The L.A. Trust Staff
Part of what makes The L.A. Trust a successful organization is the capable and skilled staff that manage various aspects of this challenging effort.
Maryjane Puffer is the Executive Director of The L.A.Trust for Children’s Health. Her role at The L.A. Trust represents the nexus of all she has been committed to throughout her career as a pediatric nurse, a community health program director and lead developer of health programs.
In her role as Executive Director, she helps to facilitate the development of LA Unified School District’s Wellness Networks and is on the cutting edge in developing community prevention framework strategies for health programming in schools. Ms. Puffer is a 35-year veteran in health care and program development. She has successfully developed and managed both international and domestic health programs. Ms. Puffer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Ms. Puffer currently serves on the state Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group, the School Health Coalition of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles School Health Policy Roundtable and the Los Angeles Preconception Health Collaborative. She is also Co-Chair of the California Preconception Health Care Council and a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Advisory Board Member for the Fresno Regional Foundation.
In November of 2015, for her visionary and innovative concept of The L.A. Trust’s First Annual Tooth Fairy Convention (which brought together: public education around oral health, dental screenings, insurance enrollment navigation, and healthy foods), Maryjane was awarded the Milton and Ruth Romer Award by the Southern California Public Health Association. Additionally, Ms. Puffer was recognized as the 2014 Healthcare Advocate of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal, received TeenNow’s Vera Casey award for outstanding advocacy and support for pregnant and parenting teens, and was awarded the Harold Slavkin Oral Health Educator of the Year from the National Institute of Dental And Craniofacial Research.
Kelly Bui is an emerging public health professional committed to school and adolescent health. She has experience in public health research, and has worked on college campuses promoting student mental health and policy and advocacy. She is excited to work with The. L.A. Trust for Children’s Heath and dedicate her time to the Wellness Centers and the development of the surrounding networks to provide preventative and early intervention services. During her free time she loves to be surrounded by friends and family as much as she can and enjoys tons of movies.
Sang is the Program Director at The L.A. Trust. In this role, she conducts programmatic research and development and manages the LAUSD Learning Collaborative and L.A. Coalition of School Health Centers. Prior to this position, she was a Senior Program Manager at the California School Health Centers Association where she provided technical assistance and conducted policy advocacy to school based health centers in five Southern California counties. Sang holds master and doctorate degrees in public health. She is a member of the California Preconception Health Council, the California Medical Association Foundation’s Cervical Cancer/HPV Advisory Committee, and also serves on the steering committee of the California Adolescent Health Collaborative. She enjoys working with adolescents and young adults.
Jeanne Aguinaldo is a part-time Student Engagement Program Manager with the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health. She comes with extensive experience in school-based health, youth development, and adolescent health. Previously she worked for Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Inc., a federally-qualified health center, for thirteen years. As the Youth Services Manager, she managed the organization’s youth center, youth development and health education programs, youth clinic, and school-based health center sites. She helped establish the John Marshall Health Center and Belmont Health Services. She also was one of the original steering committee members of the LA Coalition of School Health Centers.
Deborah Ebrahemi is a full-time HEAL (healthy eating, active living) Program Manager with The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health. Deborah works closely with Hollywood High School to support their amazing efforts in making the healthier choice the easy choice for Hollywood High Students and their families. Prior to this Deborah worked on researching obesity prevention programs and strategies that are effectively being implemented across the District. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from UCLA and Master of Social Work degree from USC. She comes with a great interest in the work of The L.A. Trust and believes that the path to a healthier generation begins in the school.
Lillian Orta is a Health Educator working on the Champions for Change Healthy Communities Initiative. Lillian graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona and has a background in public school settings working with students from elementary to high school as well as on college campuses as a Peer Health Educator. With more than 7 years experience Lillian has the passion for youth health education & promotion and obesity prevention. Lillian is excited to join The L.A. Trust team and looks forward to transforming the health of children and young adults.
