Message of the Heavy Heart: Do Good Anyway
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                     DECEMBER 2015
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Message of the Heavy Heart: Do Good Anyway

Dear Friends,
 
Happy holidays to you.
 
My heart is heavy. This spate of recent gun violence across our country, capped most recently by this week’s horrific events in San Bernardino has brought me low. While we at The L.A. Trust  and LAUSD are striving (and beginning to see the cultural shift) to improve health outcomes for our students, families, and communities, acts of violence like these can, in an instant, make it all feel so hopeless.
 
And if we aren’t self-vigilant, despair can take hold. For some, this despair calcifies into lethargy and numbness. And for others, it quickly spills over into fear. Fear of people who look different. Fear of our neighbors. Fear of others with different customs and religious beliefs. Xenophobia. Open a newspaper or turn on the television and its on full display, fanned in large part by would-be political leaders looking for a quick way to rally support. It’s cheap. And beneath us.
 
One of the core values behind The L.A. Trust/LAUSD Wellness Initiative is that every student regardless of race, ethnicity, economic means, or even immigration status, deserves access to preventive, comprehensive health care. Period. Just this month, we have, through our network of 14 school-based Wellness Centers (two of which very recently came on-line), logged more than 110,000 patient encounters over a 28 month period. That’s lots of access to care for folks that didn’t have it before! By next week, The L.A. Trust will have brought our fluoride varnish/universal screening program to 25 LAUSD schools, screening well over 5,000 children and linking those in need to immediate dental care. Through our "Early Childhood Linkage to Wellness" program we were able to make more than 357 referrals to families with 0 - 5 year olds in need of health services. In addition to the news coming out of San Bernardino and alarmingly hostile rhetoric in the media, this is what I’m choosing to focus on.
 
So, how can we start to make sense of this violence and the trauma it creates in its wake, especially for our students? Truth is, I'm not sure we can. Here's what I do know. We keep going. We move forward. We redouble our efforts to bring a "trauma-informed" lens to all the care provided through our health programs and Wellness Networks. We continue to shift the question so often posed of troubled students, “Why would you do that?” to “What happened to you?” We don’t give in to despair, numbness, and fear, but instead ground ourselves in the power of compassion, acceptance, and kindness. And we go on.
 
In addition to our sincere wishes for a peaceful, healthy, and joyful holiday season, I leave you with the words often attributed to Mother Teresa, which comforted me in recent days: 
 
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
 
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
 
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
 
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
 
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
 
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
 
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

You see in the final analysis, it is between you and God; 

it was never between you and them anyway.


 
Student Health = Student Success,
 
MJ Signature

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


IMG_6863JBM2015Linked Learning students, whom we helped train and employ this past summer pay rapt attention at their final presentation. 

The L.A. Trust WERCs it: Lands $425K Grant

Helping to establish career pathways for students has been on The L.A. Trust's radar since 2011. Those efforts just got a big boost. Last month, the California Endowment awarded The L.A. Trust a two year, $425,000 grant. In partnership with the Worker Education and Resource Center (WERC), we will develop a strategic plan which will ensure that Los Angeles youth from South L.A. and Boyle Heights be trained to be hired in career pathways across our Wellness Networks. Specifically the grant is for convening health sector employers and stakeholders, developing a labor market study, and providing technical support for work-based learning coordinators to strengthen health career pathways for our students. Ultimately this program will train students on the skill sets needed to be hired. After our rewarding summer working alongside LAUSD's Linked Learning program, we are excited to build, convene, and enable an upcoming wave of future health care professionals. Stay tuned on this front.

 

Esteemed Trust Board Member to be Honored for Life's Work

The L.A. Trust is proud to announce that Dr. Harold Slavkin, a member of our Board of Directors (and soon to be treasurer) has been named by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) as an ADEA/Gies Award winner for 2016. This prestigious honor recognizes individuals that exemplify the highest standards in oral health, dental education, research, and leadership across our nation. Congratulations Dr. Slavkin, it couldn't have gone to anyone more deserving! Read the full press release here
 
IMG_5335 5Dr. Hal Slavkin, member of The L.A. Trust Board of Directors, and now ADEA/Gies Award winner.
 


Can-zilla"Can-zilla" towers over staff members of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, delivering its powerful message to the students and community members attending Washington Prep's Health Resource Fair last week.
 

Washington Prep High School's Health Fair is Giant Success 

The L.A. Trust was on hand at Washington Preparatory High School on December 2,  as over 150 students and community members came together to participate in a wildly successful, campus-wide health resource fair. Kicking off the event, students paraded across campus “New Orleans style," behind the marching band and into the music-filled event. Washington Prep cheerleaders and dancers brought their game, along side more than 15 community providers who staffed tables and passed out information on health care options and resources (including the adjacent LAUSD Wellness Center). Organizations with a presence included LAUSD CHAMP, St. John's Well Child and Family Center, Great Beginnings for Black Babies, Early Childhood Linkages to Wellness, and Latino Coalition for a Healthy California with "Can-zilla" (see picture), among others. Bonnie Mims-Greene, event organizer and Central Organization Facilitator said, “This made the community and the students more aware there’s a clinic here on campus. And it was great to see the students so involved!"
 

