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166: How Adverse Childhood Experiences Impact Employee Wellness with Diana Bishop, Sr. Learning Consultant and Health and Wellness Coach for Kaiser Permanente

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Although we aim to impact adults in the workplace, our childhood experiences teach us how to cope with life and affect our overall health and wellness. Wellness programs often offer simple health solutions or use words that may be triggering for employees with adverse childhood experiences. How can we influence employee health when we don’t have the full picture of what an employee has been through in their life? 

Today’s guest, Diana Bishop, has done an extensive amount of work to understand the implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), how they affect adult health and wellness, and what strategies wellness professionals can use to work through ACEs rather than against them.

Diana is a Senior Learning Consultant, certified Health and Wellness Coach, and Life Care Planning instructor trainer for Kaiser Permanente, San Diego. With 20 years of experience working with ACEs, as well as personal experience understanding and working through childhood trauma, she is an industry expert on developing programs for people with high ACE scores and is dedicated to meeting employees where they’re at in their emotional journey, not just their health and wellness. 

In today’s episode, Diana shares not only her professional background but also her experience growing up as a child in a volatile home. She explains the origins of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and breaks down its implications including a higher risk of chronic disease and premature death.

Diana encourages wellness professionals to take a look at the language surrounding health initiatives and discusses some helpful strategies to avoid isolating and disengaging employees with high ACE scores. Lastly, she explains the benefit of tapping into employer groups to boost wellness programs and how important it is for wellness professionals to explore their own ACE score.

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [7:40] Diana’s background in the wellness industry
  • [9:11] Diana’s personal story
  • [14:43] Breakdown of the ACES study
  • [26:13] Adult side effects of high ACES scores
  • [28:55] Examining triggering language in health initiatives
  • [32:23] Using language that evokes trust and compassion
  • [39:40] Tying ACES into the social determinants of health
  • [43:26] Tapping into employer groups to enhance wellness programs
  • [46:01] First step to incorporating ACES
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Diana Bishop, MA, is a Sr. Learning Consultant, certified Health and Wellness Coach and Life Care Planning instructor trainer for Kaiser Permanente San Diego.  Diana attended New York University’s graduate drama therapy program and specializes in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and addiction medicine with adults and adolescents.  In addition, Diana attended the University of San Diego focusing on Pastoral Care and Counseling.  

Diana served in the United States Navy Reserve as a Religious Program Specialist and continues to support active duty and recently transitioned military families as an advocate and past board member for Wives of War San Diego. Prior to holding her consultant position, she worked for fifteen years at Kaiser’s Positive Choice Integrative Wellness Center facilitating weight management and bariatric surgery preparation groups.

2019 brought new opportunities for Diana in the form of national guest speaking engagements for the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions and for the Wellness Council of America Summit related to her work with the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, trauma informed care and employee wellness programing.

In her spare time, Diana enjoys volunteering in her church leading fitness classes, participating in local 10K fun runs, and watching movies with her son and husband.

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