California Health Report: Aging’s Staunch Ally in The City of Angels

As we knew, Laura Trejo was most deserving of our inaugural LAAAC Champion Award.

By Matt Perry

Inside a bureaucratic jungle, Laura Trejo always finds room to roar.

When Trejo sat in the midst of a panel of experts during the recent launch of a new state senate committee on aging, she spoke plainly yet firmly. During her 10-minute lecture, simmering tension escalated into barely controlled fury.

“We have lots of reports, we know what needs to get done, we just need to implement something,” insisted Trejo, who heads the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging. “So that’s my recommendation: implement something.”

Trejo received a standing ovation from the crowd of 125 – most of them within aging services.

Indeed, Trejo has implemented a long list of programs targeting LA’s aging community that have received kudos for their prescience and innovation.

When two years ago the city slashed its adult education programs, teachers slipped from 300 to 70 and were placed under Trejo’s tutelage. Instead of lamenting the demise, Trejo used it as an opportunity to create more streamlined classes focusing on practical aging issues to promote exercise, disease prevention, and improving memory – the last via dementia expert Dr. Gary Small, director of UCLA’s Longevity Center.

“One of her greatest strengths is her creativity,” says Dr. Catherine Sarkisian, director of the Los Angeles Community Academic Partnership for Research in Aging (LACAPRA), which Trejo co-directs. “She is constantly thinking of new ways individuals and teams can work together to increase their impact.”

Continue reading here: http://www.healthycal.org/archives/16347

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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