The San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative (SDCOI) has been dedicated to addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a priority since 2020. This year, at the all-partner convening, the COI sought to complement its focus on adversity by acknowledging the positive aspects of families and communities that contribute to creating healthy, resilient individuals. To achieve this, the COI embraced the Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE) framework, which aligns with the COI’s mission and encourages collaboration among diverse organizations.

On May 15th, 2023, SDCOI, in partnership with our Advancing Health Literacy Program and HEALthy 4 You, hosted a workshop facilitated by the YMCA Childcare Resource Service (CRS) centered on the HOPE framework. The workshop provided an opportunity to promote and integrate positive experiences as a means to prevent and mitigate adverse childhood experiences.

The HOPE workshop brought together partners from various sectors within the COI, as well as additional collaborators. The first half of the workshop focused on providing an overview of the HOPE framework and the research supporting it. YMCA’s Integrated Learning Developer and HOPE facilitator, Lodia Ruiz, commented, “What HOPE does is help us shape that narrative. Families are so resilient and have so many strengths within them.” The second half of the workshop explored how organizations can use the HOPE framework to foster resilience in the children and families they serve. Earl Felisme, a Health Navigator at Family Health Centers of San Diego and a tri-chair of the COI Community Council said, “The most interesting thing I’ve learned during this training is how important our role is for the organizations we represent. We are such an instrumental piece in the advocacy for policy change that helps families live healthier, safer and more positive lifestyles.”

During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to break out into smaller groups and discuss ways they could start implementing the HOPE framework within their organizations. JoAnn Fields, Business Health and Wellness Advocate at the County of San Diego HHSA and Tri-Chair of the COI Business domain exclaimed, “I learned a lot of skills here at the HOPE training. What I hope to bring back to our organization is the mindfulness of the different experiences that shape our decision making.”

The HOPE workshop proved to be an exceptional platform for bringing together professionals with a shared interest in addressing ACEs. For more information on the HOPE framework and to access additional resources, please visit PositiveExperience.

Special thanks to the YMCA CRS for facilitating and hosting the training at the Jackie Robinson YMCA. We would also like to express gratitude to the Olivewood Gardens Kitchenistas for catering a healthy and delicious lunch. This event truly exemplified the power of collective impact. To learn more and join the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, please contact us here.


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