In MJ We Trust

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Categories: Adolescent health care, Advocacy, Leadership, Public Health

By Cassidy Meehan — August 27, 2015

Last Wednesday marked our final week with a guest speaker during our summer intern check-ins here at The L.A. Trust. We had the incredible opportunity to hear from Ms. Maryjane Puffer, our fearless leader and executive director. With props by her side, Ms. Puffer spoke to us about the path to getting to where she is now, which began in a town in Chicago in which she developed her passion for health equity. Straight out of the gates in Chicago, for example, she found herself angered and confused by the lack of continuity between the hospital and surrounding community. Puffer’s tenacity was put into action when she created the first ever community health fair in Chicago, bringing together community and hospital and breaking the barriers between health equity.

While it is not difficult to find abundant amounts of evidence about this courageous woman’s past, it is her future that may be the most galvanizing. The L.A. Trust is working to change the way we as a nation view school based healthcare, and under the direction of Maryjane Puffer, it can and will have a national impact.

In being around Ms. Puffer for even five minutes, her passion is so engaging that you cannot help but see first hand that she is inspiring a new generation of educators who want to begin “taking risks and having the idea that we are limitless.” In closing, she challenged each and every one of us to take action realizing that the opportunity to make the change is right in front of our face.

I take what I learned on the 29th floor this summer as my own call to action. As Maryjane noted, it is our responsibility to take care of our community. It is up to us now, the 2015 summer interns of The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health to act as sponges during our last week and take with us what we can. These passions from each individual at The L.A. Trust are encouraging and motivating and I intend on taking this knowledge and running with it as far as I can go.

cassidyCassidy Meehan recently graduated from Cal State Northridge with her B.S. in Public Health. Her academic, professional, and personal interests all center around a holistic approach to childhood obesity, nutrition, and total wellness. Cassidy hopes to work in LAUSD Food Services Division to help promote and educate both healthy and delicious meals and combat food waste. This summer, Cassidy is interning with The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health working on the HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) Initiative to support the replication of programming at other Wellness Center sites. – See more at: http://thelatrust.org/a-week-of-inspiration/#sthash.OXzB4DLp.dpuf

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