Date: January 18, 2023

Contact: Sarah Ross,
(707) 296-6315

Open Door And Partners Awarded Grant to Build
Community Resilience Across The North Coast

Open Door, First 5, and Partnership Healthplan of California
to address Adverse Childhood Experiences in the community

ARCATA, CA – Open Door Community Health Centers, First 5 in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, and Partnership HealthPlan of California are to receive a grant to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress in our communities. The PRACTICE Grant (Preventing and Responding to ACEs-Associated Health Conditions and Toxic Stress in Clinics through Community Engagement) helps community organizations partner to identify gaps and create more access to care and services for vulnerable children.

ACEs, which can occur in the household, community, or environment, are stressful or traumatic experiences in childhood that can increase the risk of significant physical and mental health conditions in later life. Addressing ACEs early can reduce their effects and significantly improve the chances of living a healthy life. This grant is intended to help communities create buffers to protect children reduce the effects of ACEs and Toxic Stress on the North Coast; care provided by Open Door and other community partners is one piece of the puzzle.

Leveraging their respective expertise, Open Door and its partner organizations will forge new paths to support families, patients, and clients. Mary Ann Hansen, First 5 Humboldt’s Executive Director noted, “First 5 is excited to partner with Open Door to support children and families who have experienced ACEs. Connecting families with resources to reduce toxic stress can have lifelong positive health outcomes. The strength of our community is powerfully linked to the health of our youngest residents, and by working together, we can create a healthier, stronger community.”

Routine and universal ACEs screening helps healthcare teams provide more effective and equitable interventions. “The medical home is an ideal place to identify and address toxic stress and their associated health conditions,” said Open Door Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Constance Mitchell. “This grant will help us develop the right interventions for our community upstream.”

Screening results can help target clinical interventions, as well as offer greater compassion, patience, and opportunities for relational healing. Open Door’s providers can refer children and youth, and families experiencing ACEs to community resources, like First 5, for support.

Eureka Community Health Center’s Dr. Michael Mangahas, a clinical champion for the project, said, “This grant says ‘we are all in this together’. This as is an amazing opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with our community partners already doing this important work. It is will make such a difference to Open Door as we integrate mental and behavioral health into our clinics, and help our families raise resilient children and reduce family trauma.”

Open Door Community Health Centers, First 5, and Partnership HealthPlan of California look forward to increasing the workforce and services needed to expand and sustain screening and response to ACEs and toxic stress in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

For more information, and a full list of awardees, visit the links below:

About Open Door:

Open Door Community Health Centers was founded with a vision to provide excellent health care and health education to an underserved part of California, at a time when the region suffered from a shortage of access.

Starting as a single clinic in 1971, Open Door now has 12 community health centers across Humboldt and Del Norte counties–a service area larger than the state of Connecticut–serving more than 55,000 patients a year and employing almost 600 members of the community.

Learn more about Open Door Community Health Centers.

For further information, please contact: For press or media inquiries:
Sarah Ross

Vice President of Operations–Southern Division
(707) 296-6315

Erik Salholm
Communications Director

Download 2023.01.18-Open Door CHC ACES Grant Press Release FINAL PDF