Trauma Survivors and Experts to Testify at Committee Hearing

Jul 8, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2019)—On Thursday, July 11, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., the Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a hearing with trauma survivors, public health experts, and government officials to examine childhood trauma in the United States.


WHERE:  2154 Rayburn House Office Building


WHEN:  Thursday, July 11, 2019


TIME:  10:00 a.m.


The hearing will broadcast here.




The Committee will hear directly from trauma survivors, public health experts, and government officials to examine the long-term consequences of childhood trauma and the insufficiency of the federal response to this urgent public health issue. 


First panel witnesses will share their personal stories of trauma, healing, and advocacy.


Second panel witnesses are experts who will discuss the prevalence of childhood trauma and the limited nature of current federal initiatives to prevent childhood trauma and to treat those who have experienced it.




  • Childhood trauma is a pervasive public health issue with long-term negative health effects that cost the United States billions of dollars.


  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente conducted a landmark study that found adults who had suffered “adverse childhood experiences” were at much higher risk for leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and suicide. 


  • Extensive research demonstrates that exposure to community violence, homelessness, unsafe neighborhoods, bullying, racial and ethnic discrimination, income insecurity, natural disasters, intergenerational trauma, or historical trauma also increases the likelihood of negative health outcomes.


  • A comprehensive federal approach is needed that both recognizes the impact of childhood trauma and takes concrete steps towards prevention and treatment.


  • Congress recently passed legislation that recognizes the severe consequences of childhood trauma, but current programs and initiatives are insufficient to address this public health issue.


  • Some states and localities are implementing promising programs to prevent and treat childhood trauma that can inform federal solutions.


  • GAO recently issued a report on Children Affected by Trauma that reviewed the various approaches and challenges to supporting children affected by trauma in six states. GAO found that “Trauma is a widespread, harmful, and costly public health problem, and is especially detrimental to children.”




Panel I


Mr. William C. Kellibrew

The William Kellibrew Foundation


Ms. Heather Martin

Executive Director and Co-Founder
The Rebels Project


Mr. Justin Miller

Deputy Executive Director
Objective Zero Foundation


Ms. Creeana Rygg

Survivor and Activist


Panel II


Dr. Debra E. Houry

Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Mr. James Henry

Former Deputy Governor and Chief of Staff
State of Tennessee


Mr. Charles Patterson

Health Commissioner
Clark County, Ohio


Dr. Cristina D. Bethell

Director, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Dr. Denese Shervington

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Tulane University School of Medicine

116th Congress