May 07, 2020 Healthcare, Human Services, Press Release The Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR), established by Governor Tom Wolf’s 2019 executive order to protect Pennsylvania’s vulnerable populations, today announced the launch of a volunteer think tank comprised of 25 experts representing a diversity of fields and backgrounds who will develop a plan to make Pennsylvania a trauma-informed state.“The people of Pennsylvania are compassionate, thoughtful and resilient. We take care of each other, and that drive to protect our families and our neighbors has never been more obvious than these past few months as we’ve bonded together to fight COVID-19,” said Gov. Wolf. “This group of experts, led by the Office of Advocacy and Reform, will build on this foundation to ensure that local and state government agencies use trauma-informed principles to guide all decisions that affect Pennsylvanians and that we continue to improve our systems that protect vulnerable populations. Thank you to these volunteers for their efforts to build a trauma-informed Pennsylvania.”As a companion to the governor’s multi-agency effort and anti-stigma campaign, Reach Out PA: Your Mental Health Matters, aimed at expanding resources and the state’s comprehensive support of mental health and related health care priorities in Pennsylvania, OAR announced in January that the agency was looking for a group of cutting-edge thinkers and practitioners in the field of trauma, and how the brain heals from its effects, to form a think tank.The group will focus on setting guidelines, benchmarks, and goals for trauma-informed care across the commonwealth. In addition, the group is also expanding its original mandate to strategize how to heal the trauma that all Pennsylvanians are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“Our work is more important than ever,” said Dan Jurman, Executive Director of the Office of Advocacy and Reform. “Every Pennsylvanian is experiencing trauma and toxic stress right now, affecting the behavioral health of each and every one of us.”The 25 experts chosen to participate are from urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the commonwealth and represent the fields of psychiatry, psychology, law enforcement, county government, clergy, social work, counseling, mindfulness, community development, education, sexual assault recovery, addiction recovery, domestic violence services, child maltreatment solutions, nursing, public health, pediatric medicine, prison re-entry, and philanthropy. Photos and bios of think tank members are available here.“The diversity of experiences and perspectives represented in this group will be absolutely key to the success of our mission,” Jurman said. “I’m grateful to everyone who raised their hand to help, and I look forward to working with this group on a plan that will make a positive difference in the lives of so many vulnerable Pennsylvanians.”The think tank will meet several times over the next few months to collaborate on setting trauma-informed standards that can guide the work of state agencies, as well as local government and nonprofit organizations across the commonwealth. When the first phase is completed, the members of the think tank who wish to continue serving will shift to an advisory role, helping OAR build a network of trauma-informed providers who learn from each other, support pilots and innovation, share best practices, and push the initial guidelines even further over time as our understanding of brain science and trauma-informed approaches evolves and broadens.Another 43 think tank applicants who weren’t chosen to participate in this first phase of plan development have been invited to assist with building the statewide network.OAR plans to make the resulting plan to transform Pennsylvania into a trauma-informed state public in July.“This current crisis has shown us all how vulnerable we are,” Jurman added, “This is our chance to eliminate stigma and misunderstanding and replace them with knowledge about how the brain works and empathy for each other to fundamentally change the way we approach trauma as a commonwealth.”View this information in Spanish. Gov. Wolf: Office of Advocacy and Reform Announces Plan to Build a Trauma-Informed Pennsylvania SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Nearly everyone in Doheny’s Friends Lecture Hall raised their hand when Marissa Gluck, the panel moderator for “Privacy and Identity in the Age of Facebook,” asked the audience “How many of you have a Facebook account?”The panelists at the event were Henry Jenkins, a USC professor of journalism, communications and cinematic arts; Whitney Phillips, a University of Oregon Ph.D. student; and Nathan Ruyle, an adjunct faculty member at California Institute of the Arts.Jenkins said Facebook has become part of our culture and allows people to connect with friends from middle and high school. The information people put on their Facebook can define who they are, the panelists said.“In the 1960s, people were disposable and there was no reason to build relationships,” Jenkins said.Social networking forces people to think about how they present themselves to others on the Internet, Jenkins said.Everything a person searches online remains on the cookies that store information on a person’s computer. Social networking sites can track one’s searches, according to Gluck, so marketers are now creating advertisements geared toward one’s specific interests.Facebook has become a “marketing utopia” because it is used for a person’s own publicity and functions like a private marketing campaign, Ruyle said.Some students said they were not aware that marketers and other individuals can collect information based on the websites a person visits.“I didn’t think about data mining,” said Rihao Gao, a junior majoring in political science. “It’s pretty scary.”Phillips suggested people try not to post things they don’t want their grandmothers stumbling upon.“People post things they shouldn’t,” she said. “It’s important to make deliberate choices about what they put online.”For instance, the “Asians in the Library” video posted on March 11 by Alexandra Wallace, a UCLA student, extended beyond her university and created negative press, according to Jenkins.“Why would she post that,” Phillips said. “I don’t understand why people choose to do what they do on the Internet.”Though Facebook has changed its layout and features, from privacy settings to personal information, several times since the site’s introduction in 2004, it remains up to the individual to determine what information they make available to others.“Facebook has responded to that and you can now change settings to show your status only to certain people,” Phillips said.Knowing this information, however, does not deter some students from posting personal information on their Facebooks.“There are so many people here who have pinpointed all the things that are wrong, but we are all still on Facebook and updating our statuses saying ‘I’m at a conference about Facebook,’” said America Hernandez, a freshman majoring in political science.