What Is Trauma-Informed Care and Why Is it Critical in Health Care Today?


Substantial exposure to traumatic events impacts an estimated 50 to 75 percent of the population today. Trauma is linked to adversity, posttraumatic stress disorder, mental illness, interpersonal problems, substance abuse and chronic disease, which in turn drive up health care costs. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study shows a connection not only between an individual’s physiologic stress response and subsequent neurologic alterations, but also to changes in metabolic and immune function as well as an increased risk of chronic disease.

This panel discussion will identify ways in which HCPs can incorporate the principles of trauma-informed care into their practice. The ACE study and the connection between adverse childhood experiences and trauma will be reviewed. Methods in which health care professionals (HCPs) can interact with individuals while expressing understanding and empathy in trauma-informed ways to promote healing and reduce the risk of retraumatization will also be discussed.

This activity is jointly provided by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group — Center for Clinician Advancement.

Commercial support
There was no commercial support received for this activity.

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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of nurse practitioners, nurses, PAs, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physicians, psychologists and other HCPs who have an interest in compassionate, high-quality, person-centered care.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Develop an awareness of the impact of trauma on an individual's mental, emotional and physical stability.
  • Explore adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how ACEs and trauma are interconnected.
  • List the principles of a trauma-informed approach / trauma-informed care.
  • State the impact of retraumatization and identify how HCPs can reduce the risk in individuals who have experienced trauma.
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

Cyrus Batheja, EdD, MBA, PHN, BSN, RN
National Vice President, Housing-Health Strategy
myConnections™, UnitedHealthcare Community & State

About the moderator
Cyrus Batheja is the National Vice President of Housing for myConnections™ at UnitedHealthcare Community & State. myConnections™ is a UnitedHealthcare program that helps low-income individuals and families access essential social services that are the gateway to better health.

As part of the leadership team, Mr. Batheja has a direct focus on community-based programs to help people with housing challenges succeed. His work is centered on achieving the “Triple Aim” (cost reduction, population health improvement and enhanced member experience) by engaging members nationwide. He has twenty-one years of experience in real estate and in Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). His history has been particularly focused on providing optimal housing and care to vulnerable populations.

Mr. Batheja earned both his BSN and his MBA from Augsburg College with high honors, and his Doctorate from the University of St. Thomas with a certificate in social movement construction.  He sits on the board of directors as the Treasurer for Sigma Theta Tau International, Zeta Chapter (an international nursing honor society).

He received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine 2013 award in Administrative Leadership and he was a March of Dimes Nurse of the Year in 2012.

Cynthia Muhlbauer, MA, LIMHP
Executive Director
myConnections™, UnitedHealthcare Community & State

Rodrigo Olivares, MSW
National Clinical Care Director, Integrated Health & Social Services
myConnectionsTM, UnitedHealthcare Community & State

Arthur Ortiz, CPC, LIMHP
Private Practice

About the presenters
Cyndi Muhlbauer earned her Master of Arts degree in rehabilitation counseling at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2002. She is a licensed independent mental health practitioner with therapeutic specializations in treating complex trauma and trauma-related issues as well as work/school performance enhancement. She is a Certified Trauma Professional (CTP) and a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional. Ms. Muhlbauer is a trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist. Her work on developing a comprehensive trauma therapy program at a community mental health agency has been published in The Journal of EMDR Therapy and Research and presented at the National Behavioral Health and Substance Conference and the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) International Conference.

Rodrigo Olivares is the National Clinical Director for myConnections™. Before joining UnitedHealth Group, Mr. Olivares served as Chief of Operations and Clinical Officer for the Crisis Response Network (CRN) in Tempe, AZ. He also served in a number of leadership positions with La Frontera of New Mexico and Arizona, including as the Director of Strategic Initiatives, Director of Southwestern New Mexico, and Director of Clinical & Crisis Services.
Mr. Olivares previously served on several boards and committees at the local, statewide and national levels including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors. He was a Brain Trust Member for the National Dialogue on Mental Health.

Mr. Olivares holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston Downtown in Houston, TX, and a Master's degree in social work with a major concentration in family-focused practice with Latino individuals and families from the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, TX.

Arthur Ortiz is a licensed independent mental health practitioner who specializes in treating trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in members of law enforcement, military active duty, veterans and their families. Currently, he provides mental health care through his private practice in Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. Ortiz received degrees in nursing and respiratory care from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in allied health and a Master’s degree in counseling from Doane University in Crete, Nebraska. He has served as a professor in the Medical Assisting Program at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska; adjunct professor at the Creighton University College of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska; adjunct professor at the Bellevue University Behavioral Health Department in Bellevue, Nebraska; and adjunct Professor of Behavioral Science at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska.  

Activity planners
Sarah Chart, RN
Vice President
OptumHealth Education

Jeanne Gibson, RN
Director, Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group

Rebecca Gleason, RN
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

Mary Jo Jerde, MBA, BSN, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice President
Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group

Jennifer K. Meyer, MBA, CSSBB
Director, Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group

Valerie F. Reese, MD, MBA
Appeal Medicare Director, Board Certified-Family Medicine
UCS Appeals and Grievances
Tina Rydland, PharmD
Crystal Clear Rx

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships

In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, OptumHealth Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

The activity faculty or planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation statement
Joint Accreditation LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group — Center for Clinician Advancement. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit designation statements
IPCE Credit LogoThis activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 1.00 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy technicians
This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hour(s) ([0.10] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 1.00 contact hour(s).
Unique Activity Number(s):  JA0007123-9999-23-042-H04-P/T

OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

OptumHealth Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this program. 1.00 CE hour.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization with which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
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