Awakening the Health-Literacy Hero Inside --October 2014


Awakening the Health-Literacy Hero Inside

Dear Friends,

It's absolutely perfect. October is both 
National Dental Health Hygiene Month and National Health Literacy MonthFor those of you who are unfamiliar with the origins of Health Literacy Month, Helen Osborne M.Ed., OTR/L founded it fifteen years ago when she dedicated the month of October to promoting the importance of understandable health information and celebrating the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that do just that. The theme of this year’s Health Literacy Month: “Be a Health-Literacy Hero.”

Besides educating, identifying, and linking children to sometimes urgently needed treatment, one of the unique side benefits of The L.A. Trust's oral health screening model is the creation of health-literacy heroes. At each school site parent volunteers are recruited, educated, and empowered as advocates on their children's behalf. Some proudly don their L.A. Trust sponsored tooth fairy wings and toothpaste tube costumes. This role for many of these parents along with the education and the responsibility awakens the dormant health-literacy hero inside, and they soar! We've seen it repeatedly. At the end of the day some are even reluctant to leave. 

The L.A. Trust recognizes the vital role that schools can and do play in delivering easy-to-digest health information to students and their families. We know the school setting holds tremendous potential in disseminating powerful preventative health care information and services to kids, families and entire communities.  A 2001 Oxford study found that “schools throughout the world contribute to the achievement of public health goals.”  It is clear to see how Wellness Centers and school-based health centers, which bridge the health and education worlds, are so important.  

The work of The L.A. Trust in convening experts and stakeholders from health, education and policy advocacy arenas is indispensable to supporting these Wellness Centers, and thus supporting a more healthy and health literate student population.
As we attempt to leap October in a single bound and run faster than the spinning calendar pages of 2014, let us unleash our inner health-literacy heroes. Let us become champions for school-based health care -- for the oral, physical, and mental health services our Wellness Centers can provide our students, our communities. The more educated and healthier we all are, the more we can achieve!

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

Getting On the Bus for Wellness

In an effort to raise awareness of the 14 new school-based Wellness Centers across Los Angeles Unified School District and engender champions of the school-based health center movement,  last Thursday, October 2, a packed charter bus of 40 took off from LAUSD HQ and spent half the day on the road touring 3 Wellness Center sites. On board were LAUSD Board members, Trust Board members, policymakers, foundation reps, and others who toured the Wellness Centers at Garfield, Jefferson, and Fremont High Schools. It was an extremely successful outing and we are hopeful 40 champions of the school-based health care movement got off the bus! To see more photos of the day click here. To see Telemundo's coverage of the Fremont site, click here


Two sweet first graders at Rowan E. S. show us what having a healthy smile does to their hearts!

Oral Health Program Smiles Big at Rowan Elementary

Last week precious gradeschool students were screened and provided a preventive fluoride varnish as part of The L.A. Trust's expanding Oral Health Screening program. This team effort was brought to life by our partners from Big Smiles, LAUSD District Nursing, UCLA/Rand, parent volunteers, as well as administration, staff and faculty of Rowen Elementary School. Of the 264 students screened over the course of two days, 12 were found to be in need of urgent dental attention (within 24 hours) and another 49 had active caries in their mouths. All were provided links to care. We continue to be very proud of this flagship model of care and will continue to advocate for the roll out of a sustainable district-wide version. This program is made possible by the DentaQuest Foundation. Next up, Eastman Elementary! 

LAUSD Takes on Teen Health

On September 25, twenty-four students representing RFK Community Schools, Jefferson High, Garfield High, Fremont High, Hollywood High, and Washington Prep gathered for a powerful all-day training, facilitated by Wynne Grossman of Molina Healthcare. Sponsored by The L.A. Trust and Molina Healthcare, this training was for teens interested in leading collaborative discussions about tackling health challenges that affect youth, their schools, and their communities. The students learned how to use various liberating structures to engage people and spark positive action, as well as design a campaign and storyboard for planning their own Town Hall meetings. The next step will be to work with the students to plan Town Hall meetings at their respective school communities, which they will facilitate on their own using the tools that they learned.


Divine Herron of Fremont H.S. speaks up while Briana Hernendez and Katherine Lawrence look on at the Teen Town Hall training two weeks ago.


DPP_0036Wendy Siguenza, Hollywood High School Senior and recipient of the Champion of Health Award


The L.A. Trust Youth Advisory Board Member Wins Health Award

Congratulations to Hollywood High School 12th grader, Wendy Siguenza, for receiving California Center for Public Health Advocacy's 2014 Champion of Health Award! A member of The L.A. Trust's Student Advisory Board and President of Hollywood High School's F.A.M.E. (Fit, Active, Motivated, and Empowered) Health Club, Wendy has taken on the challenge of reducing obesity rates and increasing healthy behaviors at her school site and within her community through Kaiser Permanente's HEAL initiative Her dedication and passion for healthy living has resulted in vending machine and snack store changes, an increase in healthy fundraisers and an increase in physical activity events and campaigns at Hollywood High. Wendy is a true leader pushing against the boundaries of her fixed environment to overcome our nation's obesity epidemic. We couldn't be more proud! 


Principals in Wellness

On Friday, October 10, The L.A. Trust brought together LAUSD principals upon whose campuses our Wellness Centers reside. Principal buy-in and partnership is absolutely key to the successful integration of not only the services provided by the community providers at each Wellness Center site, but also to whom the services are offered -- students, their families and local community members! It's a balancing act to be sure. It is The L.A. Trust's responsibility and privilege to update these busy, powerful leaders, engage them, listen to their challenges and celebrate their successes as we reinforce the role that wellness plays in student achievement.

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LAUSD Principals or their representatives from Hollywood H.S., Gage M.S., Carson H.S., Garfield H.S., Fremont H.S., Locke E.E.C., Jefferson H.S., Manual Arts H.S., Jordan, H.S. , Crenshaw, participated in last Friday's update on the Wellness Centers provided by The L.A. Trust and LAUSD Student Health and Human Services. 

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Dr. Arthur Fleisher 
The L.A. Trust for Children's Health
Board of Directors

Upon Whose Shoulders We Stand:
Dr. Arthur Fleisher

Dr. Arthur Fleisher is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Panorama City, California. He received his medical degree from University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and has been in practice for 56 years. His dedication to access to reproductive health services and STD awareness add an important voice to our Board of Directors and we feel lucky to have him as a sounding board and trusted advisor. Art has been a stalwart member of our Board of Directors for over 4 years.
When did you join the Board and what prompted you to serve on the Board?  I joined the Board after being invited by (Board Member Emeritus) Lee Saltz. 
What is meaningful to you about the work the Trust is doing?  Being able to watch the growth of this organization as it enables kids to be healthier is great to see. As we know, anything that benefits the health of our kids benefits all of us. It's that simple. 
Looking ahead, what are you most excited about regarding the work of the Trust? I am excited about the increasing number of Wellness Centers and all of the progress which has been made during my tenure on the board. I credit that to the current adminstrative team, meaning: Maryjane and her staff!

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