports the development of evidence-based mitigation strategies that can be scaled to benefit the individuals and the broader community.

Engage the Public

ACE-associated health inequities will continue to persist until system and policy changes begin promoting population-level health and wellbeing. Systems-change efforts to prevent ACEs and toxic stress depend on the awareness and engagement of the general public, legislative decision-makers, and public health leaders. We create tools, educational resources, and opportunities to increase awareness and education on topics related to stress, health, and resilience. We further seek to create the infrastructure for shared learning and knowledge alongside partners to build capacity and strengthen our collective impact.

Train Future Leaders

Training future leaders builds the workforce needed to reduce toxic stress effects and develop programs devoted to enhancing health and wellbeing. We provide opportunities for researchers, undergraduates, and early-career professionals from diverse and historically excluded backgrounds to develop and sharpen their interests in stress, health, and resilience. Focusing on the development of future public health leaders, scientists, and advocates emphasizes the importance of toxic stress science during critical career development stages.

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