Known as the Cape Regional Wellness, members were representative of the following sectors: Healthcare, Behavioral Health, including mental health and addiction services, business, education and law enforcement. Alliance members are all top executives in their respective organizations and have the authority to make decisions to allocate resources and effect change through policy development. This group was committed to the Mission statement of “increasing awareness of the long term consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences and increasing the availability of coordinated, community resources and activities in Cape May County.
The Journey began with an orientation and training through the NJ Creative Leadership Institute for a total of four days over the course of several months. The resulting analyses of community struggles and challenges were spirited, thoughtful, informing and enlightening. Alliance members quickly realized the problems facing our county were intertwined and connected. In many cases, our respective organizations were working in silo’s and the result of our continued collaboration led to the recognition of the value of cooperation, collaboration and a learning process whereby each member made a concerted effort to learn about each other’s service and/or organization, thus creating a synergistic positive effect.
Essential to the Alliance’s plan development was the opportunity to learn about what had previously been done in the county to address ACES by Cape Regional Medical Center’s Community Health Needs Assessment. This assessment, conducted over the past six years, identified adverse childhood experiences as a major community concern. The rate of ACES and its impact, especially in the school systems, continues to present a challenge in all sectors of the community, especially in the areas previously outlined.