8,025 children and 7,043 families served since 7/1/12!

Introducing the ACE Center Task Force of Shelby County


Local leaders have announced the Greater Memphis community as the future site of two pilot “parenting places” that will focus on providing parents and caregivers with preemptive access to professional support to prevent or reduce challenges to their young children’s emotional and behavioral health.


Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam, Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr., Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr. will serve as ex officio members of the new ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Center Task Force of Shelby County. They join a team of 40 local leaders dedicated to raising community awareness about the costly and harmful outcomes of toxic stress that affect many if not most families during the course of a child’s development, and can undermine all forms of health.


Over the next year, the ACE Center Task Force will roll out a two-pronged approach to addressing the effects of toxic stress on the community:


1. A county-wide ACE survey will be administered this summer.


2. The Survey will be followed by the January 2015 launch of two pilot parenting places open to families seeking state-of-the-art, welcoming and preventive approaches to reducing challenges to their children’s emotional and behavioral health. The parenting places will be open to all families, regardless of income.


The effort is made possible through the partnership of Porter-Leath, which will administrate the parenting places, and Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Knowledge Quest, which will serve as hosts to the first two locations.


The Shelby County pilot project is based on the work of international speaker Robin Karr-Morse, author of “Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease” and “Ghosts from the Nursery,” and founder of the Parenting Institute based in Portland, Oregon. She will serve as a consultant for the Memphis pilot program, along with Vincent J. Felitti, MD, international speaker and co-investigator of the original Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.


To learn more, contact Gwendolyn Price at gprice@porterleath.org.


Read the Press Release (PDF)



Members of the ACE Center Task Force of Shelby County:


Barbara Holden Nixon*


Early Childhood Consultant 

Gwendolyn Price*

Parenting Place Director



Cynthia Allen


System Community Involvement Manager

Baptist Memorial Health Care


Sandra Allen


Center for Children & Parents

LeBonheur Children's Hospital


Cardell Orrin


Memphis City Director, Stand for Children

Belinda Anderson

Community Leader


Director Toney Armstrong

Memphis Police Department




Nancy Bogatin

Retired Advertising Executive

Mayor’s Advisory Council on Education



Rachel Lundeen

Chief of Staff

Office of the First Lady

Representing TN First Lady Crissy Haslam


Sonji Branch


Solutions Plus Consulting Services


Yvonnne Madlock


Shelby County Health Department 

Ruby Bright

Executive Director

Women’s Foundation for Greater Memphis


Karen Matthews

President and CEO

Delta Health Alliance


Rev. Margaret Burnett

Associate Pastor Outreach Ministry

Idlewild Presbyterian Church


Keenan McCloy

Director of Libraries

Memphis Public Library & Information Center


Stephen Bush

Chief Public Defender

Law Offices of Shelby County

Public Defender


Michelle Miller

Family Stability Program Coordinator

Knowledge Quest



Chief Bill Cash

Shelby County Sheriff's Office


Amy Moritz


Center for Transforming Communities


Kelli H. Davis

Director of Grief &

Trauma Resolution Therapy

Lakeside Behavioral Health Hospital


Jenny Nevels*

Executive Director

Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation 

Marlon Foster*

Executive Director

Knowledge Quest


Maureen O’Connor

Director of Public Policy

Administrative Director of Trauma

LeBonheur Children’s Hospital


Lucia Gilliland

Community Leader


Chris Peck*

Associate Director

Pyramid Peak Foundation


Willeen Hasting


Memphis Health Center


Owen P. Phillips

Professor OB-GYN/

Dean of Students Affairs

UT College of Medicine


Doug Imig*


University of Memphis


Barbara Prescott

Executive Director

People First Partnership 

Sean Lee*




Courtney Robertson*

Special Assistant to Executive Director

Knowledge Quest



Douglas Scarboro

Executive Director

Memphis City Mayor's Office

of Talent and Human Capital

Representing City Mayor AC Wharton, Jr


Mike Warr*

Executive Vice President

for Development and New Business



Antony Sheehan


Church Health Center


Robin Waters


Achievement School District


Tish Towns

Sr. Vice President

Advocacy and External Relations

Regional One Health


General Amy Weirich

District Attorney General

Shelby County

Anita Vaughn*

CEO and Administrator

Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women


Paula Wilkinson


Baptist Memorial Health Care


Keisha M. Walker


Office of Early Childhood & Youth

Shelby County Government

Representing Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr.



Linda Williams

President & CEO

RISE Foundation


Marilyn Robinson

Senior Vice President

Marketing & Government Relations

Saint Francis Hospital


Gwendolyn Wright

Regional Coordinator

Tennessee Commission

on Children & Youth 

Ellen Rolfes*





*Executive Committee member

Featured Story
Ways To Give
Donate Today
Join us to build stronger children, stronger families & a stronger Memphis.
It's fun, easy and rewarding!