Nadine Burke Harris (born 1975, Vancouver, Canada) is an American pediatrician. She is known for linking adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress with harmful effects to health later on in life. She is an advisory council member for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail campaign, and the Founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Youth Wellness. Hailed as a pioneer in the treatment of toxic stress, her work has been featured in Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed.
- 1 Education
- 2 Early career
- 3 Career
- 4 The Center for Youth Wellness
- 5 Personal
- 6 Committee appointments
- 7 Awards
- 8 Selected works
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Burke Harris received her medical degree from the University of California, Davis. Following receipt of her master’s degree in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she went on to serve a residency at Stanford in pediatrics.
Her graduate studies were supported by The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.
In 2005, Burke Harris joined the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) staff, where she was tasked with the goal of developing programs to end health disparities in San Francisco. While at Harvard, Burke Harris identified access to health care as a key component of the health disparity[clarification needed] in San Francisco. In 2007, with support from CPMC, she became the founding physician of the Bayview Child Health Center and medical director of the new clinic.
In 2008, after reading “The Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Health: Turning Gold Into Lead,” by Vincent J. Felitti, Burke Harris realized that her patients’ traumatic experiences were having a negative impact on their present and future health.
In 2011, she was appointed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to the Project Advisory Committee for the Resilience Project.
From 2010 to 2012, Burke Harris, along with colleagues Daniel Lurie from Tipping Point Foundation, Kamala Harris, Victor G. Carrion, Lenore Anderson, Lisa Pritzker and Katie Albright, founded the Adverse Childhood Experiences project in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco. From this effort, the Center for Youth Wellness was created in 2012 to create a clinical model that recognizes the impact of adverse experiences on health and effectively treats toxic stress in children. The multidisciplinary approach focuses on preventing and undoing the chemical, physiological and neurodevelopmental results of ACEs. The Center integrates primary health care, mental health and wellness, research, policy, education, and community and family support services to children and families.
In 2014, she was selected as speaker at a Tedtalks event titled TedMed in San Francisco. Her talk, “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime”, has reached over 2.8 million viewers on Tedtalks.com.
In 2018, Burke Harris released her first book The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Center for Youth Wellness
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are defined as preventable and traumatic early experiences; they can range from exposure to violence, poverty and neglect, to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. As a result, it may increase the likelihood for “risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential, and early death” in adulthood. Exposure to ACEs enables the experience of toxic stress, which varies from typical stress in that it is chronic and excessive, and results in antagonistic physiological responses. These then lead to poor health outcomes in life.
The Center for Youth Wellness (CYW) aims to improve child and adolescent health by targeting the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences. A main goal of the CYW is that “every pediatrician in the United States will screen for Adverse Childhood Experiences by 2028″.  More specifically, they target ACEs in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunter’s Point, as it is a generally underserved neighborhood, with a poverty rate of 39% in 2010. The CYW identified that exposure to this factor, along with high violence, increases the likelihood for detrimental health outcomes in this neighborhood. They use a combination of ACEs risk screening (via questionnaire), care coordination, and multidisciplinary treatment (primary care, psychotherapy, psychiatry and biofeedback).
Nadine married Arno Lockheart Harris in 2011; they were wed at Dawn Ranch Lodge in Guerneville, California.
- 2002–2003, Graduate Medical Education Committee, Stanford University Medical Center
- 2003–2004, Post-Doctoral Education Committee, Stanford University Medical Center
- 2004–2005, Liaison Committee on Medical Education Task Force, Stanford University School of Medicine
- 2004–2007, board of directors, San Francisco Urban Service Project
- 2005–2009, Citizen’s Committee for Community Development (Appt by: Mayor Gavin Newsom)
- 2008–2013, Asthma Resource Council, board of directors
- 2011—present, American Academy of Pediatrics’ The Resilience Project
- 2012—present, California Health and Human Services Agency’ Jerry Brown’ Let’s Get Healthy California Task Force, Expert Advisor
- 1999, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
- 2013, Humanism in Medicine award, Gold Humanism Honor Society
- 2014, Leadership award, James Irvine Foundation
- 2016, Heinz Award in Human Condition
- 2002 Shaping America’s Health Care Professions: The Dramatic Rise of Multiculturalism. Western Journal of Medicine, 2002 176: 62–64.
- 2011 The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on an Urban Pediatric Population Child Abuse and Neglect 35(2011) 408–413
- 2013 The Chronic Stress of Poverty: Toxic to Children. The Shriver Report, 2013 210–213
- 2013 Scott, B, Burke, N, Hellman, J, Carrión, V, Weems, C. The Interrelation of Adverse Childhood Experiences within an At-Risk Pediatric Sample. Routledge, 2013 217–229
- 2013 Renschler, T, Lieberman, A, Dimmler, M, Burke Harris, N. Trauma-Focused Child-Parent Psychotherapy in a Community Pediatric Clinic: A Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration. Springer Science + Business Media New York.
- Center for Youth Wellness
- Nadine Burke Harris at TED