Wendy Ellis is an Assistant Professor in Global Health and the Founding Director of the Center for Community Resilience at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Dr. Ellis has spent the last decade developing and working to grow a
‘resilience movement’ to address systemic inequities that contribute to social and health disparities that are often transmitted in families and communities from generation to generation.
The Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative and Resilience Catalysts networks are implementing the BCR process and CCR’s Community Resilience framework– strategic approaches for cross-sector partners to align resources, programs and initiatives with community based efforts to address adverse childhood experiences and adverse community environments– or as Ellis has coined it “The Pair of ACEs”. The strengths-based approach is aimed at building the infrastructure to promote resilience in communities by improving access to supports and buffers that help individuals ‘bounce back’ and communities thrive. The BCR process is being used in 14 urban and rural regions areas including New York City, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Dallas, TX; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; St. Louis and Kansas City, MO; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington; Leon County, FL; Watauga County, NC; Louisville, KY; Jersey City, NJ; Lee County, IA; Cleveland, OH and Deschutes County, OR.
In 2019, Dr. Ellis launched the Resilience Catalysts in Public Health using a novel framework that leverages local public health departments as Chief Health Strategists in the resilience movement. Dr. Ellis holds several leadership positions in public health including Chair of the National Academy of Science’s, Enhancing Community Resilience in the Gulf States Committee, Scientific Advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Prevention and Injury Center and the National Academy’s Culture of Health Advisory Board. In 2018 Dr. Ellis was selected as an Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow to support her leadership in developing cross-sector strategies to address childhood trauma, foster equity and build community resilience. Dr. Ellis co-authored an article detailing the BCR process, “A New Framework for Addressing Adverse Childhood and Community Experiences: The Building Community Resilience Model” which can be found in the September 2017 Journal of Academic Pediatrics.