Teen/Adult Health Summit (Services to Youth)

The Los Angeles Links Sponsor Teen Health Conference with Drew Auxiliary and Community Groups

The Los Angeles (CA) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated is proud to be a sponsor of the Drew Auxiliary’s Annual Teen Health Conference. On Saturday, January 7, 2017 two local Links chapters began the year in addressing the Health and Human Services Facet, the National Trends and Services facet and the Services to Youth Facet by again joining the Drew Auxiliary in collaboration on The Annual Teen Health Conference. Former Auxiliary president Barbara Trotter and former Auxiliary and ANMA president, Dolores Caffey Fleming co-chaired the annual event for 18 of its 20+ year history. The first Teen Health Conference was chaired by conference founder Barbara Trotter, Ed.D. in 1995.  Four years later the two Auxilians, Barbara and Dolores, who are also Links, conceived the idea of inviting their respective Links Chapters to co-sponsor the event. The rest is history. Though the event started by addressing the needs of youth, and then medical challenges related to youth, the conference now overlaps three facets of the Links program which makes it so amenable to collaboration. This community health conference addresses myriad topics that pertain to health issues that are endemic to the Black community such as Diabetes, obesity, HIV, Hepatitis C, mental health, stroke, heart attack, drug abuse and Alzheimer’s disease.

The workshops have to be alternated yearly because there is never enough time to address all of the health issues in depth in a single one day health conference. This years’ presenters were Dr. Wilbert Jordan, Specialist in infectious diseases who presented to young teen females, teen males and adults in three separate workshops to share information and field questions about infectious diseases from each of the respective groups. The men of Omega Psi Phi facilitated an interactive session with young men about self-image, respect, manhood, responsibility, and responsible behaviors. Attorney Kim Willis of the District Attorney’s office trained teens and their parents about how to respond when stopped by police. Many other relevant topics were also presented to teens and their parents.

Through the years each of these workshops is led by physician members of the Drew Society and Connecting Links. This year’s presenters were: Drs. Anne Stavryn, Janice Hull, Karole Bowens-Thompson, Lisa Nicholas, Arthur Fleming, Alvin Trotter, and Wilbert Jordan. There are also pharmacists who address issues about drugs of all kinds. The newer topics that have been added which are very popular among teens and their parents address: how to interact with the police when stopped, social media and your footprint, human trafficking, inter-generational communications, and fitness. Professionals from various fields throughout the community were on hand to present in the following areas. Dr. Stefany Powell, retired police Sargent-Human trafficking, Diane Peete, educator-Intergenerational communication, Dr. Kathryn Edwards, Educational Evaluator- social media, respectively. Mrs. Eleanor Wallace an algebra teacher at Parent school is always helpful in organizing the STEM Career segment of the conference and in pointing young people and their parents in the direction of the conference which is open to teens and their adult parents.

On January 7, 2017 President Sandra Goldsmith-Bennett, applauded The Drew Auxiliary members and the collaborating organizations for sustaining such a needed effort in our community. She also commended the Auxiliary for expanding the support base, as well as including workshops for adults, as well as sponsoring a separate Adult Health Forum simultaneously, focused only on adult issues. This separate forum allows many of our local non-profit organizations to come together to achieve a common purpose aimed at improving the health of our community through education and information.  The Annual Teen Conference has become a very collaborative endeavor. Organizations that supported the Auxiliary in sponsoring this year’s event with major financial support and conference facilitation were: The Los Angeles (CA) Chapter of The Links, the Palos Verdes (CA) Chapter of the Links, Zeta Rho Foundation of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Drew Medical Society. These organizations furnished speakers, provided lunch for the participants, as well as handouts and references. Other community groups that also gave donations and assisted with various aspects of the conference this year were Rolling Hills Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Culver City (Mu Lambda Omega) Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and Beverly Hills (CA) Chapter of The Links.

The members of the Links, AKA’s, Deltas, Omegas, Drew Medical Society and Drew Auxiliary work tirelessly, setting up the venue, getting donations, obtaining speakers, contacting and recruiting students, chaperoning the event, and the list goes on. The success of this conference is due largely to the support of the Drew members and the members from the other collaborating organizations taking on myriad roles and responsibilities to come together as ‘one’ to achieve our health goal for our community. The 2017 conference hosted more than 100 students and adults. This years’ conference boasted more than ten members of Rho Zeta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi to be there to chaperone the young men and have conversations about manhood. The Los Angeles Links President, Attorney Carla Pittman and the Los Angele Links committed to continue their support for this much heralded community event of which the Los Angeles and Palos Verdes Chapters have been co-sponsors for some 15 years. The sponsors all welcomed the involvement the Omegas, a fraternal male organization that provided critical conversations with the young teen men. To assist with improving the plight of our young men, the Auxilians and Links hope that in the future other male organizations will come and mentor our male teens. As we plan for the coming year, all sponsors feel that The Teen Health Conference is a worthwhile endeavor for the youth of our community. Additional information about the Teen Health Conference, National STEM Education and Career Readiness is available on the website from Links Angela and Michelle Robinson under Services to Youth Facet.

Link Kimberly Willis presents a workshop on Black Lives Matter to youth during the Teen / Adult Health conference at Parent Elementary School on January 7,2017.  Link Kim shared with the children life saving advice on how to engage with police officers, basic rights of all citizens, and how to develop a “go-to team” to call in the case of being detained by police.

(L to R)Links Renee Campbell; President, Link Carla Pittman; and Link Kimberly Willis show LA Links Chapter pride in hosting such a successful workshop!