Every day we are learning more about how adverse experiences (aka toxic stress or trauma) in childhood as well as in our adult years can impact us and our ability to participate in relationships, employment and our communities in healthy ways. Trauma refers to extreme stress that overwhelms a person's ability to cope. It can be a single event, a series of events, or a chronic condition such as childhood neglect or domestic violence. Katy Pruitt, Trauma Informed Care Coordinator for Sheboygan County Health and Human Services will introduce the ACE study which informs us on the medical, social and economic implications of toxic stress that we are so often seeing today in our family lives, work forces and communities. She will also introduce the concept of trauma-informed care (TIC) which is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.
Katy Pruitt has worked in various capacities with many diverse populations impacted by trauma and the systems that serve them since 1994. For the last nine years, Katy has partnered with many in Sheboygan County in effort to better serve individuals and improve system responses and, although there is much to do yet, has been very humbled by the strong and responsive services that have been created and efforts made thus far. Katy became especially interested in understanding more about trauma and trauma informed care (TIC) in 2006 and has since continued this journey to include ongoing personal and professional growth in this ever-expanding topic. As a previous Director of Services of Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County working towards operating under trauma informed principles to the current Trauma Informed Care Coordinator for Sheboygan County Health and Human Services, Katy continues to work towards improving systems to better respond to the impacts of trauma not only for those served in our community, but also those professionals supporting and serving our community. Katy has a B.S.Ed. with special emphasis on nonviolence, and community-building and -change. She lives in Plymouth, WI with her husband and thrives on family time with her adult children and grandchildren, the outdoors, the arts and education, and especially working towards creating a more peaceful world.