The L.A. Trust E.D. Hailed for Tooth Fairy Vision

On November 12, Maryjane Puffer, Executive Director of The L.A. Trust for Children's Health, was awarded the Southern California Public Health Association's (SCPHA) Milton and Ruth Roemer Award for her visionary and innovative public health concept of our recent Tooth Fairy Convention. This prestigious award recognizes Maryjane as a leader "concerned with ensuring the healthiest quality of life for Southern Californians." In true MJ style, as part of her remarks during yesterday's ceremony, she led the crowd in taking the Tooth Fairy pledge, which ends with the words, "I am important. I am informed. I am a Tooth Fairy." Read more about it here.

SCPHA Award to MJ
Maryjane Puffer flanked on either side by the beautiful presenters of the Milton and Ruth Roemer Award during the SCPHA Conference last month.

The L.A. Trust Continues to Grow, Expand, Make Inroads

The L.A. Trust is pleased to announce that 3 new staff members have recently joined the team to help manage our expanding scope of work. Please join us in welcoming to The L.A. Trust for Children's Health, Robert Renteria, Rosario Rico, and Christian Beauvoir. 

Robert Renteria (top right) is our new Research Associate. He comes to The L.A. Trust with a long history as a community organizer around HIV prevention, testing and education and most recently, he worked closely with The L.A. Trust as a Student Engagement Advisor for a CDC - DASH grant. Robert is passionate about ending shame and stigma around HIV, and loves Los Angeles.

Rosario Rico (middle right) has signed on as our new Student Engagement Manager, having most recently worked with community clinic provider, UMMA, in a similar role at Fremont High School in Los Angeles. In her new role, her leadership will expand to all 14 of our Wellness Center sites. Rosario has a long history working in school based health care delivery, and is passionate about adolescent health. 

Christian Beauvoir (bottom right) joins us as a Student Engagement Associate. He comes to The L.A. Trust directly from a successful summer internship with us where he developed a student engagement tool kit and worked closely with our burgeoning Youth Advisory Board. Click
here to read his beautifully written, self described perspective shift upon working with us this past summer. 

Each one of these terrific professionals comes with a unique set of qualifications and skills which we know will deliver great outcomes for our students. Welcome to each of you! 

(Full bios of The L.A. Trust staff can be seen
here.

 
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Save the Date: May 5 & 6, 2016
CA School-Based Health Alliance Conference

If you've ever attended the California School-Based Health   Alliance's conference, you know what an impactful event it is each year. Shared resources, topical workshops, inspiring speakers, networking and fellowship are always on the agenda as stakeholders from across the state come together to increase access to health care for the young people of California. This year's conference, entitled Advocating for Equity in Education & Health Care, will be held in Sacramento on May 5 and 6th. You will not want to miss it. The L.A. Trust is always pleased to be a part of this important convening. Click here for more information, including early bird registration and how to become a sponsor or exhibitor.
 

 

Partners Bring Winter Snow & Food Baskets to L.A. this Sat. Dec. 12

Tons of snow to play in, food baskets, health screenings, toy give-away! Our partner community organizations, Brotherhood Crusade and St. John's Well Child and Family are bringing this great event to South Los Angeles this weekend. Don't miss it!

Saturday, December 12, 2015
9:00am - 2:00pm
Helman United Methodist Church
3320 West Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Click on the flyer to the right to download a printable version!  

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HHS.10.29.1563Sara Garcia is  a Senior at Hollywood High School, and is a proud member of the The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board.   

Meet Our Youth Advisory Board: 
Sara Garcia

Why did you join The L.A. Trust's Youth Advisory Board?
I joined because nobody else seemed interested. I've always thought "be the change you want to see in the world," and because ever since I was small, I've looked up to people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, and Gandhi, and when I heard about the opportunity, a lightbulb went off in my head. I wanted to learn and help. 
 

What are the changes you hope to make at your school?
I have a strong feeling about gender roles. I absolutely dislike them. When girls feels powerless about chasing their dreams, or believing that they're inferior and men are always right, or that men are superior to them, that's not right. We're all equal. And vice versa. Boys don't really get to show any emotion because then they're perceived as weak. I want to change students' minds and thoughts. This world is messed up, but with optimism and vision we can change that. 
 

What activities are you looking forward to this school year?
I'm excited to GRADUATE!!! But I'm also excited for spring and many more events with F.A.M.E. health club, Peer Advocates, film competition and many more. 
 

What are your plans after high school?
I plan to attend a two year college and then transfer to a four year. I plan to study film and language studies. I will be a director, writer, and human activist. My goal is to create films enriched with emotions, thoughts, and visions for the next generation -- to bring this world together. "We the people have the power to make this world beautiful. Let us use that power. Let us unite," as Charlie Chaplin said. This generation looks up to people who seem to only care for themselves. Too few look at the real work of change like Martin Luther King. Few even remember Alice Paul. We have been blinded and fooled by a piece of paper. An idea. Money. My goals after high school are to expose corruption and change the world. 

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