Traumatic Childhood Experiences and Illness Later in Life

Dr. Dayna Long, Medical Director and Researcher, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland Center for Child and Community Health, discusses her involvement in the All In For Kids virtual series that took place in December 2020, and how research has shown that persistent childhood adversity – abuse, neglect, violence, racism, and other forms of trauma – can lead to higher rates of illness (cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, etc.) later in life. COVID-19 has exacerbated the trauma, isolation, and stress kids are experiencing and is disproportionately affecting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of color.

Dr. Dayna Long, Pediatrician, Medical Director and Researcher UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, Center for Child & Community Health.

Dr. Dayna Long has been a primary care pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland for over 20 years. For the past 5 years, she has also served as the co-Director of Center for Child and Community Health at University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospitals. She dedicates her career to eliminating childhood health inequities that lead to poor health, financial and educational outcomes for families and young children on both individual and population levels. She is a co-Principal Investigator of the Pediatrics Adverse Childhood and Resilience Study (PEARLS). The PEARLS tool screens and measures children for experiences in their daily environment that can cause stress. She also directs the Family Information and Navigation Desk (FIND), along with the FIND connect technology platform, which address the social and environmental factors affecting children’s health outcomes. As a steering committee member of First 5 Alameda County/Help Me Grow, Dr. Long advocates for children. In 2014 she received the prestigious National Service Award from the Corporation for National Service for the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps. She is the 2016 Girls Inc., Alameda STRONG awardee, received the 2018 Genius Leadership Award from Kapor Capital and Genius Plaza and most recently was given the Keeping the Promise 2020 Award from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Dr. Long received her B.S. from Stanford University in Biology and a B.A.in African and African-American History. She attended medical school at George Washington University and completed her residency and an infectious disease fellowship at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and was subsequently a Harvard Macy Institute Faculty Scholar.

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