(Corrected) "...Up the Hill to Fetch a Pail of Health Equity"
                     JUNE/JULY 2016
The contingent from California gather at the National  School-Based Health Conference before heading over to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of school-based health care. Photo: National School-Based Health Alliance

 "...Up the Hill to Fetch a Pail of Health Equity"

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Washington DC and the National School-Based Health Conference! Three of us from our staff are here, joined by a larger California contingent of nearly 30 people from California. Yesterday afternoon, everyone in attendance (nearly 700 folks) broke into teams and went up to the Hill, passtionately toting the issue of school-based health care to 102 members of Congress, nearly 20%! We left our visists with CA Representatives Roybal Allard, Javier Becerra, Linda Sanchez, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Dianne Feinstein, hopeful. They seem to be receptive to the impactful stories and benefits SBHC brings: fewer missed school days, less missed work time for parents, convenient management of chronic issues such as asthma and diabetes, opportunities for students to become advocates for their own health -- yet reliant on the need for direct funding and champining at the national levels. They all agreed to support Lois Capps bill, HR 4261, the Hallways to Health Act.

While we were here in the nation's capitol, something quite amazing happened back home. For the first time in the history of California, a line-item appeared in our State budget, earmarked for school-based health care! While the amount ($600K) may be slight in terms of what's ultimately needed, this appropriation represents a huge symbolic win. It gives one hope that the years of advocacy and tremendous growth of the SBHC movement are starting to be noticed. Interestingly, the funds will be used to establish two positions in the Department of Public Health which will provide technical assistance in the development and expansion of SBHC's over a two year period. 

Over the past two days, being here with this disparate group of passionate individuals from all across the United States, marching through the halls of Congress, this thought became even more real: this is a movement. And like all movements, it's about something deeper. It looks like it's about clinics in schools (and certainly, it is!) but what it's really about is health equity. Giving every students a fair shake regardless of where they live. It's about changing what's possible for young people in our cities, and in our country. 

As we've seen historically, movements take time. This week's announcement about the state budget signals maybe our time is almost here. On behalf of the 647,000 students of Los Angeles Unified School District, we wish to thank the Legislature for continuing to champion SBHCs and thank them all for their continued advocacy. And onward we go! 

Student Health = Student Success, 

MJ Signature

Maryjane Puffer, BSN, MPA
Executive Director
The L.A. Trust for Children's Health


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Above: Students from Fremont's Gardening Apprentice Program & Student Health Leaders flank Senator Mitchell displaying their gift to her -- the hard-won fruits of their labor. 

Below: Adriana Douglas (left) and Michel'le Bailey (right), both Youth Advisory Board members to The L.A. Trust, got a chance to meet and chat with the Senator during her tour of the Wellness Center.

Senator Holly J. Mitchell Pays Visits to Crenshaw and Fremont Wellness Centers

On June 10, 2016 Senator Holly J. Mitchell (State Senate D30) took a tour of the Crenshaw and Fremont Wellness Centers. She received a warm welcome by LAUSD staff, clinic staff, and students. As a Chair on the Budget Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services, attendees thanked her for her supporting and appropriating funds to go towards school-based health care. There are 243 school-based health centers in California and 73 in Los Angeles County. Of that 73, 16 school-based health centers, which includes 14 LAUSD Wellness Centers, are in her district -more than any other elected official in California! 

When the Senator arrived at the Fremont Wellness Center and Community Garden she was presented with a basket of fruits and vegetables. The garden itself is managed by our friends at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and through the garden apprenticeship program, students are hired to maintain the garden, learn about agriculture and healthy fresh meals. Overall, the Senator was extremely engaged during the both visits and we are hopeful that she may become a champion for school-based health care. 


Art Leads the Way to Wellness at Manual Arts High School

In an effort to increase student visits to the Wellness Center at Manual Arts High School, a group of 13 students (in partnership with LA Commons) designed, created, and installed a “pathway to wellness” -- gorgeous works of original art lining the walkway from the main building on campus to the student entrance of the Wellness Center, including a “mural of transformation” adjacent to the Wellness Center. The pieces were based on answers from more than 200 community interviews around the question, “what does a healthy community look like?”) The works include figures lining the path, as well as colorful stencils pointing the way on the sidewalk. Wenceslao Quiroz and Zeal Harris, professional artists, worked closely with the students along with mentors from Youth Arts Team.  For more photos (including the student artists themselves), click here.

Several of the student created markers along the pathway from the main building to the Wellness Center. More pics available here.  

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Youth Advisory Board Members gather to say good bye to their own.  From L to R: Adriana Douglas, Michel'le Bailey, Angel Ramos, Estela Maldanado, Irma Rosa, Adriana Hernandez, Briana Hernandez, and Sara Garcia.  

