CASCAID (Complex ACEs, Complex Aid) project

Finding flow for youth with adverse childhood experiences

University of Michigan School of Nursing CASCAID logoCASCAID (Complex ACEs, Complex Aid) is a study group of nursing faculty formed to research how to redress the adverse impacts of trauma experienced by youth (adverse childhood experiences, or ACE) by creating and studying complex interventions, in other words, complex aid. Complex ACEs are adverse childhood experiences that add up to traumatic and toxic stress that can derail development and impinge on health across the lifespan. Read more about the project.


  • Lay groundwork for participatory research with high-ACE youth
  • Change the paradigm from “high-risk” to “high-ACE” youth
  • Engage with youth, professionals and the state-of-the-science to decrease the impact of trauma on the body.


  • Move nursing toward trauma-informed care
  • Influence traumatic stress research to focus on healthy embodiment and self-regulated wellbeing.

Current Initiatives

  • Working with students, faculty, and a Student Advisory Board at the University of Michigan School of Nursing to develop a trauma-informed curriculum (Funding through CRLT; PI: Beth Kuzma)

  • Developing and piloting a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Grade to allow patients to evaluate if the clinical care they received was trauma-informed (Funded through the U-M School of Nursing; PIs: Cindy Darling-Fisher & Nicole Boucher)

  • Developing a tool to measure self-regulation among youth who may have experienced trauma (PIs: Michelle Munro-Kramer & Julia Seng)

  • Offering trainings on trauma-informed care and trauma-informed organizations to local community organizations. If you are interested in a training, please complete a short survey to let us know your needs and see below for more details.

    • Level I: Trauma 101 - One hour to one and half hour training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), basic brain biology, and breaking the cycle of trauma. Includes interactive activities and group work. FREE. Led by Dr. Nicole Boucher.

    • Level II: Trauma-Informed Organizations - Two to three hour training tailored to focus on brain biology, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and helping your organization to become trauma-informed to meet the needs of clients and staff. Includes interactive activities and case studies tailored to your organization. Includes a $500 consultation fee for organizations with less than 50 people or a $1,000 consultation fee for organizations with 50+ people to help the trainers tailor the presentation to your needs. Led by doctorally-prepared nursing clinicians and researchers who focus on trauma.

Sign up for training

Recent Publications

  1. Pardee, M., Kuzma, E., Dahlem, G., Boucher, N., & Darling-Fisher, C. (2017). Current state of screening high-ACE youth and emerging adults in primary care. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(12), 716-724. doi:10.1002/23/27-6924.12531
  2. Rosemberg, M.A. S., Gultekin, L., & Pardee, M. (2017). High-ACE low wage workers: Occupational health nursing research and praxis through a trauma-informed lens. Workplace Health & Safety, 66(5), 233-240. doi: 10.1177/2165079917736070
  3. Seng, J. S. & CAsCAid Group. (2018). From fight or flight, freeze or faint, to “flow”: Identifying a concept to express a positive embodied outcome of trauma recovery. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. doi:10.1177/1078390318778890
  4. Li, Y., Cannon, L., Darling-Fisher, C., Pardee, M., Coolidge, E., & Kuzma, E. (in press). Current state of trauma-informed education in the health sciences: Lessons for nursing. Journal of Nursing Education.

Past Events Focused on Trama and Trama-Informed CareJulian Ford

  • February 8, 2017: Dinner and a movie: Break the Chain

  • March 8, 2017: Joan Gillece, Ph.D., Director of the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care

  • April 8, 2017: Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D., Chief, Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at NICHD

  • September 8, 2017: Julian Ford, Ph.D., Professor at University of Connecticut and Director of Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice (view the presentation)

  • October 8, 2017: Dinner and a movie: Paper Tigers

  • November 8, 2017: Telling our Stories panel discussion



Laura Gultekin, Ph.D., FNP-BC

Michelle Munro-Kramer, Ph.D., CNM, FNP-BC


Nicole Boucher, Ph.D., RN, CPNP

Gina Dahlem, Ph.D., NP-C, FAANP

Cindy Darling-Fisher, Ph.D., RNP-BC

Yasamin Kusunoki, Ph.D., MPH,

Elizabeth Kuzma, DNP, FNP-BC

Donna Marvicsin, Ph.D., PNP-BC, CDE

Michelle Pardee, DNP, FNP-BC

Marie-Anne Sanon-Rosemberg, Ph.D., RN

Julia Seng, Ph.D., CNM, FAAN

Sarah Stoddard, Ph.D., RN, CNP, FSAHM

Terri Voepel-Lewis, Ph.D., RN

Kathryn Abramoski, Ph.D. student

Dana Beck, Ph.D. student

Josie Granner, Ph.D. student

Laura Sinko, Ph.D. student