Frances comes to The L.A. Trust with previous experience as the Community Outreach Manager for Big Smiles, and has worked managing the oral health program in LAUSD and surrounding communities. She served as an intern with The L.A. Trust over the summer of 2015, and recently spearheaded the work for our broad, public awareness event, the Tooth Fairy Convention. Frances will be supporting District Nursing in the oral health screening programs and managing the expansion to new sites. Frances also has international Peace Corps experience and a Bachelors in Communication.
A recent graduate of Stanford University, Christian comes to The L.A. Trust with a strong background in community organizing and youth development. Previously, he worked as a Summer Intern for The L.A. Trust where he concentrated on the development of the student engagement tools and procedures, as well as the growth and advancement of the L.A. Trust’s Youth Advisory Board.
Krystle graduated from California Sate University, Los Angeles with a degree in public health and experience with working in school settings as a volunteer. She came to The L.A. Trust during Summer 2014 as an intern from a CDC funded undergraduate program and worked on developing the first version of the Student Engagement Toolkit. Krystle has also taken the role of coordinating the Youth 2 Youth Conference where she brings students together for a a day of learning and networking. As a Communications Assistant, Krystle works to support and merge the use of social media to promote the Wellness Centers across the LAUSD.
Robert Renteria is a Latino gay man and a passionate native Angelino. He previously worked as the Student Engagement Advisor for a CDC – DASH grant (Division of Adolescent and School Health) through The L.A. Trust in LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District). He has volunteered and worked in HIV prevention, testing and education for over 15 years. He’s also worked as a men’s group facilitator, Community organizer, counselor, research assistant, and program coordinator for several HIV community based organizations in Los Angeles and other parts of California. Robert has a special interest in helping end HIV stigma, especially in the LGBTQ community. He believes that a shame-free community is vital for reaching a healthy end to the epidemic. Robert was also cast as a part of the CDC’s “Start talking, Stop HIV” campaign. Most recently, he has been an advocate and activist for PrEP, and helped found the LACPWG (LA County PEP & PrEP Work Group).
Esther Yepez is a full-time Oral Health Program Manager with The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health. Esther comes to The L.A. Trust with over 15 years of experience as a Registered Dental Assistant from Long Beach Memorial Children’s Dental Clinic. Esther will be supporting District Nursing in the Oral Health Screening Program. Esther also has experience in Nutrition Counseling and a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Minor in Hospitality Foodservice and Hotel Management from CSULB. Esther looks forward to working with The L.A. Trust, and believes that early education is the key to prevention.
As a skilled philanthropic professional with more than 17 years of experience, Vanessa Briseno possesses in-depth knowledge and cultural understanding of foundation and non-profit environments alike. As the Program Officer directly in charge of carrying out the philanthropic visions of a trustee at a large, national foundation, Ms. Briseno was responsible for monitoring trends in the field, developing strategic relationships across sectors, negotiating partnerships, managing Trustee-directed projects, and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of philanthropic strategies. Ms. Briseno brings with her a strong commitment to achieving great results as well as broad experience in fund development and management, community building, and identifying and implementing strategic opportunities to maximize organizational strengths.
Ruth was born and educated in England, and came to the U.S. in 1988. She has worked in New York and Los Angeles under the moniker of Chaos Warrior and is pleased to bring these skills with her to The L.A. Trust. Her prior employment was with PWGA Pension and Health Plans, and with American Apparel.
Rosario has been working in the school-based health center field for the past 15 years. She started her career at the age of 16 workings as a peer counselor for Asian Pacific Health Care Venture. Passionate about adolescent health and her community, Rosario has dedicated her personal life and academic career to closing the health disparities gap, especially in her native hometown of South Los Angeles. Most recently Rosario was working with UMMA Community Clinic, developing one the strongest student engagement programs in the LAUSD Network of Wellness Centers. She also facilitated other health education programs for the organization like prenatal classes and other school-based programs. Rosario looks forward to transforming the health of young adults and creating new youth career pathways in the health field.