It's Not What You Look At! May/June Update
                     MAY/JUNE 2016
9 of the graduates of the Garden Apprentice Program from Fremont High School show off their diplomas and their green thumbs. 

It’s Not What You Look at, It’s What You See

Dear Friends of The L.A. Trust for Children's Health,
Last week I was honored to make a few remarks during a graduation ceremony of Student Health Leaders and The L.A. Land Trust's Garden Apprentice program at Fremont High School. The Wellness Center there, staffed by UMMA Community Clinic, shares the space with a beautiful community garden maintained in part by our friends at the L.A. Neighborhood Land Trust. The proximity of the Wellness Center and the adjacent garden has always made perfect sense. I've been an advocate for years of the idea that our "kids" get a "prescription for wellness" which includes planting and weeding a garden bed, and then, down the line, eating a tomato or a peach that comes – the literal fruits of their labor? Or taking part in a mindfulness exercise under the grape arbor nearby? I can see it, can't you?!
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  As I prepared my remarks, I was reminded of that quote from Thoreau's journals while at Walden. It's good to remember not only was Thoreau a transcendentalist, he was also a rebel. His world view birthed his philosophy of civil disobedience which found its way to the subsequent actions of Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. 
When we look across LAUSD's 740 square mile expanse of more than 1,200 schools, what do we see? Do we see great disparity? Certainly.  Meaningful changes will only come from seeing clearly. Thankfully many of our engaged partners see it too. LAUSD has invested an unprecedented amount of capital to establish and build Wellness Centers across the areas of our city with the least access, where our most vulnerable students and their families live. These access points to preventive health care have now served more than 150,000 visitors. And plans for LAUSD's $50 million dollar investment in Wellness: Phase 2 are being finalized! Now there's something to see! 
There's great potential to notice across the district. I see it in the students of our Youth Advisory Board. I see it in the LAUSD and partner Adult Allies who go above and beyond to make certain those students develop as leaders. I see it in the parents who put on wings and Tooth Fairy costumes to summon students to the dentist in the auditorium so that their oral health is cared for and not a barrier to school performance. I see it, can you? 
I CERTAINLY saw it last weekend in the faces of the student leaders from Fremont High School who had invested more than 600 hours, learned how to touch the earth, respect it, plant roots in the ground and also among their own families and friends.
Which leads me to the questions: What seems possible in your view for the District's 643,000 children?  Can you help us to support student health and wellness?  Do you see what I see?

Student Health = Student Success, 

MJ Signature

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


Short Term 12 V1

Requesting Your Support!  Screening Powerful Film "Short Term 12" at June 18th Fundraiser

Calling all our friends and supporters! We need you. The L.A. Trust isn't holding a formal fundraiser this Spring. Instead, through the generosity of our board member, Paul Freese, we are hosting a gourmet-snack filled, silent auction-backed screening of a provocative film: Short Term 12 starring Brie Larson (Oscar winner for last year's film, Room). Suggested donations for the event are $50 and tickets can be reserved here.

There's even a ticket option that if you are unable to join us that day, you can still make a contribution. Friends, we need your support this year more than ever. Discretionary funding is what allows us to send 61 stakeholders (see below) to the state conference each year, or provide food at our Youth 2 Youth Conferences. 

TIME:     12 - 3pm
WHERE:  Westwood United Methodist Church

             (Upstairs in LOFT space)
              10497 Wilshire Blvd
              Los Angeles, CA 90024


Showcasing the Work of Wellness Centers in the Halls
of the Capitol

This year, The L.A. Trust was able to send a delegation of 61 people to the statewide SBHC conference in Sacramento - with the majority of the delegation participating in Advocacy Day.  We were so delighted to visit 27 assembly and senate offices out of 32 districts in Los Angeles County.  Our group also included eight youth advisory board members representing six schools -- all of whom spoke so eloquently about the value of having a wellness center on their respective campuses.

This is an excellent example of how the work we are doing is lifting the community through the voices of youth.  One attendee commented that participation in advocacy day was the highlight of the conference, "Advocacy day was AMAZING... I appreciated getting experience with political advocacy on behalf of school-based health programs." 


