Keynoter to highlight adversity's role in addiction and co-occurring disorders | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

Keynoter to highlight adversity's role in addiction and co-occurring disorders

July 3, 2013
by Dennis Grantham, Editor-in-Chief
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Co-principal developer of landmark ACE study to open 2013 Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Summit

One of the nation's leading authorities on the impact of trauma in the development of addictions and mental health disorders, Vincent J. Felitti, M.D., will keynote the opening plenary of the second Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Summit (which is co-located with the 2013 National Conference on Addiction Disorders) on Sunday, September 22, 2013. 

Dr. Felitti, co-principal investigator of the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, will discuss the surprising, but still unrecognized prevalence of adverse childhood experiences; how they transform over decades from psychosocial experiences into addictions and co-occurring mental disorders, as well as organic disease; and why their prevalence, and the need for their prevention, has emerged as a critical determinant of whole health.

In December 2012, Dr. Felitti joined with other mental health leaders, as well as the members of ACMHA, to brief Congressional staff on the value of building long-term, community-based prevention measures into public health programs as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Key points of the briefingare highlighted in a January 2013 article in Behavioral Healthcare.  

A 1962 graduate of Johns Hopkins Medical School, Dr. Felitti is an internist who founded the Department of Preventive Medicine for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, California in 1975. He served as Chief of Preventive Medicine until 2001. Under Dr. Felitti’s leadership, the Health Appraisal Division of the department became the largest single-site medical evaluation facility in the world, providing comprehensive, biopsychosocial medical evaluation to a total of 1.3 million individual adults. During his career, he developed major health-risk abatement programs for obesity, smoking cessation, the genetic disease hemochromatosis, and somatization disorders. These programs are provided to over 1,000 patients per month in San Diego. Dr. Felitti is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California and a Fellow of The American College of Physicians.

Further information about the ACE Study is available at and