Media Contact: Chris Sardelli,

Josh Diliberto, CCPGM’s Behavioral Health Integration Coordinator

As awareness of and toxic stress grows among Charlotte-area providers, local experts are hoping new educational opportunities will help unite providers, patients and the community.

Helping to lay the groundwork in explaining how adverse childhood events can translate to medical issues among adults are several experts associated with Community Care Partners of Greater Mecklenburg. They include CCPGM’s Network Psychiatrist Karen Melendez, MD, as well as Josh Diliberto, CCPGM’s Behavioral Health Integration Coordinator and licensed counselor, and Claire Santos, a Charlotte-area trauma educator who provides expertise to CCPGM. The three will be on hand Nov. 16 to offer knowledge during the Mecklenburg Resilience Symposium: Building Hope for Tomorrow Through Action Today. The event is being held at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte.

Diliberto said it’s important for providers to learn how to recognize and treat toxic stress when it presents in a patient.

“Trauma-informed care is about patient empowerment and providing a social-emotionally aware environment that evokes safety, trust and dependability. It is a way of approaching patients to evoke assets and strengths and engagement through a lens of well-being over pathology,” he said. “There is a movement in healthcare to integrate services and develop patient-centered medical homes where symptoms can be examined and explained holistically, biologically, sociologically, psychologically and spiritually. The key ingredients for successful trauma-informed care implementation, according to the Center for Health Care Strategies, are involving patients in the treatment process, screening for trauma, training staff in trauma-specific treatment, and engaging referral sources and partnering organizations.”

The symposium is a good first step in exploring how to begin the conversation at the clinical level and then expanding into the community, he said.

“We’re looking at how to best address the emergent science on trauma clinically and how to contribute to community-wide efforts through collaboration and the pooling of knowledge and resources,” he said.

For Santos, trauma-informed care is about considering how trauma affects people differently and how to design interventions and processes related to trauma.

“Two-thirds of the population has experienced some sort of trauma. Trauma is very far-reaching and affects every aspect of health and wellness,” Santos said. “Everybody is affected by trauma and it’s important for healthcare providers to be in tune with it. If there is trauma present, then symptoms may look like something else and doctors end up treating it with medicine, but it may end up the person doesn’t have that condition.”

The trauma-informed care symposium will begin with a screening of the film “Resilience,” followed by various panel discussions focusing on how adverse child events and toxic stress can affect a person’s health. Topics include creating trauma-informed communities, learning how to be mindful, viewing resiliency with a legislative perspective, and brainstorming solutions to toxic stress. To find out more about the event, please visit To learn more about trauma-informed care, please contact Diliberto at


Community Care Partners of Greater Mecklenburg is a community-based healthcare network participating in the statewide Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) physician-led program. Since 2002, CCPGM has provided care coordination and care management for Medicaid recipients and others in Anson, Mecklenburg and Union counties. CCPGM works with primary care providers, hospitals, health departments, behavioral health management entities, Departments of Social Services, housing agencies, crisis providers, and other local community agencies and resources to provide the best coordinated care for its patients. The network has about 190,000 enrollees and 189 medical homes practicing family medicine, obstetrics, internal medicine and pediatrics. To learn more, visit CCPGM online at, or on Facebook, Twitter (CCPGM) and Instagram (CCPGM_NC).

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