The Science of Stress: A Conversation with Karen Kreisberg, Betsy Krieger and Amy Bloom Connolly

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Amy Bloom Connolly
Amy Bloom Connolly

Courtesy Citybizlist— So how do you take the science of stress and design a solution that makes a difference to kids, their families and communities in which they live? Amy Bloom Connolly has been figuring that out over many years and most recently through a program called Shine, with the help of the Krieger Fund, which is why Karen Kreisberg and Betsy Krieger joined our conversation.

Smart Money. The Krieger Fund has moved from a traditional grant making model, to becoming a proactive partner with the organizations it financially supports, such as Shine. Their evolving role parallels the world of active angels or “smart money.” As Karen and Betsy describe it, when looking at innovative approaches to treating the effects childhood trauma, the Krieger Fund looks for evidence of the impact of a program, and then to how it can be scaled, all the time being open to new ideas and different ways of thinking about childhood trauma. They, like smart money in the tech world, are in the business of impactful ideas.

Healthy Child. Karen, in her words, wanted “to set some context to our conversation.” She continued, “when you look at violence, at the neuro-aspects of the toxicity of stress in the context of our city, we have really big challenges.” Yet Karen reminded me not to lose the perspective of every parent. “All parents want to raise healthy children, to do the right thing.” “You just have to imagine raising children in some of the environments in Baltimore.” And Betsy finished the thought, “there’s not enough money given the scale of challenges.” So families in distress, according to Amy, are left “interacting with systems that continue the process of making people feel far less than they could be.” From Amy’s perspective, this is “the experience of people in poverty, of the environment available to them.” There has to be, according to Amy, “a shift in the culture of the people offering services.” Karen calls this shift in culture, one where “[support] systems are ‘trauma informed’; that understand where these families are coming from.” Read the rest at Citybizlist…



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