It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's the Tooth Fairy!
theLATrust_ToothFairyConvention_horiz 2
September 2015
Parent volunteers during an oral health screening day at San Pedro Elementary School in 2013

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's the Tooth Fairy!...But First, Let's Review

Dear Friends, 

Each year The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health uses this time — the end of summer into the start of the new school year — to reflect upon our accomplishments and challenges from the previous school year, to take stock, but also better inform our vision as we focus on the year ahead.

Suffice it to say 2014-15 was big. Our focus continued to be in two key areas: advancing the Wellness Network Initiative and developing a District-wide Oral Health Program. Through grants and strategic partnerships, we were able to raise nearly $3,000,000 to support these efforts, over one million of which is being used to pay for district nurses, social workers, teachers, and Healthy Start staff. The remaining funds are applied directly to campus programming that supports student health and wellness.  In May of 2014, the School Board’s resolution for Wellness Phase 2 named The L.A. Trust as a key strategic partner. Working with Student Health and Human Services (SHHS), stakeholders, and community partners, we have been planning for the investment of $50 million in joint use funds to create Wellness Phase 2. 

Continuing to build the case for school-based health care, in their second full year of operations, the LAUSD Wellness Centers have come a long way. Over the past year,
50,866 were served at our Wellness Centers; 48% of those visits were comprised of LAUSD students, while 52% were their families and surrounding community members. Since the Wellness Network began coming on line in 2012, over 96,000 have had access to health care!

Students remain at the center of why we do what we do. In fact, student engagement on our Wellness Center campuses was a huge part of our work last year! We developed a Wellness Center Student Advisory Board (SAB) Toolkit to assist adult allies in establishing their SABs. We coordinated and managed the California Family Health Council’s STD Awareness Project, the Wellness Center TUPE (Tobacco Use Prevention Education) campaigns, and the Teen Educator component of the Covered CA Outreach and Education Project. We provided training opportunities for more than 400 students through Y2Y summits, Project U LA trainings, and Planned Parenthood LA (PPLA) peer advocate trainings. We said goodbye to our first Youth Advisory Board members as many of them went off to college, and recruited and trained a new group of student leaders who will help us hear and elevate the voices of students on our Wellness Center campuses. Our impact on students is direct, measurable, and impactful. See the profile of Irma Rosa below as case in point. 

Last year our Oral Health Initiative expanded to a total of 9 sites. Through this program, which brings together District Nursing, community health providers, and LAUSD staff, faculty, and parents, a total of over 1,400 screening exams and fluoride varnishes were performed, training was provided to over 100 district nurses and community partners, and of the  5% of students (64) who were found to be in need of urgent care, all were linked to care immediately. On October 11th at Exposition Park we will be launching the first annual
Tooth Fairy Convention honoring the parent volunteers and educating on the importance of oral health.  We hope to see you there! 

The scale of what we are working towards is mammoth. Through the outstanding commitment of staff and our partners, we realized key growth in all areas. With your continued support, we are on our way towards helping to create a healthier community of students in Los Angeles who are better able to learn and succeed. Click
here to help us continue our efforts and bring on 2015-16!

Student Health = Student Success,

MJ Signature

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

Tooth Fairy Convention  
Sunday, October 11, 10am - 2pm

What started out as a chance to say thank you to our more than 200 LAUSD parent volunteers has blossomed into a full blown, community-wide, oral health fair! (See below.) 

We are seeking lots of volunteers for this fun day. If interested, please 
register here. To see a list of volunteer assignment descriptions, click here


The L.A. Trust Youth Advisory Board member, Adriana Hernandez, speaks about the need for clean drinking water in front of the LAUSD School Board on September 1, 2015. 

Trust Student Advisors Get Feet Wet; Help Land $20M from LAUSD for Water Stations

Advocating for clean and accessible drinking fountains on school campuses before the LAUSD School Board on September 1, The L.A. Trust HEAL Program Manager, Deborah Ebrahemi, and two Youth Advisory Board Members from Hollywood High School let their voices be heard to good effect. Adriana Hernandez and Sara Garcia, made the case that clean water is crucial to student success, that in their current state many fountains leave much to be desired, and that the innundation of single-use water bottles is having disastrous consequences to the environment. As a result and after some discussion, the Board indeed allocated nearly $20M for lead removal, restoration of existing drinking fountains, and replacement of others. Click here to read a more detailed article by Mike Szymanski in the L.A. School Report. 




The L.A. Trust: Changing, Growing

With a heavy sigh we said goodbye to Waldo Gonzalez, our Student Engagement Program Coordinator, a few weeks ago. While he wasn't with us as long as we would have liked, he made a deep impression with his passion for this work both on us and upon the students, including our Youth Advisory Board and the Linked Learning students. We wish him much success on the next steps of his journey! On the happier side, as a sure sign of our steady commitment to oral health, we hired our first ever Oral Health Program Manager, Frances Walsh. Frances comes to The L.A. Trust with previous experience as the Community Outreach Manager for Big Smiles and has worked managing the oral health program in LAUSD and surrounding communities. She served as an intern with The L.A. Trust over the summer and is spearheading the work for the upcoming Tooth Fairy Convention.  She will be supporting District Nursing in the screening programs and managing the expansion to new sites.  Frances also has international Peace Corps experience and Bachelor's in Communication. Welcome Frances!

Upper photo: Waldo Gonzalez
Lower photo: Frances Walsh

The L.A. Trust Promotes CA State Association's Asthma Management Guide

Asthma disproportionately affects children of color and children from low-income backgrounds, making it a barrier to education and health equity. In an effort to help school-based health centers manage and prevent this illness, The California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) and the Regional Asthma Management & Prevention (RAMP) created a free guide on asthma.

Please complete a survey on your asthma management practices before downloading the guide. After you complete the survey, you will get a link to the guide. You can also download additional asthma prevention resources, including: 

Join a webinar on Tuesday, October 20, at 11 am to hear how school-based health centers can prevent and manage asthma.

Join the CSHA today For More Resources

Photos courtesy of CSHA


Irma Rosa, a Junior at Elizabeth Learning Center, is proud member of the The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board. Editorial note: That pride goes both ways. Irma's kind heart matched with her intellect makes us so happy she will be working closely with us this year.  

Meet Our Youth Advisory Board: Irma Rosa

Irma Rosa is a Junior at Elizabeth Learning Center's Health Academy.

Why did you join the YAB? I wanted to join because The L.A. Trust is an organization that connects everyone with the same interests. This work broadens our horizons in a way, and we can keep going with what we learn, and it becomes a part of us! It’s life changing actually!

What are the changes you hope to make at your school?  I want to broaden that space where kids feel safe and "get" that they aren’t weird. I want them to know they can get help with depression at the Wellness Center. That they are normal, and they’re not weak. I just really want to help people that feel like they don’t belong.

What activites are you looking forward to as this school year starts? I'm looking forward to growing our HOSA Club! Our club hasn’t been that huge, but if our club gets bigger, our Wellness Center gets bigger! I look forward to the school being more aware that depression is serious. Mental issues are very serious, and not just something to be taken as a joke.

Where do you want to go after high school? I am hoping to go to Berkely, and I want to be either an interpreter for sign language or an ASL teacher. Or both! I love to travel so not only would I be doing what I love – signing -- but getting to see other places and help people!

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