Right: Part of The L.A. Trust's Advocacy Day contingent --including our 8 student leaders from schools across the Wellness Network, most of whom had never visited Sacramento before. Powerful. 



Oral Health Initiative in Spotlight at State Conference

The L.A. Trust is beginning to be recognized nationwide for the blossoming impact our Oral Health Initiative is having in our district. During the state-wide SBHC conference earlier this month, Maryjane Puffer (Executive Director) Frances Walsh (Oral Health Program Manager) and Dr. Rebecca Dudovitz of UCLA presented on its impact and challenges, as well as its key components of education, prevention, and linking students and their families to trusted dental homes. Those in attendance were dedicated to creating a similar initiative for the students of their own schools and districts. 

The L.A. Trust Co-Sponsor's 2nd Annual Tap Water day 

May 5, 2016, marked the 2nd annual TAP Water Day in Los Angeles to highlight the benefits of the city's clean drinking water. As part of the commemoration, a new hydration station was unveiled at the steps of City Hall in Downtown L.A.  As a co-sponsor for the event, we were on hand along with folks from Mayor Eric Garcetti 's office, Councilman Jose Huizar's Field OfficeL.A.U.S.D, L.A. DWP, Los Angeles County-Department Of Public Health, and our good buddy, Evelyn Wendel, of WeTap. Everyone deserves access to clean, pure drinking water. The L.A. Trust is pleased to be a voice helping to make that a reality for the students of Los Angeles Unified School District.


Tapwater Day 2
Left to right: Elizabeth Crosson of the Mayor's Office, the DWP Drop, Evelyn Wendel of WeTAP, and Mark Hovatter, Chief Facilities Exec. of LAUSD


State Association Seeks Executive Director

Serena Clayton, the longtime executive director of the California School-Based Health Alliance (CSHA) (and our esteemed colleague) is stepping down in a few months. CSHA is our Oakland-based partner that advocates for school-based health care to benefit children and youth across the state.
CSHA's board of directors is looking for a school health advocate who can build on the tremendous success of the past decade and take the organization to a new level. They are seeking someone with a passion for social justice, children's health, and educational equity.  She or he will be strategic and visionary, foster leadership in others, and be continually seeking new ways to strengthen the CSHA's impact. 
You can read the full job description on
CSHA's website or download and share this PDF.

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
Save the date-6

IMG_7696 - Version 2
Patty Anton is the President and Founder of Anton Consulting, a boutique consultancy dedicated to improving the customer experience management of select, blue-chip clients. She has served on The L.A. Trust Board of Directors for the past year, and is the chair of our Operations Committee. 

Meet Our Board of Directors: Patty Anton

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

I serve on this board because when I was growing up in a suburb of Chicago, my mother was hospitalized every four years for severe manic depression with schizophrenic tendencies and never -- not once -- did any teacher, counselor, or school health professional ever acknowledge this or provide assistance in any way.  For those not familiar with mental illness, the toll it takes on family members who have no one to explain, support, or guide them is almost insurmountable.  As an adult I look back on that now and see how sad that situation was, and can clearly see just how much it was a missed opportunity.  I serve on the board of The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health because I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to other students today. 
I’m grateful to say that my siblings and I managed to “white-knuckle” our way through our childhood and have each become responsible and contributing members to our communities and families.  As such, it is a privilege and honor to serve on this board.  Along the way, I have come to learn from the experience and compassion of people like Pia Escudero, the Mental Health Director for all of LAUSD and Dr. Kim Uyeda the Medical Director of our Wellness Centers about the amazing things these people and their teams do to make sure kids have access to services and a supportive environment to care for their own physical, mental, and dental well-being – let alone that of their family.
There are so many causes we can all get involved in today, but if you stand even just 20 feet away from Maryjane Puffer who leads this organization (or any of her team who works there), you know in your bones that they make a difference.  I encourage everyone I know to get involved with The L.A. Trust, to look out for our kids, and to make things better and easier for others in ways that really matter.   


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