surgeon general
California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris worked with Sapphire, left, and Amethyst Sanchez during her visit to Allison Cruz’s class at Albany Park II preschool on May 23.

Delano Union School District’s Albany Park II preschool received a visit from California’s first and current surgeon general during her visit to Kern County on May 23.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was appointed to the new position by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in February after he created the Office of Surgeon General on his first day in office in January. This position is unique in that it is only one of its kind at the state level in the United States, and only the fifth state to establish an Office of Surgeon General.

First 5 Kern Executive Director Roland Maier hosted a forum for Dr. Burke Harris earlier in the day at First 5’s offices in Bakersfield as part of her listening tour throughout California. According to the California Health and Human Services, the Surgeon General’s top priority is to raise awareness of adverse childhood experiences (including emotional abuse and domestic violence,) which can lead to major health conditions including diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

Dr. Burke Harris was welcomed to DUSD by Superintendent Rosalina Rivera. She was joined by district Board Member Irene Martinez and the superintendent’s cabinet. The Surgeon General enjoyed her visit with the children in Allison Cruz’s preschool class, which is funded through a grant the district receives from First 5 Kern.

Dr. Burke Harris is the founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based Center for Youth Wellness. She is also the author of "The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity," and is known for her TED Talk from September 2014 (viewed nearly five million times) entitled "How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime."

Mike Bledsoe is the director of child development services for the Delano Union School District.

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