The L.A. Trust Staff
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 and implement LA Unified School District’s Wellness Networks and the Oral Health Initiative. Ms. Puffer’s work focuses on innovative and collaborative strategies for health programming in schools. 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 LA County’s Community Prevention and Population Health Task Force; as a Western Regional Leader for DentaQuest’s OH2020 agenda; and as a board member of Clifford Beers Housing.
Stella grew up in an immigrant family in Santa Ana hearing a mix of many languages as her grandparents were born in Japan, her father was raised in Mexico City, and she is Korean-American.
Stella brings 10 years of committed public health and policy experience in advocacy, program management, community outreach, and grassroots engagement to the Trust’s Oral Health Initiative. Prior to the Trust, she worked as Senior Manager of Community Advocacy at the statewide health policy organization California Pan-Ethnic Health Network where she managed multiple policy and community engagement projects.
Stella is also a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
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.
Esther Yepez is a full-time Health Educator 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.
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.
Nina Nguyen is the Champions for Change Program Manager at The L.A. Trust for Children’s Health. Nina has managed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Teen Leader Project, as well as the Harbor Community Benefits Foundation Asthma Mitigation Project. She has a background in Ethnic Studies from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters of Public Health from Loma Linda University. Recently, she became a Certified Health Education Specialist to further her knowledge and skills in program development and evaluation. Whether her work involves organizing nail salon workers on environmental health or developing a youth nutrition education program in a food desert, Nina strives to improve the health of immigrant families and children.
Sang is the Program Director at The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health where she assumes a leadership role in developing plans for the implementation of the organization’s strategic goals. She oversees programmatic research and evaluation and is responsible for the coordination of Wellness Network convenings that promote quality improvement and sharing of best practices. Her 19 years of public health experience and involvement in more than a decade of school-based health programs demonstrates her commitment to improving student health and wellness. Sang holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Analysis and design and two graduate degrees in public health. As a marathon runner, she has raced in all 50 states and is currently working on running in all seven continents. She is a loyal fan of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Hello Kitty, and her nieces and nephews.
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 Health 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.
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.
Nancy Vega brings nearly 20 years of non-profit and government experience to The L.A.Trust. Originally from Compton, her career has been rooted in supporting the most vulnerable populations. Her work now focuses on the financial management of grants and other sponsored programs. Before coming to The L.A Trust, Nancy was a Senior Fiscal Grants Analyst at Los Angeles Universal Preschool. Prior to that, she spent time in the D.C Metro area as an Accounting Analyst and Program Manager of Government Contracts. Nancy earned a bachelor of arts in Urban Studies and Planning from UCSD. Currently, she is enrolled in Cal State LA’s Fully Employed MBA program.
Marianna Garcia is a Program Coordinator at the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health. She leads multiple programs that focus on Asthma education and outreach and health care access and enrollment. Overall, Marianna is committed to see every student succeed and thrive in an environment that supports their personal agency, health, and wellbeing.
Committed to empowering underserved communities, she brings extensive community advocacy and outreach experience in the fields of health, immigration, and education. In previous roles, Marianna has coordinated preventative, intervention, and research projects both in clinical and community settings.
Marianna is a fellow with the Women’s Policy Institute- State, Health Team, where she is working alongside statewide advocates to advance health care access for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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).
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.