Congratulations 2015-2016 Youth Advisory Board Members! 

It has all come full circle. The L.A. Trust said goodbye to the 2015-2016 cohort of Youth Advisory Board (YAB) members, and welcomed a new group of young people, eager to make an impact in their communities. On June 13th, The L.A. Trust gathered old and new members at Little Tokyo’s XLanes Bowling Alley for an “End of the Year Celebration.” Members reminisced over a year of advocacy and amusement as they signed each others yearbooks, ferociously battled both in video racing games and in the bowling lanes, and shared their expectations for futures that they will, no doubt, change for the better.

Only days before, a new batch of eager students from across LAUSD came together to join the YAB and make their mark on school-based health. Their readiness was very apparent in the way they discussed the importance of their Wellness Centers, the need to change campus culture, and their dedication to this work. Though we will miss those that will be moving on to bigger and better things, we are thankful for the legacy they have created and excited for another year of inspired solutions from empowered youth of LAUSD!


The L.A. Trust Summer Interns Have Arrived!

As The L.A. Trust grows in staff and programs, the Summer Internship Program flourishes as well -- hitting its 5 year mark! This summer our staff is privileged to mentor 9 undergraduate and graduate students who come from various health (and non-health) backgrounds. We proudly welcome Alejandra Sandoval, Byanka Melgar, Leticia Jenkins, and Pujitha Siddani who come to us from Cal State Northridge's MPH Program, Kevin Ngov, and Nalani Livingstone from CDC MCHC/RISE-UP (Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement Undergraduate Program), Melissa Kararkash (a student from Georgetown University studying to get her Master's in Foreign Service), Nina Nguyen (a recent grad of Loma Linda's MPH Program and a recipient of the Dean's Award for her work on developing nutrition education for underserved students), and Carly Halili (an aspiring film maker from Boston University). We couldn't be more excited to welcome this extremely talented cohort to The L.A. Trust family!                                                         

Summer Interns -- Cohort V  (From L to R: Leticia Jenkins, Nalani Livingstone, Kevin Ngov, Alejandra Sandoval, Pujitha Siddani, Carly Halili, Melissa Kararkash, Byanka Melgar, and Nina Nguyen)


New Resource Now Available to Support School Staff Wellness! 

Do you want to make your school healthier for students and staff? The California School-Based Health Alliance has a new tool that school-based health centers can use to strengthen school staff wellness. This tool has activity ideas and guidance to help create a healthier environment for everyone at your school. You can download the toolkit online: http://bit.ly/sbhcstaffwellness

The L.A. Trust Accepting RFPs for Upcoming Conference on September 23

Please save the date to join us  (Friday, September 23) for the L.A. County School Health Centers Conference to be held at the California Endowment. 


The goals of this conference are to bring together providers and advocates of school based health care to share strategies and best practices -- and reignite the SBHC movement in Los Angeles County.

Have an idea for a workshop? We encourage proposals that would help advance these goals, including workshops that are interactive and skill-building. Presenters whose workshop proposals are accepted will receive complimentary registration. 

Click here to access the RFP form.

Submission deadline: Friday, July 29, 2016 Please submit proposals to info@thelatrust.org
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Lori Vollandt, proud member of The L.A. Trust Board of Directors, serves as the representative to LAUSD School Board President, Steve Zimmer. We feel so fortunate for her leadership and guidance.

Please read Lori's full answers by clicking here.

Meet Our Board of Directors:
Lori Vollandt, EdD

Why do you choose to serve on the Board of Directors for The L.A. Trust? 

I was selected by Board President Steve Zimmer to represent his office on the Board of The L.A. Trust. As a mother, grandmother, a former high school health teacher, and now as an administrator over Health Education Programs, I have learned (and lived) the importance of health. At every phase of my life, and in my stewardship of others, I believe health is the critical component in a successful life. Health and human dignity has always been my passion. That has never gone away. My childhood shaped my passion. My father committed suicide when I was 7 years old. Years later my sister did the same. Mental illness was very present in my home. The messages I got directly and indirectly helped me develop compassion for those suffering and in need of help. I want to help our families have access to information and services that create good health habits.

What changes are you hoping to implement through your service?

I always consider what the work we're doing means at the classroom level -- to have services availabile. Keeping the kids at the center helps us make the decisions we need to make.  We need to provide the best professional development and services we can to support schools and students. Because I worked in the classroom and on the ground in high needs schools, I come to this work with a pragmatic lens. I am so proud to sit on the Board of The L.A. Trust. This is an amazing group of exceptional volunteers. 

To learn more about The L.A. Trust, visit our website here!
Contact us here.
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