The Work of Trauma Informed Oregon Steering Committee…

by | Jan 22, 2022

A must see before going back to work on Monday Children & Families in Life After Trauma (CFLAT) w/Steve Sparks CEO & Candidate for Lincoln County Oregon Commissioner

History and Purpose

In June of 2014, the Oregon Health Authority, Health Systems Division (formerly Addictions and Mental Health Division), contracted with Portland State University,

in partnership with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the Oregon Pediatric Society (OPS), to initiate a statewide collaboration to promote and sustain trauma informed care across child- and family-serving systems.

In July of 2015, the scope of this collaboration was expanded to include adult serving behavioral health systems.

Trauma Informed Oregon (TIO) was created in recognition of the impact that adverse experiences in childhood have on long-term health outcomes.

TiO represents a commitment at the state level to promote prevention and to bring policies and practices into better alignment with the principles of trauma informed care.

My work on the Trauma Informed Oregon Steering Committee this last 2 years as been the most rewarding experience in my career.

Learning with my peers around the State under the excellent leadership of Dr. Mandy Davis has been hugely gratifying and healing.

What I learned mostly is about the critical importance of kindness and love. Kindness to everyone always makes for a good day everyday. Start the day angry, end your day angry.

Kindness and love is the magic for good health and wellness. Be kind always, each day and everyday. It’s the magic sauce in all that we do at work, school and play.

I also learned about the challenges we face as a society to bring all of us, not just some of us back to kindness and love for one another…

In the workplace, in particular, the research shows this is as challenging as ever. I know this already from my long career in executive leadership positions in both private and public sector businesses.

If leaders aren’t open to the vulnerability of employees or health and wellness, then they should not lead.

Leaders must be vulnerable themselves to lead effectively. Leaders must have empathy and compassion first and foremost.

Employees have huge challenges at home. We all know that, yes we do. Leaders have the same hardships and more, I believe.

But leaders sometimes think toughness is somehow effective in getting their staff to achieve outcomes. I say no! It is love and kindness that makes us tough as nails. The hug, the pat on the back.

We should laugh together, cry together, yell ‘n cuss together as a team when we feel like in a safe place. Leaders must join in too. If this is uncomfortable, then pick someone else more vulnerable to lead. all time favorite quote from my friend, Gene Sharratt ❤ “Think a good day, plan a good day, put good into each day “

Steve and Judy Sparks
Children and Families in Life After Trauma (CFLAT).

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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