School-Based Health Care Month...All Year Long!
                     FEBRUARY 2016
School-based health care and children's dental health on full display. Dr. David Kadar, Dental Director at Jefferson High School Wellness Center (sponsored by South Central Family Health Center) examines an LAUSD student at the campus' full service school-based health center. 

School-Based Health Care Month...All Year Long

Hello All,

The irony isn’t lost on us. February may be the shortest month of the year, but man, does it pack a public health wallop! For starters, it’s National School-Based Health Center Awareness month, Children’s Dental Health month, Teen Dating Violence Prevention month, American Heart month, Black History month and Valentine’s Day and before you know it, it’s March. Let's look at the first three.

School-based Health Centers are at the heart of our work this month and every month. As you may know, The L.A. Trust has helped to position, open, and facilitate services at 14 full service, school-based Wellness Centers across the Los Angeles Unified School District, which serve not only our student populations, but their families and neighbors as well. To date these new points of care have hosted over 140,000 patient encounters. These numbers reflect mental health and oral health visits as well as primary health care. School-based health care offers a safe, convenient way for students to seek care, reduces missed school days, reduces missed class time, saves parents missed days of work, empowers adolescents to take charge of their own health, allows students to explore health career options through leadership programs, helps address behavioral problems so teachers can teach, promotes school connectedness, helps students manage chronic conditions such as asthma, empowers school nurses as even more vital gatekeepers.  Bringing access to health care to a place as central as a school setting makes great sense, and we are proud to see this happen here in LAUSD and across the County of Los Angeles.

Regarding Children’s Dental Health month, The L.A. Trust has established a modality of care that has caught the attention of folks across the nation. Through our innovative Oral Health program (now in its 3rd year) we bring together school personnel, parent volunteers, community dental providers, UCLA researchers, and hundred and hundreds of school kids who open wide and smile — and see a dentist for perhaps the first time in their lives. Through this program we have screened over 5,000 students and continue to discover 5% of these young would-be learners in dire straits — that is to say, suffering with abscesses and the like, who are in urgent need of dental care. Partnering with LAUSD District Nursing and our amazing partner providers, these students are referred to care within 24 hours, and followed up on each and every time. 

Lastly, research shows us that Teen Dating Violence Prevention is a huge issue among our target population. The students say so. The L.A. Trust’s Youth Advisory Board is also a prime focus of our work. We work closely with students advisors from across all our sites to help bolster their credentials as peer advocates -- student leaders who can help shift the culture on their respective campuses especially as it relates to promoting healthy relationships. And we are making headway. With dedicated adult allies, and Wellness Coordinating Councils at each site, our youth have more folks than ever that understand what they're up against and what we are trying to accomplish. We know that violence amongst our young people comes in many forms, including, sad to say, gun violence. Recently I heard Maritza Galvez from the Youth Justice Coalition say she has attended more funerals than graduations in recent years, due to gun violence. As dismaying as this is, it is also curious. Why are our young people dying from gun violence at such alarming rates? The reasons, while hotly debated nationally, are varied and don't come with easy answers. We implore you to join us and the California Wellness and Blue Shield of CA Foundations in advocating for prevention of violence in all forms.  #enough
I believe firmly that part of the solution to these "February" issues  -- establishing more and more integrated school based health centers, improving children's oral health, and preventing violence  -- is what we at The L.A. Trust are striving to do each and every day. Namely, gathering stakeholders, providing them a forum and agreed upon language with which to speak and listen, securing resources, and then leveraging them strategically across the school district and across L.A. County. With each committee, collaborative, advisory board, and roundtable we convene, we seek to build neighborhoods where kids and families have a real chance -- at receiving preventive medical care, regularly visiting a dentist, and perhaps even, living in a community where peace prevails. Not just in February, but all year 'round.
Student Health = Student Success,
MJ Signature

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


Trust Gets Seat at Parson's Table

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation has approved The L.A. Trust’s $50,000 grant request toward our ability to integrate school health and student attendance data to evaluate the impact of school health services on academic success. This project represents a great innovation for school health and a national best practice we hope to realize within Los Angeles. The L.A. Trust’s mission and strategic priorities are well aligned with this effort.


Poster Contest Winners Awarded; 2016 Contest Launched

You'll recall that last year The L.A. Trust sponsored its first annual Oral Health Poster Contest. We received many great entries. Just a few weeks ago, on February 11, we traveled to Northdrige Middle School to celebrate and present over $600 in cash awards to the 4 winning artists.  First place winner, Lukas Rosenbaum, of Porter Ranch Middle School, was on hand, along with his father and grandfather, to receive a $300 check and a framed copy of his inspiring artwork, as were the other 3 winners. The L.A. Trust has paid to have all 4 of the winning posters reprinted for every single school in the district, so keep your eyes peeled! But wait! It's time to launch this year's contest. Please encourage students to submit their best ideas to The L.A. Trust's 2016 Oral Health Poster Contest today! For contest rules and more information, click here

The L.A. Trust Board member Hal Slavkin, Oral Health Program Manager, Frances Walsh, and Porter Ranch Assistant Principal, Avak Demirjie, flank first place winner Lukas Rosenbaum. Not pictured, Principal Mary Melvin.



LAUSD's Best Kept Secret Seeks "Sharing Brings Hope" Donations

Each spring since 1992, the LAUSD community has come together to raise donations and payroll deduction registrations to benefit community agencies through LAUSD's "Sharing Brings Hope" Consolidated Charitable Campaign. What most people don't know is that The L.A. Trust for Children's Health is one of the 11 charitable agencies that are eligible to receive those funds! "We are definitely the little engine that could," says Maryjane Puffer, our Executive Director. "And the donations that folks earmark for us go directly back into the health and wellness programming that support LAUSD students. These funds allow us to "buy back" nursing time, support Student Health and Human Services, and School Mental Health among other things." At the kick-off breakfast earlier this month Superintendent Michelle King raised a call to action -- to surpass last year's total amount raised ($600K) by $50K! The campaign is in full swing now and will end on April 8th 2016. Dear LAUSD family, please reach out for a tax-deductible payroll deduction card by contacting For the price of a cup of coffee per pay period you can really help us make a difference in the health and educational outcomes for our students. Learn more about the campaign by clicking here

Youth Advisory Board's Work Growing in Relevancy and Fun

On Saturday, February 20th, The L.A. Trust gathered its Youth Advisory Board (YAB) at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes for a full day of education, fun, and sharing. Along with exploring the sites and sounds of the venue, and learning to become effectively storytellers, the students worked with PCORI funded research associates in offering perceptions of family planning at their respective schools, shared knowledge and access to resources, and provided honest observations about the appearance and functionality of health focused iPad applications. LAUSD School Mental Health’s Kimani Norrington-Sands was also on hand to provide mental health advocacy training which allowed our YAB’ers to better understand how to engage in difficult conversations about stigma, the mental spectrum, and how to become advocates for themselves and their peers.

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The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board gets into the spirit of resiliency and empowerment of the Latino people at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Photo: The L.A Trust 


Photo courtesy the California School-Based Health Alliance

Important Updates/Info from the California School-based Health Alliance

New Resource: Guidance for Schoolwide Screenings

Our statewide partner the California School-Based Health Alliance has just released a new paper designed to help school-based health centers implement schoolwide or grade-level screening. Schoolwide screenings improve access to care by allowing clinic staff to reach out to students proactively instead of waiting for them to walk in. See how two school-based health centers have implemented effective and sustainable screenings, and see sample forms and materials that can help you launch your own schoolwide screening! Download the report here.
Get Ready for Medi-Cal Expansion to All Kids
All children, regardless of immigration status, will soon qualify for Medi-Cal coverage! This expansion of Medi-Cal will begin this May and will include undocumented youth under the age of 19. In the meantime, you can begin enrolling children today in restricted Medi-Cal. All children enrolled in restricted Medi-Cal will be automatically enrolled in the full scope of Medi-Cal benefits once the expansion occurs. 

You can help get the word out by downloading an English/Spanish flyer from the All In for Health campaign to find out everything you need to know about Medi-Cal for ALL kids. Visit the All In website for even more resources and tools for schools to use to get the word out about coverage. 
DPP_823Brianna Hernandez is a 12th grader at Fremont High School, and a proud member of the The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board.
Photo: The L.A. Trust  

Meet Our Youth Advisory Board: 

Brianna Hernandez

(Senior at Fremont High School)

Why did you join The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board?
I joined The L.A. Trust Youth Advisory Board to help advocate for wellness and health to my peers. 

What are the changes you hope to make at your school?
I hope that people will understand that it's okay to ask for help and to ask a question. 

What activities are you looking forward to this school year?
This year in school I am really looking forward to joining the engineering club. 

What are your plans after high school? 
After high school, I hope to get accepted to the University of my choice, and study a major that I desire which fulfills my wants.

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