Summer: A Time for Reflection/A Plan for Action
JULY 2014


Summer: A Time for Reflection / A Plan for Action

Happy Summer!

As the students of LAUSD are (hopefully) spending some of their time off reflecting on the past school year and preparing for the year ahead, we at The L.A. Trust are utilizing this July as a time of reflection and planning as well. We’ve closed the books on one fiscal year and opened the new.  Our Board has approved a new 3 year strategic plan, which we are beginning to implement. We are reviewing our accomplishments, as well as honestly assessing moments that provided opportunities for growth. It’s an important season in our yearly cycle of progress.

Summer is also the time our annual national school-based health community convenes. In fact, I’ve just returned from this year’s convention in Seattle. Each year I am reminded how energizing it is to gather with colleagues and partners from other cities and states to share successes, track progress, mourn legislative setbacks, seek support for common challenges, and inspire one another by highlighting the innovative work happening around school-based health care across the United States of America. The theme of this year’s convention was “the convergence of population health, education, and primary care.” During the opening plenary session we had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Reed Tuckson, of Tuckson Health Connections, an esteemed physician and public health thought leader, speak about to the importance of focusing on the bigger vision of our collective work, and the need to do so by working across sectors.

I am pleased to say that Dr. Tuckson’s insightful words precisely describe our work. It’s who we are, in fact. Just this past year The L.A. Trust held 14 major convenings across multi-disciplinary sectors -- bringing together thought leaders and partners in education, population health and primary care, asking each to focus beyond their individual goals and instead to plug into a common mission: healthy, successful students. This theme is further echoed in our new strategic plan entitled, Accelerating Student Achievement and Wellness across the Nation’s Second Largest School District.

As we embark on our new strategic plan and prepare for the coming school year, I ask you to stay with us. Support us. Follow us. Like us. Hunker down with us as we work to leverage our unique role in the L.A. landscape, harnessing the inherent power of school-based health care to positively change our children and families, neighborhoods and city, and ultimately our future.

Student Health = Student Success!
MJ Signature
Maryjane Puffer, BSN, MPA
Executive Director
The L.A. Trust for Children's Health

P.S. And our poster highlighting our Oral Health program won 2nd place (out of 45) in the poster contest at the convention! See below.

Interns Summer withTrust 

During the summer our goal of student achievement is expanded beyond LAUSD to support college and graduate students as well —providing them an opportunity to learn and gain experience in the field. This year, the Trust welcomes a new cohort of summer interns: Diane Webber from UCLA, Isabelle Markert from Bowdoin College, Vidya Yakkundi from Loma Linda University, and two interns from the CDC's MCHC/RISE-UP program, Krystle Gupilan and Tania Funes (MCHC/RISE-UP is the Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement Undergraduate Program). Diane will be working on school health policy and resource website; Isabelle will strengthen the Trust's communication platforms and help develop a donor base and marketing outreach tools; Vidya will support the work of our oral health initiative and the development of an operations manual; Krystle will concentrate on student engagement planning and strengthening the student advisory board; while Tania will focus on school wellness policy, obesity prevention, and resource mapping for our HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) program. We are thrilled they are here. 

From left to right: Tania Funes, Vidya Yakkundi, Diane Webber, Krystle Gupilan, and Isabelle Markert  

HHS HEAL Mural 2

Talented Artist Designs HEAL Mural at Hollywood High

As part of his senior project, student and artist Jose De La Paz has completed a Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) mural at Hollywood High School. Jose is a student leader and member of the Environmental Club who has won not only the Sheik-A-Thon T-Shirt Art Contest, but also LAUSD's Healthy School Campaign Poster Contest 2 years in a row. The mural is part of the ongoing efforts at Hollywood High School through the HEAL program and is made possible by a grant from Kaiser Permanente. You can read more about the HEAL program here

Youth Advisory Board Kicks Off & Informs Our Work

We are excited to announce the creation of the new Youth Advisory Board for The L.A. Trust! The official kick-off meeting of the new Youth Advisory Board took place on June 6, convening 14 students representing seven schools with Wellness Centers. These amazing students are already active at their respective schools in advocating for important youth issues on campus and promoting the wellness centers. At the kick-off meeting, the Youth Advisory Board members spoke about issues and assets at their respective schools and identified "priority issues" to be worked on in the upcoming school year. It was a fun, empowering day of sharing, games, activities, and stimulating discussions. On July 17, the Youth Advisory Board members will present recommendations to the L.A. Trust governing board. We are grateful to have intern George Chacon on board to assist us in the launching of The L.A. Trust Youth Advisory Board.

From left to right: Matthew DeLeon (Carson H.S) , Jeffrey Rosas (Carson H.S.), Deborah Ebrahemi (The L.A. Trust), Wendy Siguenza (Hollywood H.S.), Elizabeth Dominguez (Jefferson H.S.), Mayra Velasquez (Jefferson H.S.), Katherine Lawrence (Washington Prep H.S.) 


poster 2

Rebecca Dudovitz (on left)  and Maryjane Puffer present findings of our Oral Health Screening/Fluoride Varnish program at the National School-Based Health Convention on June 30th. 

The L.A. Trust Poster Wins 2nd Place at Nat'l Convention

On June 30th, 2014, at the National School-Based Health Convention in Seattle, Maryjane Puffer and Rebecca Dudovitz (MD, MS, Assistant Professor, UCLA Deparment of Pediatrics) presented The L.A. Trust's poster to an audience of convention attendees. The poster outlining our oral health initiative, "A District Wide Oral Health Initiative: What does it take and what does it mean" won 2nd prize among 45 other poster entries. Interestingly, of the 3 winning posters, 2 focused on oral health care, demonstrating the emergence of oral health as a priority in school-based health care. We acknowledge all our partners in our groundbreaking program including: Jonathan Valiente, Gloria Espinosa, Paul Chung, Dee Apodaca, Dan Romo, Jennifer Pilapil, Conrado Borzaga, Rob Linder, all the principals, parents and teachers at our LAUSD partner schools, along with the DentaQuest Foundation for funding this work. 


Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand: Robert Davies

Dr. Robert Davies, a Wisconsin native, joined The L.A. Trust for Children's Health Board of Directors in 2010 as the representative for LAUSD Board Member (now President), Richard Vladovic. Dr. Davies runs The Davies Medical Group -- Mental Health Specialists.

Why did you choose to serve on our Board?

John DiCecco invited me. My experience working with him and Mary Beth in their LAUSD school mental health program in Carson was the inspiration that led our efforts in San Pedro to establish the LAUSD Barton Hill Child and Family Center. When he asked me to join The L.A. Trust I knew it was going to be a grand endeavor.  I couldn't have imagined the momentous journey upon which I was about to embark. 

What are you hopeful about and what is meaningful to you about the work The L.A. Trust is doing:

I am excited about utilizing the opportunities presented by health care reform in the LAUSD context to participate in helping to move thinking regarding integrated mental health services from the focus on concern about costs to an appreciation of how effective mental health services generate significant value. I also appreciate the incredible conjunction of rigorous thinking applied across the spectrum from macro to micro, the commitment of resources and inspired, dedicated talent to one of the most worthy efforts I can imagine.

We are so pleased to have Dr. Davies' expertise and compassionate advocacy for integrated student health as a guiding force in our organization!
Robert Davies, MD
Appointee Member of LAUSD Board
The L.A. Trust for Children's Health

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