Published : Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:04 PM
Young & Healthy, the Pasadena non-profit that provides uninsured and underserved children with access to high quality health care at no cost to the patient, today announced the election of six new members to its Board of Directors. The new members’ three-year terms begin July 1, which also marks the beginning of Young & Healthy’s 30th year in operation. In addition to hosting a grand birthday celebration on October 12, the Board this year will undertake a multiyear strategic plan to map the organization’s future.
“I could not be more excited to welcome this new class to the Board,” said Board President D. Jason Lyon, a partner with the Pasadena law firm Hahn & Hahn. “In addition to their energy and enthusiasm for the mission of Young & Healthy, they bring a wealth of diverse strengths and perspectives to the Board. We intentionally sought out their expertise to help guide our strategic plan as we look ahead to the next three decades.”
The six new Board members represent a range of backgrounds and interests:
• Dr. Matt Feaster is Acting Epidemiologist for the City of Pasadena’s Public Health Department. He holds a PhD in Epidemiology from UCLA.
• Laura Diaz Allen is the Parent Engagement Director at Pasadena Education Network, another local nonprofit that promotes family participation in public education.
• Meredith Miller has owned and operated several local businesses, including Webster’s Pharmacy, and has been an active participant in Collaborate Pasadena.
• Marjorie Diaz holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. She previously managed the continuing legal education program for the LA County Bar Association.
• Dana Goolsby Jones is an executive with the Walt Disney Company overseeing corporate brand and franchise management. She recently completed two terms as the Junior Warden of All Saints Pasadena.
• Carrie Walker is a longtime Pasadena event planner, volunteer, and philanthropist. In addition to her previous work with TEDxPasadena, she served as co-chair of Young & Healthy’s 2019 gala and will also co-chair the organization’s 30th Birthday Celebration this fall.
Young & Healthy also announced that four longtime Board members will retire this year: Laura Babcock, Kwame Brathwaite, Karen Peterson, and Mariana Robles. Whitney Harrison, who is serving as the organization’s Acting Executive Director while longtime leader Mary Donnelly-Crocker is on sabbatical, praised the departing board members. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Mariana, Karen, Kwame, and Laura,” she said. “It is no exaggeration to say they have all gone above and beyond the call of duty during their board service, and they each played a huge role in the current overall strength of the organization. I hate to see their terms expire, but I am pretty sure they will all remain active in the Young & Healthy community.”
Young & Healthy was founded in 1989 by Dr. J. Donald Thomas and the All Saints Office for Creative Connections, a think tank and nonprofit incubator that spawned such local charities as Union Station Homeless Services, Day One, and the former AIDS Service Center. Dr. Thomas, who was then the Medical Director of the Huntington Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, recognized that the medical needs of local children from underprivileged communities were not being met. He approached the Director of the Office for Creative Connections, Lorna Miller, and together they formed a team of volunteers from All Saints and the Neighborhood Unitarian-Universalist Church to tackle the problem. The group soon developed the simple premise upon which Young & Healthy still operates today: connecting local children in need with volunteer physicians from every specialty and discipline. Over the past 29 years, Young & Healthy has provided more than $22 million in donated professional services to more than 25,000 local children.
Today, Young & Healthy maintains a network of more than 350 volunteer medical professionals, and nearly as many community volunteers. In addition to the core service of providing access to care and case management, Young & Healthy also provides insurance enrollment and outreach, preventive care, and parent education. Its most recent major initiative is a training program in trauma informed care, which equips health care providers, parents, and educators to provide compassionate, nurturing care to children exposed to trauma. A comprehensive body of research suggests that when adults take a more trauma-informed approach, children build resiliency, which in turn combats the long-term negative health impacts of adverse childhood experiences.
Young & Healthy will celebrate its 30th anniversary throughout its 2019-2020 fiscal year, beginning with a birthday party extravaganza on October 12. The event, to be held at the Pasadena Masonic Temple, will honor the organization’s founders and past presidents.