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KET special report examines how childhood trauma continues to harm in later life and explores the path to healing


KET special report examines how childhood trauma continues to harm in later life and explores the path to healing

For Release: 08/03/20 4:32 PM

Deeply embedded in the American narrative is the belief that with hard work and determination a person can overcome anything, including a painful childhood.  What if this story turned out to be more myth than fact?  An increasing body of research reveals that adversity and trauma in childhood can biologically alter someoneā€™s perceptions and ability to thrive. Not only that, those toxic experiences can trigger hormonal imbalances, chronic inflammation and alterations to DNA that often lead to shorter, sicker lives.  

The good news is that this trajectory can be changed with evidence-based intervention. But first, we must recognize and understand the problem as a society. Against the backdrop of COVID-19 and protests opposing systemic racism, host Renee Shaw and experts present the science of childhood trauma and the path to healing.   

Healing Childhood Trauma: A KET Special Report airs on KET on Monday, Aug. 10, at 8/7 pm.  

Shaw examines ā€œthe most important public health study youā€™ve never heard ofā€ and talks with medical experts and advocates, including: 

  • Betty “BJ” Adkins, M.Ed.,Ā co-leader of theĀ Bounce Coalition and director of Community Resource Development for the LouisvilleĀ 
  • Timothy J. Ainger, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology at theĀ University of Kentucky College of MedicineMetro Department of Public Health and Wellness
  • Melissa Collins, student atĀ Centre College and Kentucky Youth Advocate Intern who wrote about ACEs
  • Wendy R. Ellis, DrPH, director of the Center for Community Resilience in theĀ Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University
  • Vincent Felitti, MD, co-principal investigator of theĀ Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study
  • Marta M. Miranda-Straub, M.S.W., commissioner of theĀ Kentucky Department for Community-Based Services
  • Anastasia and Connie Pohlgeers, mother and daughter from Campbell County
  • Ginny Sprang, Ph.D., executive director of theĀ UK Center on Trauma and Children

Healing Childhood Trauma: A KET Special Report is a KET production, produced by Laura Krueger. The program is funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

KET is Kentuckyā€™s largest classroom, where learning comes to life for more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentuckyā€™s preeminent public media organization at, on Twitter @KET and at


Todd Piccirilli
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications